Today we will let you know if you can use Pepto Bismol for dogs with diarrhea, vomitting or stomach upsets. We’ll show you how to give a dog Pepto Bismol, and give you the right dosage. We will also let you know when to use it, and when to call a veterinarian instead.
You’re probably familiar with Pepto Bismol, the signature pink medicine that you reach for when a mild stomach upset strikes. And if you’re a Pepto Bismol user, then you may have wondered “Can you give a dog Pepto Bismol for digestive issues, too?”
In this article we’ll have a look at what Pepto Bismol is, whether it’s safe for dogs, the correct dosage and when you should not give it to dogs. As with any drug intended for humans, but that can also be given to dogs, it’s always safer to check with your vet whether your dog can have Pepto Bismol.
Pepto Bismol is FDA-approved OTC (over the counter) drug meant for human consumption. But can dogs take Pepto Bismol? Usually they can, and some vets even prescribe it for some conditions. Pepto Bismol has bismuth subsalicylate as the active ingredient. Compounds with this ingredient are also marketed as Kaopectate, Bismatrol, and Castro-Cote, among others. Pepto Bismol must never be given to cats unless it’s prescribed by a vet. Cats are hypersensitive to any form of salicylate.
In the a body the bismuth and the subsalicylate separate and play a dual role in aiding a digestive upset. The bismuth coats the lining of the stomach and intestines to create a buffer against acid. It also binds with the toxins which are responsible for the stomach issues. Binding these toxins helps to stop diarrhea.
Subsalicylate is a compound closely related to aspirin. The salicylate helps to slow down intestinal fluid secretions and the excessive movements of the bowel that cause the diarrhea. The compound also has an anti-inflammatory and a mild antibiotic action. Salicylate is however also known to irritate the lining of the stomach, which can cause ulcers. Furthermore, it also thins the blood which can cause bleeding. That is why Pepto Bismol must always be given according to the recommended doses and length of time.
Can I Give My Dog Pepto Bismol?
Is Pepto Bismol safe for dogs? Pepto Bismol is generally safe for dogs, but that doesn’t mean you should give it to your pup without first checking with your veterinarian. Never give your pup human over-the-counter (OTC) medications without your vet’s okay. Your vet knows your dog’s medical conditions and health history, so they can determine what is and isn’t safe for your particular pup.
Some veterinary experts are hesitant about recommending Pepto Bismol because the salicylates in the medication could cause gastric bleeding in some dogs. And the bismuth in the medication typically turns dog poop black, making it very difficult to spot any blood in a dog’s stool — a sign that there’s gastric bleeding.
Warning: Never give cats Pepto Bismol or any product containing bismuth subsalicylate. Bismuth subsalicylate is extremely toxic for cats.
Side effects are rare and usually mild. The most common side effects are constipation, oddly colored stools (grey, black, or green), or a darkened tongue. If your dog exhibits shortness of breath or starts acting “off,” get to an emergency vet clinic immediately and let them know any prescription drugs he’s on, including the Pepto. They can check for gastric bleeding or other rare complications.
Contraindications: Canines Who Shouldn’t Take Pepto Bismol at All
Pepto Bismol isn’t usually dangerous for dogs, but there are a few conditions and medicationsthat should preclude its use.
This includes (but is not limited to) dogs who are:
If any of the situations above describe your dog, you’llneed to refrain from giving the medicine to your pet.
If you want to give your dog Pepto Bismol, you should give your vet a call and obtain a proper dosage for your individual pet.
However, the typical dosage is about 0.5 milliliters per pound of body weight (which is often easier to think of as 5 milliliters per 10 pounds).
That is roughly equal to 1 teaspoon per 10 pounds of body weight, but teaspoons vary a bit in their capacity. So, it’s a good idea to keep a good oral syringe on hand to ensure accurate dosing.
Oral syringes aren’t expensive, and they can help whenever you need to medicate your pooch. A 10cc syringe will work for really small doggos, but you’ll likely want a 30cc syringe for dogs over about 20 pounds.
Also, as you may already have realized, large dogs will require more Pepto than they’ll usually be willing to swallow. Accordingly, it provides only limited value in these cases.
Oral syringes don’t use a needle — they’re just the plastic parts of the syringe. To administer the medicine, gently insert the syringe in the back of your pet’s mouth and squirt it in slowly. You’ll probably need to hold his mouth shut for a few minutes to ensure he swallows it.
You can repeat this dosage again in 8 hours, but if her tummy doesn’t resume normal function by then, you’ll want to stop giving her the medicine and head on over to the vet.
Don’t have easy access to a vet? You may want to consider getting help from JustAnswer — a service that provides instant virtual-chat access to a certified vet online.
You can discuss the issue with them, and even share video or photos if need be. The online vet can help you determine what your next steps should be.
While talking with your own vet — who understands the ins and outs of your dog’s history — is probably ideal, JustAnswer is a good backup option.
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