Many of you have heard of hydroxyzine for dogs and they would like to know more. This is an interesting and important topic that is very helpful to certain dog owners. Below, we will explain all the main elements of hydroxyzine, how to use it, which dosage to use, and more.
Hydroxyzine For Dogs: Basics You Need To Know
Here we will reveal the first and the most effective elements regarding hydroxyzine for dogs. It is an antihistamine that has been used to treat itchy conditions and also allergies in dogs. It is not approved by FDA for use on dogs but it is considered safe and there are no major issues. Keep in mind that this medication is available in many, different forms such as Multipax, Masmoran, Atarax and etc.
These are all the same but come in different packaging and are made by different brands.
The medication comes in various forms as well. It can be used as tablets, capsules, or liquid solutions. Your dog needs to swallow it and you can expect the first effects within 2 hours. It is also available as an injection but this must be given by a trained professional. In most cases, you can see these within 1 hour. It is crucial to say that this medication must not be given alongside other medication or injections and that it must not be given after intradermal allergy tests for up to 2 weeks.
Usages of Hydroxyzine
In the lack of a better word, hydroxyzine is a very powerful and effective drug that can be used for many issues. In general, it is prescribed and given to dogs to treat allergic reactions. It can be used to treat allergies as well. In most cases, it can be used to treat allergic reactions caused by vaccines, insects, and even snakes! As you may know, this is an anti-inflammatory medication that can open airways to prevent suffocating. This is the main reason why a dog can breathe normally after the medication despite the allergy.
Your vet may prescribe hydroxyzine for conditions such as itchy skin (the best examples are alopecia and dermatitis). There are more purposes for this medication. It has antiemetic properties as well. This means that it can help your pet with nausea. It can also decrease symptoms of tension and anxiety.
The Dosage You Can Give to Your Pet
Keep in mind that the best thing to do is to go to a vet and he will prescribe you the ideal dosage of the medication to your pet. But, many dog owners use the medication by themselves in which case you can use this guide. The main rule to know is that 1 mg of hydroxyzine should be given per one pound of weight. As such, a heavier dog will need a higher dosage which is common for medications of this and similar types.
It is important to add that all dogs need to take this medication orally. The treatment should last even if your pet starts to show improvements and even doesn’t need the drug anymore. However, your vet will give you the precise duration of the treatment that will cure the issue completely.
Ideally, a vet will prescribe and adjust the therapy as needed. This is the safest method and the one that has been known to provide the most success. As the owner, you need to follow the guidelines to the point and must not be stopped before the vet advises you so.
Hydroxyzine: Side Effects
Hydroxyzine has sedative properties as well. This can cause drowsiness in your pet which is the most common side effect and one that most dogs experience. You should inform the veterinarian if your dog has these side effects. He may have to adjust the treatment so the side effect is no longer present. There are other side effects as well. The most common ones are:
- Lack of coordination
- Dry mouth
- Increased urination and thirst
- Issues with urination
- Lack of appetite
- Different behavior
One of the potential risks is the danger of anaphylaxis which is basically a severe allergic reaction. If this happens, your dog is in severe danger and the vet must be contacted immediately.
Certain Dogs Who Must Not Take This Particular Drug
The best example is pregnant dogs and nursing dogs. Dogs who have issues or health problems related to their intestinal obstruction or urinary tract should not take hydroxyzine. Keep in mind that dogs who have health issues with their heart, lungs, or high blood pressure shouldn’t take this medication either. Also, dogs with glaucoma must not be on this therapy.
It is recommended to provide this information to a vet before the therapy is provided. Also, don’t forget that other medications don’t always react nicely with hydroxyzine when the two or more are mixed. The best example, in this case, the scenario is epinephrine. This and other drugs which are used to sedate the nervous system must not be mixed with hydroxyzine.
In a nutshell, you need to inform a vet about all the health issues, other medications, or any other health-related issues your dog has. Only then he is able to develop a proper and the most effective treatment with the smallest number of side effects. Also, don’t forget to tell him about any side effects. He may need to adjust the treatment and make it more appealing to your specific dog.
Precautions When Using Hydroxyzine
When considering the use of Hydroxyzine for dogs, it’s essential to discuss your pet’s full health history with your veterinarian. This is crucial because Hydroxyzine is not suitable for all dogs, and certain health conditions may be adversely affected by this medication. Dogs with glaucoma, hypertension, lung disease, heart conditions, or an enlarged prostate should not take Hydroxyzine. Furthermore, pregnant and nursing dogs should avoid Hydroxyzine as well, due to potential risks to puppies.
