The 8 Most Common Dog Medicine Side Effects

Dog medicine can be of several types and is used to treat different diseases or to alleviate pain. However, besides the many benefits of dog medicine, there are a few side effects that can occur. All dog medications have potential side effects, but not all dogs will show signs of these. The most common side effects to dog medicine include vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, allergic reactions, ulcers, decreased immunity and resistance to drugs.

1. Vomiting

If the dog's system doesn't agree with the compounds of the medicine, he may vomit. This is a common side effect. You need to monitor your pet, because if the medicine is thrown up it will not do what it's supposed to do. The dog should receive injectible medication or a different type of medication, should vomiting occur. Medications such as Busipirone, Ibuprofen, Meloxicam, Phenylbutazone, Oxyglobin and alpha blockers can cause vomiting in canines.

2. Diarrhea

Dog medicine can often cause diarrhea. Medications that can cause diarrhea include NMDA receptor blockers such as Amantadine, opiates such as Oxymorphone, non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs) such as Ibuprofen or Meloxicam, or dewormers.

3. Lethargy

Another common side effect of dog medicine is lethargy. There are a few medications that have a sedative effect and relax the muscles, so the dog will be less active. For instance, Xylazine, which is used as a pain reliever and muscle relaxing agent, may cause one to two hours of sedation after being administered. Other medications such as cough suppressants (i.e., Robitussin, Dexalone) will also cause lethargy.

4. Lack of Appetite

Due to the fact that the dog gets medicine and his system is not used to the new chemicals, he may lack appetite and refuse to eat. The lack of appetite may also be due to the fact that some medications cause nausea.

5. Allergic Reactions

Dogs may develop allergic reactions to different medicine compounds. Most frequently penicillin or other antibiotics will cause allergic reactions, such as skin rashes and swelling.

6. Decreased Immunity

Decreased immunity is a side effect of the administration of corticosteroids. These compounds will inhibit the immune system and it will not function properly, rendering the dog unable to fight diseases.

7. Ulcers

Stomach and intestinal tract ulcers may also be a side effect of medication such as Aspirin, Prednisone, Dexamethazone or other corticosteroids.

8. Resistance to Drugs

If administered improperly or for a long time, some medications may not be effective any more, as the dog can develop resistance to certain compounds. If antibiotics are not administered for as many days as prescribed, the dog can build up immunity and those particular antibiotics will no longer be effective in your pet. Antihistamines should also be rotated periodically, as the dog can build up immunity to them if administered for longer than two or three months. Opiate narcotics such as Demerol may also make the dog resistant to its action when administered for a longer period of time.