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 the FDA has not approved Ranitidine for veterinary, it dogs can take it for treatment with veterinary supervision.
Although it is available over-the-counter, this drug 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
Veterinarians primarily use ranitidine to treat and prevent ulcers in dogs, though its ability to reduce stomach acid also helps in treating other gastrointestinal conditions. Reducing stomach acid further helps to soothe inflammation, promote healing, and move food through the digestive tract.
Here are a few conditions that ranitidine may treat:
- Stomach or intestinal ulcers
- Acid reflux disease
- Stomach inflammation
- Mast cell tumors
Dosage Of Ranitidine For Dogs
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.
It’s available in regular tablets or dissolvable tablets that usually come in strengths of 75 mg, 150 mg, or 300 mg. Your veterinarian can further instruct you on how to properly measure the dosage for your dog.
Your dog should take the medication without food because food makes it less effective. You should continue the medication 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 they’re treating.
Side Effects Of Ranitidine In Dogs
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 who take ranitidine:
- Lethargy or weakness
- Irregular heartbeat
- Rapid breathing
- Muscle tremors
Your veterinarian should be aware of any other medical conditions your dog has before prescribing this medication. Dogs with liver or kidney disease may be at further 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 this drug in dogs that can lead to anaphylaxis. If you see the signs of an allergic reaction, then you should contact your veterinarian immediately.
Have you ever treated your dog’s condition with ranitidine? Was it effective? Let us know in the comments below!