Psyllium for Dogs

Psyllium is a type of laxative that was designed for use in horses, but which can also be effectively used in a number of other animals. It is approved by the FDA for use in cats and humans as well, and veterinarians routinely recommend it for use in dogs as well. Because the medicine is not prescription based, it can be purchased over the counter or from a veterinarian's office. Still, if you're going to give your dog Psyllium, it's a good idea to consult with your veterinarian both before you begin and as you continue the treatment process as well.

Psyllium Overview

Psyllium is a bulk-forming laxative. This means that it helps to treat extreme cases of diarrhea in your dog. The drug itself is made from the seeds of a plant called the Plantago. These seeds are coated in a natural substance which retains water and swells once inside of your pet's intestine. The result is that the medicine will absorb the excess water and fluid in your pet's intestine, and help to treat his watery stool. Because of the digestive effects of this medicine, it oftentimes will not take effect in your pet's system for up to three days after the initial dosage is provided.

Using Psyllium for Your Pet

In addition to cases of water diarrhea, Psyllium can also be helpful in addressing your dog's chronic irritable bowel syndrome, and may even be helpful in addressing constipation that comes about when your pet has too little fiber in his diet for one reason or another.

When providing your dog with Psyllium, the dosage is very important to monitor. The tablet formulation that is provided for cats is likely to be the best version to use for your dog. However, you can also purchase much larger doses that are designed for either humans or horses as well. Consult with your vet for a more particular and specific dosage regimen. The exact amount of Psyllium that you should give to your pet will be based on his age, size, weight and other health factors.

Side Effects and Risks of Psyllium

Psyllium can interact with certain other drugs in your pet's system. While this will generally not cause a problem for your pet's health, it may result in a loss of effectiveness of the drug. Therefore, it's a good idea to consult with your vet before you start a program, and be sure to tell your vet of any and all other drugs that your pet is taking at the time. Avoid giving your dog psyllium if he suffers from intestinal perforation or obstruction.

While Psyllium is generally free of side effects, it can cause increased flatulence. More seriously, it can also present an esophagus blockage problem as well, so it's crucial that your pet have enough water to drink while he's taking Psyllium as well.

For more information about this medicine, speak with your vet.