Metoclopramide For Dogs: Uses, Dosage, & Side Effects

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Metoclopramide is a drug used to treat nausea, vomiting, and acid reflux in dogs by helping food pass quickly through the upper digestive tract.

It works by increasing the release of acetylcholine, which causes the muscles of the digestive tract to contract more frequently and pass food and bile that has built up in the stomach. It can also strengthen the muscles of the upper gastrointestinal tract and the esophagus.

This drug should only be given to dogs with a prescription from a veterinarian, and instructions should be strictly followed.

Here’s what you should know about the uses, dosage, and side effects of metoclopramide for dogs.

Uses Of Metoclopramide For Dogs

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Veterinarians often use metoclopramide as an antiemetic to prevent vomiting and nausea in dogs. It’s particularly effective, as the drug is able to cross the blood-brain barrier and block dopamine. This reduces the urge to vomit.

Nausea is also reduced when the muscles of the gastrointestinal tract contract and move built-up food and bile out of the stomach.

The drug treats acid reflux by aiding in digestion and strengthening muscles in the upper gastrointestinal tract and esophagus, though it has minimal effect on the lower digestive tract.

Dosage Of Metoclopramide For Dogs

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The usual dosage of metoclopramide for dogs is 0.1 to 0.2 mg per pound of body weight given every six to eight hours.

The drug comes in tablets, and dogs should take it a half hour before eating food.

If your vet prescribes this medication for your dog, follow their dosage guidelines strictly and do not stop giving the medication to your dog until your vet tells you to do so, even if symptoms improve.

Side Effects Of Metoclopramide In Dogs

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There are some side effects of metoclopramide that have been seen in dogs, and because of the drug’s ability to cross the blood-brain barrier, some of these effects are neurological.

If you see concerning side effects in your dog, consult your vet. They may wish to adjust the dosage or seek an alternative form of treatment.

Here are a few side effects that you may see in dogs who take metoclopramide:

  • Sedation
  • Hyperactivity
  • Behavioral changes
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal pain
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Anxiety
  • Fluid retention
  • Increased urination
  • Increased seizures in epileptic dogs

Make your vet aware of any other medical conditions your dog might have, especially epilepsy or other seizure disorders, as these can be worsened by metoclopramide.

Also, inform your vet of any other medications your dog may be taking, even over-the-counter drugs, because they may react badly when mixed with metoclopramide.

As with any other medication, there’s a risk of allergic reaction that could lead to anaphylaxis, a potentially deadly condition. If you see the signs of an allergic reaction in your dog, including swelling, itching, hives, or other symptoms, then contact your vet immediately.

Has your dog ever been treated with metoclopramide? Was it effective? Let us know in the comments below!