Vicodin For Dogs Combination Painkiller

Vicodin for dogs is a combination drug consisting of hydrocodone and acetaminophen. Read on to learn the dosage, safety guidelines, side effects and more.

Vicodin is a combination drug which could be very dangerous when given to dogs. This combination consists of the opioid hydrocodone and acetaminophen, a pain relief drug which is best known as being the active ingredient of Tylenol. There are also some formulations which contain codeine as opposed to hydrocodone. These formulations should be avoided if your dog is sensitive to codeine.

Extreme caution should be taken if giving Vicodin to dogs, and it’s very important that you never use it unless specifically told to do so by a professional vet. Incorrect use could be life-threatening to dogs.

Vicodin dosage for dogs

Never administer Vicodin without a specific dosage plan from your vet. Many vets choose to follow the hydrocodone dosage scale when using Vicodin [source]. Other sources suggest a dosage of 0.2 to 0.9 mg/lb every 12 hours.

Vicodin is usually only given to large breeds of dog such as great danes and could be very dangerous for small breeds.

Is Vicodin safe for dogs?

Vicodin is not a good choice for pain relief but may sometimes be prescribed by a vet in extreme circumstances. Better options for pain control includes Rimadyl for dogs, a pain reliever specifically formulated for use in dogs.

Safety precautions:

  • Never give Vicodin to your dog unless a vet tells you to do so
  • Consider avoiding use in medium or small breed dogs
  • Ask the vet about alternative treatment options, especially if long-term treatment is required
  • Never mix Vicodin with other medicines unless a vet tells you to
  • Notify the vet of all existing medical conditions your dog suffers with

Because hydrocodone suppresses coughing, the use of this drug is not best suited to dogs suffering from conditions such as pneumonia. Other conditions such as acidosis, Addison’s disease, thyroid disease and heart/kidney problems may also cause issues during treatment. Several other medical disorders may also lead to bad reactions. It’s recommended that Vicodin is only used as a last resort, and that other drugs such as carprofen are used for longer term treatment.

Uses of Vicodin for dogs

Vicodin is a combination drug with various effects, but is most commonly used for:

  • Relief of severe pain

Though it may suppress coughing, it is not used in such cases as hydrocodone alone, as well as other safer substances (Robitussin) may be employed instead.

Side effects when giving Vicodin to your dog

Side effects include vomiting, constipation, fatigue, mood changes and loss of appetite. At higher doses, your dog could experience dangerous side effects such as liver/kidney damage, difficulty breathing and thinning of the blood as a result of the acetaminophen. Dogs with medical conditions could experience unforeseen negative side effects.

Practice caution when using this substance to treat your dog and call a vet immediately if any negative side effects begin to develop. Seek emergency care in cases of severe side effects.

Safer alternative: Rimadyl for dogs
Wikipedia entry about the hydrocodone/acetaminophen combination