Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Lets talk about Benadryl for Dogs

I often see people recommending Benadryl for various allergic reactions in canines. Whilst 90% of the time this medication (Diphendydramine) is quite safe you should not self-medicate. In addition, if your vet needs to intervene he/she may be limited in the choice of antihistamine they can give your pet.

At the end of the day its down to the individual owners, but I've also seen antihistamines cause anaphylaxis (allergic reaction) too. So you must be prepared. I would really recommend that anyone considering self-medicating with any antihistamine discusses this with the individual animals vet.

Side Effects

• Common: sedation, dry mouth and urinary retention.

• Rare: diarrhea, vomiting, decreased appetite.

• Individuals may react differently to antihistamines. The dose of diphenhydramine should be tailored to the individual animal.

• Antihistamines should be used with caution in working dogs due to the sedative side effects.

• Diphenhydramine should be used with caution in animals with prostatic hypertrophy, bladder neck obstruction, severe heart failure, angle-closure glaucoma, pyelo-duodenal obstruction, hyperthyroidism, seizure disorders, hypertension, or allergic lung disease (COPD).

• Older humans are more sensitive to side effects from antihistamines. A lower dose of diphenhydramine may be indicated in older animals.

• High doses of antihistamines can cause birth defects in laboratory animals. Diphenhydramine is excreted in breast milk. It should only be used in pregnant or lactating animals if the benefits outweigh the risks. 
Drug Interactions

• Diphenhydramine may have an additive effect when combined with other CNS depressant drugs, such as barbiturates and tranquilizers or when combined with other anticholinergic agents.

• Diphenhydramine may enhance the effects of epinephrine.

• Diphenhydramine may decrease the effects of heparin and warfarin.

• Overdose with diphenhydramine can cause symptoms ranging from CNS stimulation to CNS depression.

• The usual signs of mild overdose are sedation and clumsiness. Seizures, respiratory depression, coma, and death can occur after a massive overdose.

• In humans, phenytoin is the recommended treatment for seizures due to antihistamine overdose. Diazepam and barbiturates should be avoided.

Benadryl Dosage For Dogs Is Critical To Your Pet’s Safety

Benadryl which is also referred to as diphenhydramine is a medication which is readily available over the counter and is used to treat allergic reactions in both humans and animals especially dogs. This medication is FDA approved and is therefore quite safe for use. Many veterinarians highly recommend the use of this drug in dogs and they also safely administer Benadryl dosage for dogs.

This drug is commonly used in dogs for the following reasons:

  • Insect and flea bites
  • Irritation of the skin
  • Sleeplessness in dogs
  • Effects of vaccinations
  • Motion sickness
  • Stings from bees, hornets as well as wasps
  • Inhalant allergies
  • Stuffy nose
  • Tremors of the muscles
  • Bodily knots
Benadryl is known to be a highly effective drug mostly due to the fact that it is easily absorbed and therefore acts very fast. In most cases, its effects are seen after about thirty minutes. However, in some cases it has been known to take about one week before any notable results can be seen.

Benadryl Dosage for Dogs:

The right dosage of this medication is usually determined in two different ways as indicated below:
  • It is administered by giving 1 milligram for every pound of a dog’s weight after every 8 hours or three times per day. A good example would be, a dog weighing 40lb should take 40mg of Benadryl three times within a single day.
Dogs are grouped according to three different weight classes with the dosage varying between these weight categories. What remains constant is the fact that the medication may be taken up to three times a day as needed. The following are the categories:
- Dogs weighing 30 pounds and below – 10-30mg
- Between 30 and 50 pounds – 25-50mg
- 50 pounds and above – 50mg
As previously stated, it is clear to see that a dosage of Benadryl is highly dependent on a dog’s weight. As an individual who owns a dog for pet, it is highly advisable for you to first take your dog to a certified vet who has the right kind of knowledge and expertise when it comes to administering the right Benadryl dosage for dogs. Taking anything less of a full dose will not help in any way while taking an overdose is considered to be quite dangerous. A veterinarian will also be able to conclude on the right frequency when it comes to administering the drug. This can either be after every four, eight or even twelve hours. More importantly the vet will also ask various probing questions which will help him come to a conclusion as to whether or not your pet dog is suffering from an allergic reaction or something totally different.

Benadryl dosage for dogs and how to administer it:

Administering this medication to your pet dog can be done in different ways:
  • Position the table or capsule into small pieces of meat
  • Liquid gel capsules cab be dipped into a delicious treat
This drug can also be administered in the form of an injection although it is not so common. The importance of consulting with your vet before using this medication should never be overlooked.

Benadryl for Dogs

If your dog is prone to allergies, Benadryl may be a must for their “medicine cabinet”. Many vets recommend Benadryl for dogs and cats with certain conditions, and you can always get it at your local pharmacy, if you don’t have it in your first aid kit.
Benadryl (active ingredient – Diphenhydramine) is an antihistamine that is considered very safe for use in canines and felines. With allergies, it can help to reduce their severity and help the animal to stop itching and start to improve. Many vets suggest to have his medicine on hand if your dogs are ever bit or stung by anything, or show symptoms of a mild seasonal allergy, etc.
In addition to being of huge help with dog allergies and hives, Benadryl can also help to treat certain other conditions in canines, including motion sickness, insect bites (fleas, bugs, etc.) and stings (bees, wasps, etc.). It can also be used as a mild sedative for stress and anxiety, such as with storm phobia and fear of fireworks. Sometimes it is even used for insomnia in pets.
Which type of Benadryl is safe for dogs? It is best to use original Benadryl that contains pure Diphenhydramine plus some inert ingredients. Some people use children’s Benadryl, but it has sweeteners and flavorings. Also note that the children’s Benadryl is half strength the original Benadryl. Some types of liquid Benadryl may be too high in alcohol content for pets. Cough syrups with Benadryl in them are not safe to use in dogs, as they have some ingredients that can be toxic to canines. Sometimes Benadryl is used as cream externally, such as to treat hot spots in dogs.
The general dosage of Benadryl for dogs is 1 mg per 1 lb every 6-8 hrs. However, the dosage may be much smaller for small dogs and puppies. Just like Benadryl is not recommended for kids under the age of two, this medicine may be unsafe for pups under a certain age. Also, this medicine may be unsafe for dogs with certain health conditions, dogs taking certain other medicines, and pregnant or nursing dogs. Be sure to ask your vet first.
The good thing is that when using Benadryl in canines, symptoms often go away in days. Note that this medicine can make some dogs sleepy, and some – nervous.
To be safe, speak to a vet who knows the age and physical condition of your dog. They will tell you if Benadryl is safe to use in your dog, as well as how much to use, how often, and which type of Benadryl to use. In fact, it is always recommended to see the vet to have the dog evaluated before any medicine is given.
How much Benadryl is lethal? Basically, it is very difficult to overdose on Benadryl, especially to the point of ingesting it in a lethal dose. However, it is recommended not to exceed the dosage of 1 mg of Benadryl per 1 lb of the dog’s weight, 3 times a day. If you do overdose your pet on Benadryl, be sure to contact a vet immediately.