If we humans have a fever, heartburn or headache we often take medicines without a doctor’s prescription and that usually works for us. But can we do the same with our furry friend too? The answer is a simple no. dog’s body is different from a human’s and so is their disease.
We cannot easily identify what is exactly wrong with our dog, then how is it possible to identify its cure? For every dog suffering from any illness, medical assistance is necessary. Heartburn and acid reflux is common among dog. omeprazole is one common medicine that a vet gives your dog for treating acid reflux and such related diseases.
How safe it is to give omeprazole to your dog? In this article, we will try to answer all your queries related to omeprazole, so that the next time you give it to your dog, you will have complete knowledge about it and its working.
What Is Omeprazole?
Omeprazole is an human antacid. It is generally given by a vet to the dog. Omeprazole is safe and often used to treat acid reflux in dogs. Generally, vets tend to use human drugs for dogs it is common for vets to use human drugs for dogs as off-label.
Omeprazole reduces the production of gastric acid in dogs. It is a safe medicine if given the correct dose as per prescription. It does not have any serious side effects and thus may not harm your dog’s health adversely.
The Main Uses of Omeprazole for Dogs
The main uses of omeprazole for what it is prescribed are:
If your dog is consuming non-inflammatory medicines for a long time, he is likely to develop a stomach ulcer. To treat this stomach ulcer, your vet may prescribe omeprazole to your dog.
Omeprazole is a great source to decrease the production of acid. This helps in the reduction of ulcers and stops their further development.
Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
Gastroesophageal reflux disease is a condition in which stomach acid flows back and reaches the oesophagus. This generally happens when the valve called the cardiac sphincter leaks the stomach acid making it flow back.
If your dog is suffering from gastroesophageal reflux disease, a vet may prescribe omeprazole. It will help pause acid flow and provide your dog relief from the irritation.
Omeprazole is beneficial for dogs with kidney disease. For dogs suffering from kidney disease, the toxins which are removed through urine return into blood bloodstream. These toxins being acidic in nature lead to stomach irritation. Omeprazole helps in the reduction of this irritation caused by toxins.
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are given to dogs suffering from fever, pain or inflammation. But if these drugs are consumed for a long time they can lead to the development of gastric irritation, ulcers and even bleeding.
Omeprazole helps protect the stomach lining from the negative effects of NSAIDs.
Dogs involved in professional racing, with chronic stress or who have stomach tumours develop gastritis. In gastritis, the stomach becomes irritated and inflamed. During such a situation, a vet may prescribe omeprazole which helps in the protection of the mucosal layer inside the stomach,
In hydrocephalus, there is an abnormal build-up of Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). CSF is colourless watery fluid flowing through the brain and spinal cord. Omeprazole helps in the reduction of this cerebrospinal fluid.
Helicobacter spp. Treatment
Helicobacter are bacteria which flourish in a dog’s stomach. A dog’s stomach is acidic and these bacteria are prone to survive in such an acidic environment too. This bacteria causes inflammation in the stomach lining.
The dog infected by this bacteria likely shows no symptoms but causes irritation. Omeprazole makes the stomach less livable for this helicobacter bacteria. This provides your dog relief from irritation.
Omeprazole Dose for Dogs
- Usually, omeprazole comes in capsules, liquid and tablet form. For adult dogs, omeprazole is prescribed in 20mg tablet and capsule form and for puppies generally liquid is prescribed. The dosage of omeprazole depends upon the size, weight and condition of your dog.
- In the beginning, the vet may prescribe one tablet a day on an empty stomach. The vet may further increase the dose based on how well the dog’s body accepts the drug.
- Omeprazole may take 24-48 hours to show effect, and at least 4 days to completely cure the dog. However, it is important to note that omeprazole generally works better when consumed on an empty stomach.
As mentioned by Dr. Stephanie Howe, DVM in petmd, "Omeprazole should be stored at controlled room temperature between 68-77 F and brief exposure to temperatures 59-86 F is acceptable. Keep the container tightly closed in order to protect from moisture and light. Always confirm storage requirements by reading the label."
