Hydroxyzine For Dogs: Uses, Dosage, And Side Effects

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Hydroxyzine is an antihistamine that can treat dogs for allergic reactions, though it also has properties that treat nausea, anxiety, and other conditions. In addition to blocking the effects of histamine in dogs’ bodies, hydroxyzine also depresses activity in the central nervous system, which gives the drug its sedative properties. Hydroxyzine is not FDA approved for veterinary use, but it can be used for dogs relatively safely with the approval and supervision of a veterinarian. Here is what you should know about the uses, dosage, and side effects of hyroxyzine for dogs.

Uses Of Hydroxyzine For Dogs

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Hydroxyzine is primarily used for dogs to treat allergies and allergic reactions, such as those related to snake or insect bites and vaccines. The drug is an anti-inflammatory, which can open airways that are inflamed by allergic reaction, allowing dogs to breathe normally. It is also used to treat inflamed, itchy skin from conditions such as dermatitis or alopecia. Hydroxyzine has antiemitic properties that make it useful for reducing symptoms of nausea, and its ability to depress the central nervous system is helpful for controlling anxiety disorders and tension in stressful situations.

Dosage Of Hydroxyzine For Dogs

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The usual dosage of hydroxyzine for dogs is 1 mg per pound given two to three times per day. The medication is given orally, and a regimen should be followed until a veterinarian advises that treatment should stop, even if the dog is showing signs of recovery from symptoms. Hydroxyzine should only be given to dogs with a prescription and veterinary supervision. Your veterinarian may adjust the dosage based on your individual dog’s needs, so be sure to follow their guidelines strictly.

Side Effects of Hydroxyzine For Dogs

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One of the main side effects of hydroxyzine in dogs is drowsiness, thanks to the medication’s sedative properties. If your dog seems overly drowsy or sedate, you should inform your veterinarian of the side effects so they can adjust treatment. Here are some other side effects you may see in dogs that take hydroxyzine.

  • Loss of coordination
  • Vomiting
  • Lethargy
  • Weakness
  • Dry mouth
  • Increased thirst or urination
  • Trouble urinating
  • Loss of appetite
  • Diarrhea
  • Change in behavior
  • Excitability
  • Seizures

As with all medications, there is a risk of allergic reaction that can lead to anaphylaxis in dogs. If you see signs of an allergic reaction, contact your veterinarian immediately. Dogs with glaucoma, high blood pressure, lung or heart disease, or an enlarged prostate shouldn’t take hydroxyzine. Dogs with urinary or intestinal obstruction may also have complications. Pregnant or nursing dogs should not take hydroxyzine either.

Make sure your veterinarian is aware of all medical conditions your dog has, as well as any other medications your dog may be taking, as these can react poorly with hydroxyzine. This is especially true with epinephrine or other drugs that depress the central nervous system or cause sedation. Talk to your veterinarian about any side effects you see that cause you concern, and your veterinarian may be able to adjust the dosage or form a different treatment plan.

Has your dog ever taken hydroxyzine? Did it work for your dog? Let us know in the comments below!