Ranitidine (Zantac) For Dogs: Uses, Dosage, & Side Effects

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Ranitidine, also known by the brand name Zantac, is a medication that can be used to reduce acid in the stomachs of dogs. This is helpful in treating or preventing conditions such as ulcers and acid reflux. It works by blocking histamines in the stomach that cause acid production. Zantac is the human form of the drug, and there is no veterinary specific brand. While Ranitidine is not approved for veterinary use by the FDA, it can be given to dogs by veterinarians for treatment. Although it is available over-the-counter, ranitidine should not be given to dogs without veterinary supervision, and you should follow your vet’s instructions closely when giving any medication to your dog. Here is what you should know about the uses, dosage, and side effects of ranitidine for dogs.

Uses Of Ranitidine For Dogs

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Ranitidine is primarily used to treat and prevent ulcers in dogs, though its ability to reduce stomach acid is helpful in treating other gastrointestinal conditions, as well. Reducing stomach acid helps to soothe inflammation, promote healing, and move food through the digestive tract. Here are a few conditions that may be treated with ranititdine.

  • Stomach or intestinal ulcers
  • Acid reflux disease
  • Gastritis
  • Stomach inflammation
  • Mast cell tumors

Dosage Of Ranitidine For Dogs

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The usual dosage of ranitidine for dogs is 0.25 to 1 mg per pound every 8 to 12 hours. It can be given orally or in the form of an injection. Ranitidine is available in regular tablets or dissolvable tablets that usually come in strengths of 75 mg, 150 mg, or 300 mg. Your veterinarian can instruct you on how to properly measure the dosage for your dog. Ranitidine should be given without food, as food makes the medication less effective. You should continue the ranitidine regimen your veterinarian prescribes, even if symptoms improve, until your vet tells you to stop. Your veterinarian may adjust the dosage depending on your dog’s response to the drug or the specific condition that is being treated.

Side Effects Of Ranitidine In Dogs

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The side effects of ranitidine in dogs are usually mild. If you see side effects that are extreme or concerning, contact your veterinarian so they can adjust the dosage or change the form of treatment. Here are a few side effects you may see in dogs that take ranitidine.

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Lethargy or weakness
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Rapid breathing
  • Muscle tremors

Your veterinarian should be aware of any other medical conditions your dog has before prescribing ranitidine. Dogs with liver or kidney disease may be at risk for serious complications and shouldn’t take the drug. You should also tell your veterinarian about any other medications your dog is taking, including over-the-counter drugs, as these can react poorly with ranitidine, especially antacids. As with all medication, there is a risk of allergic reaction to ranitidine in dogs that can lead to anaphylaxis. If you see the signs of an allergic reaction, contact your veterinarian immediately.

Has your dog ever been treated for a condition with ranitidine? Was the drug effective in treating your dog’s condition? Let us know in the comments below!