What Is Metoclopramide for Dogs?

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  • Written By: Daphne Mallory
  • Edited By: Melissa Wiley
  • Last Modified Date: 25 August 2018
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Veterinarians will sometimes prescribe metoclopramide for dogs that are suffering from nausea. Although the drug is formulated for humans, vets will often prescribe it as an off-label treatment for dogs with digestive problems. Metoclopramide can also be used to treat dogs after a surgery or as they are going through chemotherapy. In both cases, it helps to improve the movement of food through the stomach into the intestines and to prevent acid reflux that can also create nausea.

The U.S. Food and Drug administration has not approved the use of metoclopramide for dogs as of 2011. Veterinarians often prescribe it for pets that are struggling with nausea, however. It can be administered directly into the pet via an injection at the vet’s office, but it is usually prescribed in 5- or 10-mg tablets. Dog owners are directed to administer the drug to their ailing pets about 20 to 30 minutes before meal times, along with plenty of water. The drug is often given several times per day, at six- to eight-hour intervals. It is also available in an oral syrup form, but many dog owners have reported difficulty in administering it to their pets due to the taste.


There are some side effects that a dog can experience from using metoclopramide. The drug has been known to cause allergic reactions, such as swelling and difficulty breathing, in some pets. Muscle spasms and seizures have also been reported in dogs that have had no previous incidents of these conditions. Jaundice, behavioral changes, and an inability to sleep have also been reported in some dogs that have taken this medication. Pet owners should stop administering the drug and contact their veterinarian immediately if they notice any of these symptoms.

Veterinarians can often prescribe metoclopramide for dogs that are already being given other medications. Certain drugs should not be taken with it and can cause serious reactions if they’re given at the same time. These include some antibiotics, pain relievers, and any drug that can cause drowsiness. Veterinarians will often tell owners to avoid using certain types of flea collars on their dogs while administering the drug. Dog owners should talk with their vet about any drugs their pet is taking before administering metoclopramide.

Certain dogs should not be given this drug. These include dogs that are pregnant or nursing pups or ones that have diabetes, high blood pressure, or kidney disease. Dogs that have a history of seizures should not be given metoclopramide, because it can often induce additional seizures in these animals.


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Post 6

My dog was throwing up her food four or five hours after eating (shelter dog) and lost 3 pounds in four days. The vet put her on metoclopramide and no more throwing up! However, I wonder will the throwing up start again when the pills run out. Does anyone know?

Post 5

How long can my dog be on this medication?

Post 4

Is diarrhea a side effect of Metoclopramide? Can cat food be toxic to dogs?

Post 3

@feruze-- I don't think that fatigue and drowsiness are very common side effects of metoclopramide in pets.

Are you giving your dog any other medications?

Metoclopramide can contradict with some medications which can cause sleepiness. Muscle relaxers and pain relievers can cause fatigue and drowsiness and giving metoclopramide along with these can intensify these symptoms.

You might want to ask your vet about this and mention anything else you may be giving your pet.

Post 2

My dog is also on this drug, for acid reflux. She doesn't have inability to sleep as a side effect. It's just the opposite, she is sleeping all the time! Is this normal?

Post 1

My dog was sick for over a week. He had a lot of nausea and could not eat. He tried to eat but would vomit before he digested anything. He started losing weight.

His vet gave metoclopramide and I have been giving the dose to him before meals for the past two days. He can eat! His vomiting has stopped and he actually has a good appetite now. I'm so grateful for this drug, I was very worried about my dog.

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