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What Is Famotidine for Dogs?

Famotidine may be prescribed in powder form.
A licensed vet should be consulted before giving a dog any sort of medication.
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  • Written By: Daphne Mallory
  • Edited By: Melissa Wiley
  • Last Modified Date: 15 October 2014
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Famotidine for dogs is actually a human medication that’s sold under the brand name Pepcid®. Veterinarians often prescribe it to dogs to help them cope with gastric ulcers. Famotidine is a histamine blocker, and it works to stop the stomach cells from producing gastric acid when they come in contact with food and drink. This in turn allows the stomach ulcer to heal. A vet will sometimes prescribe famotidine to dogs as part of a mast cell tumor treatment regimen, and it can be used in treating dogs with acid reflux. Pepcid® has also shown some success in treating animals suffering from stomach inflammation caused by kidney failure.

A veterinarian will either prescribe famotidine for dogs in pill or powder form. Pills come in 10-, 20-, and 40-mg doses, while the powder must be measured for proper dosage. The recommended dosage is often between 0.22 and 0.44 mg per pound of the dog’s weight. The medication does not require a prescription, but the drug should still be administered under the advice of a licensed veterinarian. Famotidine does not have FDA approval for use in animals, but vets can still prescribe it as an off-label treatment. Food will often counteract the effects of the drug, so it should not be given to dogs at mealtime. It can be administered at 12- or 24-hour intervals, depending on veterinary instructions.

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There are some side effects to be aware of when using famotidine for dogs. An allergic reaction is often the most serious effect to watch out for. Reactions can include hive, facial or tongue swelling, or difficulty breathing. Famotidine has also caused loss of appetite and tiredness in some dogs, but this is rare. An overdose of the drug is unlikely, but it can happen if a dose is administered improperly. Overdose symptoms include an elevated heart rate, vomiting, and pale gums. If an owner notices any adverse symptoms in his dog, he should stop giving it famotidine and contact his veterinarian for assistance.

There are some additional precautions that should be discussed with a veterinarian before administering famotidine for dogs. Although the drug can treat stomach inflammation that results from kidney failure, dogs with kidney, liver, or heart disease should be monitored very closely. It can also contribute to additional weight gain in pregnant dogs, so extra caution is advised. Some drugs can interact negatively with famotidine, so if a dog is being given any additional medications, including vitamins and supplements, the vet should be notified.

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Oceana
Post 4

Famotidine is one of those medicines that work for both humans and dogs. Though there are several drugs that can help both, the dosages are different, and since not all human medications are safe for dogs, you should always ask your vet.

My vet told me that I could give my dog aspirin for pain, but the dosage was less than it would be for me. It's all determined by weight.

So, don't just buy some famotidine in the store and feed it to your dog. This could be dangerous.

shell4life
Post 3

I think that famotidine was what my vet gave my dog when she developed ulcers in her mouth. She had eaten some weird citrus fruit that grows on a bush with large thorns, and it had caused ulcers to develop in her mouth and down her throat.

These bushes grow wild on our property, and after she bit into that one, she never tried to bite one again. She was in a lot of pain when she tried to eat, and when we looked in her mouth, we saw sores everywhere!

The famotidine cleared up her condition in a short time. I know it must have been really frustrating for her to be unable to eat!

StarJo
Post 2

@OeKc05 – I knew something was wrong with my dog when he kept whining as he tried to swallow. Also, he would gag and act like he was about to cough something up, but nothing would come out.

He didn't eat as much as usual, because it hurt to eat. So, I took him to my vet, who gave him famotidine.

She said that stomach acid was coming back up while he was eating and shortly thereafter, and it was burning his esophagus. It's the same pain that humans feel when they have acid reflux.

OeKc05
Post 1

I had no idea that dogs could even get heartburn! I wonder how you would even know that your dog was suffering from it?

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