Guide to Lidocaine/Prilocaine Cream, EMLA Cream Generic The Topical Anesthetic for Use in Cats and Dogs

Indications for Lidocaine/Prilocaine Cream

Lidocaine/Prilocaine Cream is a combination of two different local anesthetics, and is often used to reduce pain before certain operations, like inserting an IV or other minor surgeries where a major anesthetic is not required. Lidocaine/prilocaine works by blocking the action potential of the treated area, making it impossible to communicate any sort of impulse to the brain, and thereby tricking it into thinking that nothing is happening, even though injections or incisions are being made.


Dogs or cats that have known adverse reactions to amide type anesthetics should not take lidocaine/prilocaine. Taking lidocaine/prilocaine for longer than recommended, or applying it to a larger area, can result in some serious problems. Lidocaine/prilocaine should not be applied to open wounds, the inner ear, or eyes. Also, it should not be taken with antiarrhythmic drugs.


Being an ‘extra-label’ drug for cats and dogs, there is no published recommended dosage for use in pets. Follow your vet’s directions.

Side Effects

While negative side effects to lidocaine/prilocaine are rare, mild rashes or swelling can occur after a treatment. Some may experience an abnormal sensation as the effects of lidocaine/prilocaine begin to wear off. Allergic reactions to lidocaine/prilocaine medication are similar to, but more extreme than, the itching and swelling type reactions previously mentioned, and can be very serious if left untreated.

Brand/Generic Equivalents

EMLA Cream

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