Omeprazole Side Effects in Dogs
Omeprazole is generally safe for dogs and has very rare side effects. These side effects are not very adverse. Here are the following side effects of omeprazole in dogs:
- Vomiting: If your dog is frequently vomiting after consumption of omeprazole, then it is possible that the medicine is not suitable for him. In such case you should wait for at least 24 hours and if the vomiting continues consult the vet.
- Decreased appetite: Another side effect of omeprazole is that your dog may show no interest in consuming food. These side effects are generally normal and end with the end of the medicine effect.
- Gas and mild bloating: A dog consuming omeprazole may show signs of gas and bloating.
- Diarrhoea: Diarrhoea is common amongst dogs who are on medication. After consumption of omeprazole, your dog may experience diarrhoea. If experiences serve diarrhoea consult a vet and stop the dosage immediately.
These above-mentioned side effects may prevail just for 24 hours. If your dog is suffering from kidney or liver diseases then he may experience these side effects for a longer period. In extremely rare cases the dog may suffer from lung infection, but that also if he has any previous medical history.
Some Alternatives to Omeprazole for Dogs
There are alternatives to omeprazole available, which can deal with ulcers and acidic problems. If your dog is allergic to omeprazole or it is not suiting him, you can try the alternatives, but not before consulting a vet.
The stomach wall has a parietal cell which contains histamine receptors. These receptors bind the histamine and produce the stomach acid. Famotidine then works by reversely binding these receptors further stopping the acid production.
Both omeprazole and famotidine stop the production of acid. However, omeprazole has long long-lasting effect of 24 hours, whereas the effect of famotidine typically lasts for 12 hours.
Tums is also an antacid, but its being effective for dogs is doubtful. It contains xylitol to add artificial sweetening flavour. Tums can be harmful to dogs as it can lead to sudden drops in blood sugar in dogs. This is the reason it is not a favourable choice for a vet to prescribe a dog suffering from acidic problems.
Pepto Bismol contains subsalicylate which instead of curing ulcer increases it. Apart from this consumption of Pepto Bismol can cause your dog poop to turn blackish. The effect of this drug is likely to remain for a longer period.
- A perfectly balanced diet is the best alternative for a dog suffering from acid reflux. If your dog is constantly vomiting due to acid production then stop giving him food. Vomiting can lead to more irritation in oesophagus.
- It is important to provide your dog with good balanced food like curd rice or chicken rice without any seasoning. This balanced diet will help in digestion reducing acid production and will provide your dog relief.
- Giving your dog probiotics is also helpful as it leads to improvement of the digestive tract. They are good at dealing with harmful bacteria. Thus can protect your dog’s stomach wall from acid reflux.
- Apart from all these alternatives, there are many pet parents who claim that giving dogs ginger root and bananas helps to deal with stomach problems.
Before experimenting with any of these alternatives you are advised to consult a vet and seek proper medical guidance.
Omeprazole is a medicine that should only be given to your dog on a vet’s prescription. Avoid giving any medicine to your dog without a doctor’s consultation. A dog’s body and its functioning is different from human and certain medicine may not suit them leading to discomfort.
Yes, generally omeprazole is considered safe for pets and can be given to them to treat acid reflux. However, you should avoid giving any medicine to your dog without the dog’s prescription.
The vet recommended giving Dog omeprazole to treat the acid reflux, gastric ulcer, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), and esophagitis. It is also often prescribed to dogs with kidney diseases as it helps in the reduction of stomach irritation.
Omeprazole should be taken once a day, it normally starts working within 24-48 hours. Usually after taking omeprazole daily, recovery is noticed within 4 weeks. The working of omeprazole depends on illness and can vary from dog to dog.
While giving your dog omeprazole, remember that it should not be given for more than 4 weeks. Omeprazole or any medicine should be given only on the recommendation of the vet. If you continue to give your dog omeprazole then it can have adverse effects on their health.
Dogs are an important part of your life and mean the world to you. This is why it is necessary to look after them and take their proper care. Though omeprazole can give your dog relief from this ulcer and acid reflux problem you should never give them without a vet’s advice.
There are many medicines available in the market that claim to provide your dog relief, but when the matter is related to your dog never settle for such claims without having complete information.
- Anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). (n.d.). PDSA.
- ProQuest Dissertations & Theses,. (n.d.). Some aspects of gastric disease in the dog – enlighten theses.