Moreover, Hydroxyzine may interact with other medications your dog might be taking, leading to potentially harmful effects. For instance, it can increase the effects of medications that depress the central nervous system like tranquilizers, sedatives, and pain medications. If your dog is taking any of these, or other types of medication, be sure to discuss it with your vet.
It’s also vital to monitor your dog closely after administering Hydroxyzine, especially if it’s their first time taking it. Look out for any changes in their behavior or physical condition. If you notice anything unusual, such as increased lethargy, changes in appetite, or unusual symptoms, contact your vet immediately.
The keyword to remember here is “safety first”. While Hydroxyzine can be an effective treatment for certain conditions, it should only be used under veterinary supervision and according to prescribed guidelines. Never self-diagnose or medicate your dog without professional advice, as it can lead to serious health issues. Remember, the well-being of your furry friend is always the top priority.
Alternatives to Hydroxyzine for Dogs
While Hydroxyzine can be beneficial for dogs dealing with allergies or anxiety, it’s not the only solution available. There are alternatives if your dog cannot tolerate Hydroxyzine, or if it’s contraindicated due to their health conditions.
- Diphenhydramine (Benadryl): This is an over-the-counter antihistamine that can be used for dogs to help alleviate symptoms of allergies. However, it’s essential to consult with your vet for the appropriate dosage, as an overdose can be harmful.
- Cetirizine (Zyrtec): This antihistamine is commonly used for seasonal allergies in dogs. Just like with Benadryl, it’s crucial to get the correct dosage from your vet to ensure your pet’s safety.
- Fexofenadine (Allegra): Another over-the-counter antihistamine option for dogs, Allegra is typically used for skin allergies. As with all medications, consult your vet for proper dosage.
- Non-medical interventions: There are also non-medical alternatives to help dogs cope with anxiety, such as specialized dog anxiety wraps, calming music, behavior modification training, or therapeutic dog beds.
Can Hydroxyzine be used for all dog breeds?
Generally, Hydroxyzine can be used across various dog breeds. However, dosage and administration may vary depending on the dog’s size, age, and health condition. Always consult with a vet for individualized treatment.
How quickly does Hydroxyzine work in dogs?
Hydroxyzine typically begins to work within 30 minutes to an hour after administration. However, for optimal results in managing allergies or anxiety, it may need to be used consistently over several days or weeks.
Can I give my dog Hydroxyzine without a vet’s prescription?
No, Hydroxyzine is a prescription medication. It should only be administered under the guidance of a vet to ensure safety and efficacy.
Are there any long-term side effects of Hydroxyzine in dogs?
Prolonged use of Hydroxyzine may cause side effects like drowsiness or gastrointestinal issues. If your dog exhibits any adverse reactions, consult your vet immediately.
Can I use human Hydroxyzine tablets for my dog?
While the drug is the same, the dosage for humans and dogs can greatly differ. Only use Hydroxyzine specifically prescribed for your dog by a vet.
Can Hydroxyzine be used for cats?
Yes, Hydroxyzine can be used for cats, but only under the guidance of a vet.
What should I do if I miss a dose of Hydroxyzine?
If you miss a dose, give it as soon as you remember. If it’s almost time for the next dose, skip the missed one. Never double up doses.
Can Hydroxyzine be combined with other medications?
It depends on the specific medication. Always inform your vet of any other medications your dog is taking to avoid adverse drug interactions.
Can Hydroxyzine cure my dog’s allergies?
Hydroxyzine helps manage the symptoms of allergies but is not a cure. For long-term relief, you’ll need to identify and address the root cause of the allergies.
Is Hydroxyzine safe for pregnant dogs or puppies?
The safety of Hydroxyzine in pregnant dogs or puppies has not been conclusively established. If your dog is pregnant, nursing, or very young, it’s crucial to discuss with your vet whether Hydroxyzine is the right choice.
The Final Word
Hydroxyzine for dogs is a powerful and effective medication that has been used for many different issues. It is reasonably safe and it can be a life saver in certain cases. It is important to add that you should get a prescription from your vet and follow the guidelines to the point. You also need to tell a vet all the variables and things he needs to know in order to adjust the treatment and make it the most effective. In most cases, adjustment to the treatment is needed.