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Gabapentin for Dogs: Dosage and Safety Guidelines
If your beloved canine companion is dealing with pain, anxiety, or seizures, your vet may prescribe a medication called gabapentin. This article will provide you with important information on the dosage and safety guidelines for gabapentin in dogs. If you want general information, check out our article on gabapentin for dogs.
What is Gabapentin?
Gabapentin is a medication often used in humans to treat partial seizures, nerve pain, and restless leg syndrome. In dogs, however, it’s used to treat seizures, anxiety, and nerve pain. This versatile drug works by blocking calcium channels in the brain, suppressing overly stimulated neurons that cause anxiety, nerve pain, and seizures.
Gabapentin Dosage for Dogs
The dosage of gabapentin for dogs can vary depending on condition. Here are some example doses from Papich’s Handbook of Veterinary Medicine for your information, but remember dosing is always decided by a veterinarian.
Always make sure you are OK with the potential side effects of a drug before giving it to your dog.
|Anticonvulsant (anti seizure)||10 to 20 milligrams per kilogram of bodyweight every 8 hours|
|Neuropathy (nerve pain)||5 to 15 milligrams per kilogram of bodyweight every 12 hours to start; increase dose gradually up to 40 milligrams per kilogram every 8 to 12 hours as necessary|
|Treatment of Behavior Disorders (anxiety, etc.)||5 to 30 milligrams per kilogram of bodyweight up to 3 times daily, starting with a low dose and working up.|
Just like in humans, it’s best to give your dog time to adjust to each dose increase, waiting 7-10 days between dose increases. This gives your dog’s brain a chance to get used to gabapentin and reduces the chance they’ll have severe side effects.
Table for Dosage of Gabapentin in Dogs
|Dog’s Weight (kg)||10 milligrams per kilogram||20 milligrams per kilogram||30 milligrams per kilogram||40 milligrams per kilogram|
|5 kilograms||50 milligrams||100 milligrams||150 milligrams||200 milligrams|
|10 kilograms||100 milligrams||200 milligrams||300 milligrams||400 milligrams|
|20 kilograms||200 milligrams||400 milligrams||600 milligrams||800 milligrams|
|30 kilograms||300 milligrams||600 milligrams||900 milligrams||1200 milligrams|
|40 kilograms||400 milligrams||800 milligrams||1200 milligrams||1600 milligrams|
|50 kilograms||500 milligrams||1000 milligrams||1500 milligrams||2000 milligrams|
|60 kilograms||600 milligrams||1200 milligrams||1800 milligrams||2400 milligrams|
Remember, this table is for general information. Always follow your vet’s specific dosage instructions.
Gabapentin Safety Guidelines
Gabapentin is generally safe for dogs, but like any medication, it can have side effects. The most commonly reported side effects are sedation and loss of coordination. These effects usually disappear within 24 hours. Less commonly, vomiting and diarrhea may occur. We have an article that goes into depth on side effects of gabapentin in dogs for more detail.
It’s important to give gabapentin only under your vet’s guidance. It can interact with other drugs, and it’s not the most effective drug for all conditions. For example, if your dog is taking antacids or opioids, it could affect how gabapentin works in their body.
More On Gabapentin in Dogs
Gabapentin is a helpful medication for managing pain, anxiety, and seizures in dogs. Remember to follow your vet’s instructions closely when it comes to dosage and timing. With proper use and monitoring, gabapentin can significantly improve your dog’s quality of life.