I know you love your dog. Any discomfort or disease affecting it has you worried to the core. Has your dog ever experienced diarrhea? If yes, how did you treat it? When your dog is suffering from diarrhea, several types of medications will ring in your mind. One of the medicines that will probably come to your mind is Imodium. Have you ever used Imodium before? Here, we will offer you in-depth information regarding Imodium.
What Is Imodium?
Imodium is one of the main modes of treatment used to treat diarrhea. It is a brand name for a drug known as Loperamide. It treats diarrhea in dogs by preventing food from moving too fast in the dog’s intestines. The reduction of speed allows for better water and electrolyte absorption.
Imodium is thus a type of medication that is safe for dogs. However, only use it on your dog after consulting your vet. Some factors will determine if you can use Imodium on your dogs. Examples of these factors include:
1. Breed/ Genetics
The breed of your dog will determine whether or not you can use Imodium. Herding breeds such as Australian Shepherds, for instance, cannot use Imodium. Such dog breeds have genes that make it difficult to break down certain drugs, such as Imodium. It will result in severe side effects of Imodium, if you try to use Imodium on those breeds.
2. Health Condition
The health status of your dog will determine whether or not you can use Imodium. The taking of Imodium can worsen certain types of illnesses. Such illnesses include liver disease, kidney disease, and hypothyroidism. If your dog has such pre-existing conditions, the last thing you would want is to worsen the situation through Imodium.
If your dog has some pre-existing conditions, most likely it is taking other medication. Imodium may not necessarily interact well with other over-the-counter medications. It can reduce the potency of other medicines.
Any form of medication for a pregnant dog requires caution. If your dog is expectant, it can be risky to give it Imodium medication. All forms of medicine when a dog is pregnant require veterinary supervision. Lack of close veterinary supervision will hurt not only the dog but the unborn.
4. Cause of The Diarrhea
The cause of diarrhea will also determine whether or not you can you Imodium on your dog. If the cause of the diarrhea is an infection or a poisonous toxin, then it’s not advisable to use it. If the cause of your dog’s diarrhea is an infection or poisonous toxins, the diarrhea is helpful. It’s a way of flushing the toxins out. Giving your dog, Imodium will therefore be blocking the body’s ability to get rid of that toxicity. A vet will establish the root cause of the problem before administering medication.
Some of the potential causes of diarrhea for your dog include eating spoiled food. If your dog has been eating garbage, a diarrhea problem is likely to develop. Bacterial infections, intestinal parasites, toxic substances, and foreign objects also can cause diarrhea. Irritable bowel disease can also cause diarrhea. Moreover, diarrhea may be a side effect of medication that your dog is currently taking.
5. Age of The Dog
It is not advisable to administer Imodium to very young or old dogs. A very young or old dog may not have the ability to withstand Imodium. Dogs that especially weigh less than 20 pounds should not use Imodium. If a dog weighs less than 20 pounds, the risk of overdosing is imminent.
In a nutshell, giving your dog Imodium is right but only after approval by your vet. If your vet approves the use of Imodium, they will also advise you on the correct dosage to use. The correct dosage amount for Imodium in dogs will depend on several factors. Such factors include weight, age, general health, and the extent of the problem.
For instance, you shouldn’t administer high doses that the dog’s weight can’t handle. The dog’s weight determines its ability to withstand the potency of the drug. Also, refrain from administering high doses of Imodium for young or old dogs.
The form of Imodium that you intend to use will also influence the correct dosage to use. Imodium may exist in liquid form or as EZ chews. For instance, if you administer liquid Imodium A-D, you will need to administer 0.3 to 0.6 ml per pound of weight. Failure to take the correct dose for Imodium will result in severe side effects. If you administer an underdose, you may not realize any meaningful solutions.
Sometimes, one may accidentally overdose their dogs with Imodium. If that happens, ensure you contact your veterinarian right away. Be on the watch out for any severe symptoms in case of an overdose. If there is difficulty in breathing, for example, rush them to the nearest vet office.
Make sure you invest in equipment to help you know the correct dosage amounts for Imodium. Buy syringes and pill cutters, for example. If you miss administering Imodium by about one or two hours, don’t fret. Consider administering it as soon as possible.
Benefits of Using Imodium for Dogs
Besides dealing with the diarrhea problem, Imodium also results in other benefits. These benefits are as discussed below:
1. Imodium Firms the Dog’s Stool
By using Imodium, the stool of your dog becomes more firm. This is because it reduces the amount of water inside the dog’s stool as it increases absorption. Imodium slows down food movement in the intestines and allows the body to extract water or electrolytes. Only waste and not important nutrients will be pass out. The dog’s body can extract all the necessary nutrients it needs from food.
2. Imodium Treats Other Gastrointestinal Conditions
Several gastrointestinal conditions affect dogs. Examples of these gastrointestinal conditions include colitis, malabsorption, maldigestion, and irritable bowel syndrome. If left untreated, these conditions jeopardize the overall health of the dog gradually.
Potential Side Effects of Imodium On Your Dog
Like any other form of medication, your dog may experience several side effects because of using Imodium. Correct adherence to all guidelines by your vet may reduce these side effects. Examples of side effects your dog may experience include: vomiting, bloating, weight loss, constipation, gas, and lethargy. Other side effects may also include sedation, central nervous depression, and bloody diarrhea.
