Adrienne is a certified dog trainer and former veterinarian assistant who partners with some of the best veterinarians worldwide.
Can you give your dog Imodium? These days, it seems like many people head over to the Internet to ask Google for tips and advice when dealing with their own health issues and the health issues of their pets. The internet can be a blessing, but it can also be a curse, especially when it comes to something as serious as health. There are countless websites, some reputable and some not, that suggest giving dogs with diarrhea Imodium, but many seem to fail at warning about important factors that may make the difference between bringing a dog back to health or causing more harm than good.
First off, what exactly is Imodium and how does it work? Imodium, also known as loperamide, is a common over-the-counter medication used mainly to treat diarrhea in humans. Although its a narcotic drug, overall its a non-addictive, weak narcotic, according to Pet MD. This drug mainly works by decreasing the motility of food through the digestive tract. When a dog has diarrhea, food moves rapidly through the intestines (hypermotility) preventing water and nutrients from being absorbed. For this reason, Imodium is also used in pets suffering from malabsorption and maldigestion since it allows more time for nutrients and food to be absorbed. As much as this all sounds like good news, there are cases where the use of this drug may prove deleterious. In the next paragraphs, we will go over five good reasons why you shouldnt give your dog Imodium, unless its under your vets advice.
What is Imodium?
Imodium (generically known as loperamide) is a synthetic opioid. All opioids (think morphine, oxycodone, etc.) have a well-earned reputation for causing constipation. Loperamide is so good at causing constipation that this “side effect” has become the primary reason we use it as a medication. On the other hand, Imodium is not very good at relieving pain, at least at safe dosage levels, so it is never legitimately used for this reason.
The Problem With Using Metronidazole for Dogs With Diarrhea
When your dog has an upset stomach, parasites, like giardia or coccidia, are often to blame. They thrive and grow when your dog is sick, causing him to lose control of his bowels.
Metronidazole suppresses the DNA enzymes that encourage these parasites to multiply. In theory, your dog’s gut should stabilize and return to normal function as a result.
But the problem is that this relief is only temporary. Metronidazole doesn’t actually fix the fundamental issues causing your dog’s diarrhea.
Recent research has cast a cloud over the utility of Metronidazole for dogs. One clinical trial examined dogs with acute hemorrhagic diarrhea. Dogs treated with Metronidazole, Amoxicillin, Clavulanic Acid, and supportive therapy showed little improvement.
Many acknowledge that the jury is still out on the potency of Metronidazole for dogs. As of today, the FDA hasn’t even approved the use of this medication with animals.
Why You Shouldn’t Use Metronidazole for Dogs With Upset Tummies
Prescribed medications often bring along some serious side effects. Metronidazole is no exception to the rule. These are some of the side effects of this drug:
Veterinary journals say that most cases of toxicity involve very high doses or chronic use of smaller doses. But vets often prescribe it long-term for chronic diarrhea!
Because Metronidazole can penetrate the blood-brain barrier, veterinarians use it to treat central nervous system infections. But that also means it can affect your dog’s nervous system. This video shows one dog’s reaction to the drug.
There are also a handful of long-term risks associated with the use of Metronidazole. Although uncommon, dogs can develop a rare condition called Heinz body anemia. Metronidazole can also cause birth defects when given to pregnant dogs.
Remember, not all bacteria are bad. In fact, some are critical for healthy digestive and immune function. But the problem with Metronidazole is that it doesn’t know good bacteria from the bad.
As a result, this antibiotic can often do serious harm to your dog’s gut. Long-term use can increase the chances your dog develops gastrointestinal illnesses and allergies.
Instead of giving Metronidazole to your dog, take a holistic approach. There are plenty of natural solutions that can help, without risk to your dog’s future health.
Can you give Imodium with metronidazole?
Using excessive doses of loperamide can cause serious and potentially fatal complications such as irregular heart rhythm and cardiac arrest, and the risk may be increased when combined with other medications that can also cause cardiac problems such as metroNIDAZOLE.
How long does it take for metronidazole to stop diarrhea in dogs?
Can you give a dog Imodium if they have diarrhea?