Zantac For Dogs And Its Uses

(redirects here from ranitidine)

This article details the usage of the drug ranitidine (Zantac) for dogs. You will find dosage information, side effects and safety precautions for safe use of this drug

The drug ranitidine, better known under its marketed name “Zantac”, is a H2 histamine blocker commonly used to treat stomach upset, acid reflux, heartburn and peptic ulcers in dogs, the reduction in stomach acid allowing gastric ulcers time to heal. In most parts of the world, you should be able to buy Zantac at your local pharmacy on an over-the-counter basis, though you should still seek approval from your vet before using the medicine.

Zantac dosage for dogs

Zantac is often used in dogs at dosages of 0.25 to 1 mg per pound, administered once every 12 hours (twice daily). When buying Zantac to give to your pet dog, you should choose the formulation with the lowest dose tablets, preferably scored down the middle for easy splitting. The vet will be able to choose the correct dosage and frequency of admission for your pet. Different breeds may react differently to the drug so a professional opinion is highly recommended. Do not exceed the recommended dosage and remember to complete the entire course of treatment to ensure the symptoms do not return.

Is Zantac safe for dogs?

Zantac is a safe drug for dogs if the only active ingredient is ranitidine, and if you administer it under guidance and approval of a qualified vet. However, there are certain medical conditions which may lead to the development of adverse reactions, most notably heart, liver or kidney disease. There are also certain medicines which, when mixed with Zantac, could produce unforeseen negative sides. If your dog is lactating, it is often advised that you seek alternatives as the drug can be passed via milk. Further detail is included below.

Safety precautions

  • Avoid use in dogs who suffer from heart, liver or kidney disease
  • Be aware that certain drugs react with Zantac, such as propranolol
  • Seek veterinary guidance and approval before using this drug
  • Avoid use in pregnant or lactating dogs

Zantac may be used by many vets for treating a variety of gastric problems in dogs, but you should still practice caution when using the drug, as it’s possible for serious side effects to develop, especially in the case of overdose. Look out for rapid breathing, muscle tremors and an irregular heartbeat, which are all possible side effects of accidental ranitidine overdose. If you suspect an overdose seek emergency medical attention for your dog. Always notify the vet of all other medications your dog is taking, as Zantac interacts with many other drugs and could lead to unforeseen problems. You should complete the entire course of medication to avoid a relapse.

Uses of Zantac for dogs

Zantac is sometimes given for use in dogs to treat the following problems:

  • Intestinal ulcers
  • Stomach ulcers
  • Stomach inflammation
  • Acid reflux
  • Digestive problems

Zantac is most commonly used as a cure for acid indigestion and tummy upset. There have also been studies which have shown that the active ingredient of Zantac for dogs, ranitidine, in both mouthwash and tablet formulations may provide relief from gum inflammation caused by gingivitis. Some vets also use ranitidine to combat the effects of torsion (stomach bloating) though it has not yet been established whether or not it is an effective course of treatment, in fact, some signs would suggest that it is actually detrimental to the condition overall.

Side effects of Zantac use

Side effects of Zantac mainly relate to gastric upset (vomiting and diarrhea), whilst symptoms of an overdose or bad reaction include irregular heartbeat, muscle tremors and rapid breathing. Please seek veterinary advice immediately if your dog displays such bad side effects or any other unanticipated negative symptoms after taking the drug.

Famotidine for dogs suffering from GERD
Generic Wikipedia information about ranitidine