Is your dog sick and throwing up? It is most likely that your pet has been prescribed Cerenia to stop vomiting and nausea due to motion sickness. But, being a dog parent, you might always wonder whether Cerenia is safe for dogs or not.
Cerenia is a veterinary medication used to treat vomiting and nausea in pet animals like cats and dogs.
Cerenia is safe for most dogs as it is prescribed by most vets, but it does have some side effects and should not be given by you to your pet dog, especially puppies, and pregnant female dogs.
You must always consult a veterinary doctor before giving Cerenia to your dog.
Do you want to understand what Cerenia is and how it works in detail? Keep reading to know more.
What is Cerenia?
Cerenia is a brand name for Maropitant Citrate. It is a medicine prescribed by veterinary doctors and is to be used only then for treating acute nausea or vomiting or to prevent vomiting caused by motion sickness in your dog.
Cerenia medicine is available both in tablet forms and in solution forms. The tablet form is given by mouth to your dog, whereas the solution is used in an injection. You can read more about it here.
How Is Cerenia Administered to Dogs?
Cerenia is given to dogs in the form of tablets if you are giving it to prevent vomiting due to motion sickness or as prescribed by the veterinary doctor.
You must give your dog Cerenia after giving your dog a light meal to prevent vomiting.
Do not wrap Cerenia in food. Just give it separately. Cerenia is also administered in the form of injections but the injections are used only by licensed vets.
How Does Cerenia Take Effect?
Cerenia is an antiemetic medicine that is broken down in the liver of your dog, but it targets the part of the brain that causes vomiting. It does not work on targeting the stomach region of your dog.
Does Cerenia Interact with Any Other Drugs and Can Cause Harm?
Yes, Cerenia can interact with the following drugs – itraconazole, chloramphenicol, erythromycin, phenobarbital, ketoconazole, and non-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs.
You must always inform the veterinary doctor about any medications, including vitamins or supplements so that the vet can take a proper well-rounded decision before prescribing Cerenia.
Is Cerenia Safe for Dogs?
Cerenia is prescribed by veterinary doctors based on the breed of your dog, its weight, and its age. Since 48% of dogs suffer from motion sickness, Cerenia is a drug used to treat the symptoms.
When given in the right dosage and in the way directed by the veterinary doctor, Cerenia is most of the time safe.
However, Cerenia is not recommended under the following circumstances:
- Giving it usually on an empty stomach is harmful.
- Also giving it to puppies, pregnant female dogs, and lactating female dogs can be lethal.
- Cerenia is also highly lethal for dogs having gastrointestinal problems, heart problems, and liver problems.
- Cerenia is also not recommended for dogs who are already taking certain medications.
You should most certainly avoid giving it to your pet dog without consulting a licensed veterinary doctor.
What Happens If You Give a Dog Too Much Cerenia?
Like any other drug, an overdose of Cerenia can be lethal and harmful to your beloved pet dog.
Cerenia can cause weight loss, vomiting, weakness, drooling, lethargy, soft stools, decreased heart rate, and changes in electrolyte levels along with changes in your dog’s white blood count cells which can impact their immune system.
It should be used with extreme caution if your dog has any heart conditions or has any predisposition to have any heart conditions.
Side Effects of Cerenia in Dogs
The direct side effects from Cerenia medication are rare, but it is observed that Cerenia does have some side effects.
Most side effects are observed within two to six hours of having administered the medicine. You should keep an eye out for signs of any side effects.
If at all experienced by your pet, the following are some of the most common side effects found in dogs after having been given Cerenia:
- Lethargy or decreased energy levels
- Decreased appetite
- Tremors in muscles
- Blood in the stools
What If Your Dog Vomits after Cerenia?
In the rare case, your dog vomits after having been given Cerenia, it is a sign to get worried and immediately consult a veterinary doctor for further steps.
It is very likely that the veterinary doctor will evaluate your dog’s health again and prescribe medicine or give treatment accordingly.
What Can You Give Your Dog Instead of Cerenia?
If your dog is showing any side effects to Cerenia, you can give your dog other antiemetic medicines like ondansetron, Dramamine, and Pepcid.
However, you must always consult a vet before you start administering any of the below drugs.
Ondansetron can be helpful as an alternative to Cerenia. Especially if it is not easy to give the medicine to your dog in pill form, ondansetron can be dissolved in water and then given to your dog.
Ondansetron is water soluble and can be given easily through the water to your dog.
You can also give Dramamine to your dog. Although Dramamine can treat motion sickness, it is also an antihistamine. Antihistamine can make your dog sleepy.
Dramamine is however not as effective to treat vomiting and nausea as compared to Cerenia.
Next on the list is Pepcid. Pepcid is an antacid. It can treat nausea and vomiting just like Cerenia. It is especially useful for cases of acid reflux in your dog.
Pepcid is also beneficial as it can protect the lining of the esophagus and having a burning sensation because of stomach acid. Most of the time your pet’s veterinary doctor will prescribe Cerenia and Pepcid in conjunction.
While all these substitutes are safe and good for your pet, you must always consult a veterinary doctor before giving any medication to your pet.
What Are Some Precautions To Be Taken By Humans After Handling Cerenia?
After administering Cerenia to your dog, you must wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water.
It can irritate your eyes if you accidentally touch your hands after handling Cerenia. In case of accidental eye exposure, you must wash your eye immediately with water and consult a doctor.
Also, if you accidentally ingest it, you must immediately seek medical help. Always keep these medicines out of the reach of children.
Cerenia is also known to cause localized skin reactions in some human beings. Prolonged exposure can cause skin sensitization.
How Does Cerenia Make Dogs Feel?
Taking Cerenia can make your dogs feel lethargic. Along with this, your dog may also end up losing its appetite and therefore can lose weight. You may also observe that your dog is excessively drooling.
Is Cerenia Hard on a Dog’s Liver?
Since Cerenia is broken down in your dog’s liver, Cerenia should be given with utmost caution.
Cerenia should not be given at all to puppies under sixteen weeks or dogs that have already been diagnosed with liver or heart problems.
Can Cerenia Be given on an Empty Stomach?
Giving Cerenia to your dog on an empty stomach should be completely avoided as it can cause adverse effects. You should always give a light snack or a small meal to your dog before giving Cerenia to your dog.
Avoid enclosing the tablet in food and then giving it to your dog.
Although in cases where you have to give any medication to your dog on an empty stomach, it is best to consult a vet.
How Many Hours Does Cerenia Last?
One prescribed dose of Cerenia medicine can last up to 24 hours or approximately one day.
How Fast Does Cerenia Work in Dogs?
A tablet of Cerenia will start working approximately within an hour of administration.
The solution through injection also needs to be given within an hour of any medical procedure.
While Cerenia does not directly cause the death of a dog, it can indirectly cause death. Cerenia is used to suppress vomiting.
If your dog is vomiting because it has ingested any harmful substance or foreign object, Cerenia will suppress the vomiting temporarily and the actual reason for vomiting will be masked, thereby causing the death of your dog.
That said, if the vet has prescribed the drug after taking standard tests, you must follow through and administer the medicine to your pet dog.