Sucralfate for Dogs

Sucralfate is an anti-ulcer drug that is often used to treat stomach and intestinal problems in dogs. This drug is approved for human consumption, but is legal for use as an off-label drug in dogs and other animals. Research has shown that this drug is effective for many types of ulcerations in the body, and it is available by prescription only.

How Sucralfate Works

Sucralfate for dogs works to prevent and treat ulcers that form in the:

  • mouth
  • throat
  • esophagus
  • intestines

Ulcers often result as a side effect from continual use of other medication, and inflammation can cause pain or irritation in several parts of the body. It is unclear how sucralfate works to prevent and treat ulcerations, but studies suggest that it binds with naturally occurring acids in the stomach to form a paste which covers and protects the ulcerated areas.

This protection, often referred to as a bandage effect, gives ulcers a chance to heal on their own. Sucralfate seems to shield ulcers from harmful stomach acids that can cause further irritation, inflammation and perpetuation the condition.

Uses of Sucralfate

Dogs that are on certain types of medication, such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs) or aspirin, may experience stomach or intestinal ulcers as a side effect.

Ulcers may also form from:

Sucralfate is prescribed to prevent ulcers from forming, or to treat ulcers which are already present and causing irritation. Acid reflux disease can also be managed successfully with the use of sucralfate, as this drug can minimize injury to the esophagus due to contact with harmful stomach acids. 

Side Effects of Sucralfate

Side effects are generally a concern when using prescription drugs for treatment of any condition or disease. The use of sucralfate produces minimal side effects which are generally rare. On occasion, a dog may experience mild constipation that should only last a short period of time.

Any unusual behavior should be noted and discussed with a professional. This drug should not be given to dogs that have known allergies or sensitivities to it, and if allergic reaction occurs, discontinue its use.

Allergies to a drug often result in difficulty breathing, fever or abnormal behavior. Long-term use may cause a build up of aluminum in the body, causing accumulation in the brain or weakening of the bones.

Other Considerations

When using sucralfate for dogs, there are other considerations you should keep in mind. This drug may interact with other prescription medications and can cause a severe reaction. In particular, sucralfate does not react well with drugs like tetracycline, digoxin and cimetidine.

Additionally, sucralfate can prevent absorption of other medications. Avoid the use of this drug within 2 hours of administering any other prescription medication. Also, be sure to give sucralfate on an empty stomach, as best results will occur when not mixed with food.