Sedation side effect affects the herding breeds including collies, German shepherds, Australian shepherd and many types of sheepdogs, Skye terriers and silken wind hounds. The breeds that show the sedation side effect are the ones with the MDR1 genetic mutation. MDR1 genetic mutation makes it hard for these breeds to get rid of toxic substances from their brain. Always remind your vet about the need to test your dog for this mutation.
Imodium can also cause pancreatitis. Pancreatitis is a condition that makes your dog’s pancreas inflame. The pancreas is a vital organ in food digestion and the control of blood sugars.
You may be wondering how much time you will have to wait before you observe any results on your dog. Ordinarily, Imodium takes a short time to react in the body and to start showing some progress. Within one or two hours, you should begin to notice some changes.
Do not use Imodium on your dog for a duration that exceeds five consecutive days. If, after five days, your dog has not healed from diarrhea, then Imodium is perhaps not the best treatment. Seek further advice from your vet.
More Dog-Friendly Alternatives to Imodium
Instead of using Imodium, you may opt to use other alternatives that are more friendly to dogs. Examples of these alternatives include:
1. Pumpkin Puree
Pumpkin Puree is a friendlier alternative to the use of Imodium. Pumpkin Puree is an alternative that is rich in soluble and insoluble fiber. Fiber helps the dog’s colon absorb water, and it also helps to firm up the dog’s stool.
The amount of pumpkin puree you give to your dog should depend on the size of the dog. For small dogs, consider giving two teaspoons. For the large dogs, give them a couple of teaspoons. Give the pumpkin puree until the poop starts looking normal again.
You may administer Pumpkin puree on its own, or you can mix it with the dog’s food. How you choose to administer the puree will depend on whether the dog loves it. If the dog doesn’t love the puree, consider mixing it with the dog’s food. Be careful not to choose pumpkin pie filling. Pumpkin pie filling contains sugars and other additives that may worsen diarrhea.
2. Pepto Bismol
Another friendly option to the use of Imodium is Pepto Bismol. Make sure you know the health of your dog before administering Pepto Bismol. You should refrain from using Pepto Bismol for dogs that have stomach or intestinal bleeding. Make sure the dog isn’t using anti-inflammatory drugs.
Weight is the main factor in determining the amount of dosage to use. One should administer one teaspoon of Pepto Bismol for every 10 pounds of the dog’s body weight. Consider administering it after every six hours. Stop using it if you don’t realize any changes in your dog’s diarrhea after 2 to 3 doses.
3. White Rice
One of the best things to feed a dog that is suffering from diarrhea is white rice. Since your dog isn’t taking regular food during this time, white rice is a great option. Three qualities make white rice an ideal choice during this time.
The first quality is that white rice is easy to digest. The struggling gut system of your dog will thus not have a hard time. The second quality is that only a small amount of white rice converts into poop. Finally, white rice is also rich in calories, giving the dog’s body enough energy.
The amount of white rice you administer depends on the size. You may use ¼ to 1 cup of white rice according to the size of the dog.
How Much Imodium Can You Give to a dog?
The correct dose of Imodium to give to your dog will depend on several factors. The weight, age, general health, and extent of the problem will determine the quantity of Imodium to give. The form of Imodium will also determine the quantity you need to administer. Your vet should tell you the correct quantity of Imodium to administer based on your unique circumstances.
Will Imodium Hurt My Dog?
Imodium is generally safe for dogs, but whether it will hurt your pet or not will depend on several circumstances such as breed, pre-existing conditions, cause of the problem, and the pregnancy situation. If your dog has some pre-existing conditions or is pregnant, administering Imodium will probably hurt it. If your dog is a herding breed, Imodium will hurt it since it cannot break it down. If the diarrhea is a result of an infection or toxins, administering Imodium will hurt it. Administering Imodium for an infection caused by diarrhea inhibits the dog’s ability to flush out the toxins.
What Can You Give a Dog to Stop Diarrhea?
When your dog has diarrhea, you can opt to give it medication or use natural remedies. Examples of natural remedies include white rice, yogurt, oatmeal, eggs, or chicken without skin. Only use bland and easily digestible food. Also, consider giving your dog probiotics.
How Can I Stop My Dog’s Diarrhea Fast?
Besides giving your dog medication such as Imodium, there are other methods you can use at home for diarrhea. For instance, fast your dog when you notice it has diarrhea. Do not feed it for 12 to 24 hours. Give the dog a lot of rice water during the fast. After the fast is complete, introduce back the solid foods slowly. Fasting allows the dog’s gut to heal and repair.
There is no doubt that Imodium can be a viable solution to your dog’s diarrhea problems. However, make sure that you contact your vet before administering the Imodium. If especially vomiting and other symptoms accompany diarrhea, avoid buying Imodium over the counter.
Make sure you understand your dog’s health status before deciding whether to buy Imodium. Know its genetic composition, its pre-existing conditions, and the severity of the problem. You can purchase the Imodium online or from a physical store. Know the reputation of the store you are buying Imodium from. Buy Imodium from those stores with no history of complaints from past clients.
Please note that Imodium use in animals is not licensed by the Food and Drug Administration. It is, however, prescribed by veterinarians as an extra-label medication. The manufacturer of Imodium is not liable for any side effects that your dog may face.