Is Imodium A Good Idea For Dogs?

By February 11 | See Comments

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Is Imodium A Good Idea For Dogs?

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What do you do when your canine gets a runny stomach? Many pet owners are not sure what to do when something like this happens, but that’s common. It’s not a crime not to know what to do when your canine is suffering from a disorder that doesn’t seem very serious. Does a non-serious symptom require a visit to the vet? Many people prefer dealing with such issues by using the over the counter drugs that they use on themselves. Imodium is one such drug used to treat dogs with a bad stomach. But is it safe? That is the big question. Let’s explore the viability and possible side effects of Imodium.

How do you recognize when Imodium is necessary?
The biggest sign that your pooch has a stomach upset is abdominal pain, vomiting, and diarrhea. This usually indicates that the gastrointestinal tract of your pup is inflamed and possibly infected. However, there's no reason to be extremely worried unless it's chronic diarrhea, which can be spotted when you see blood in your dog's stools.

There are several ways for canines to get diarrhea. It could be the result of a diet change, consuming non-edible items, and intolerance to certain food items. These are the less serious causes. However, diarrhea in dogs could also be the result of more serious disorders such as Crohn's disease, or parasites, inflammatory bowel disease.

What exactly is Imodium for dogs?
Loperamide is the chemical name of the drug commonly referred to as Imodium. A synthetic opioid, much like morphine and oxycodone, Loperamide has a few side effects among which constipation is one. This side effect is what makes Imodium a great way to counteract diarrhea. It does this by hindering intestinal motility and essentially putting a stopper in the flow of diarrhea. However, this drug does nothing to address the stomach pain that is sometimes a side effect of diarrhea and treated with other medication.

Is Imodium bad for dogs?
A few breeds of dogs keep Imodium down easily, but others face severe side effects that make you want to question its necessity. Unwanted side effects of Imodium include constipation, severe sedation (lethargy and sleepiness), bloating, and even pancreatitis. Herding breeds such as the Australian Shepherds and Shetland Sheepdogs cannot take Imodium as they have a mutation called MDR-1 which influences the process of production of P-glycoprotein. Imodium is also a P-GP substrate, which makes it impossible for a dog with this mutation to digest the drug.

Dogs with other health disorders such as Kidney disease, liver disease, Addison’s disease, labored breathing, hypothyroidism, head injuries can’t take Imodium either, as the drug would worsen the condition of their disorder. However, if you do visit a vet and clear your dog for Imodium consumption, you can use it safely. Read more about pet risks and tips on PetPlus blog.

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