US Service Animals - Gabapentin for Dogs | How It Helps Dogs With Seizures
Gabapentin is a medication that has been used by only humans until recently. It has now been found to be helpful in the veterinary world.
What is Gabapentin?
Gabapentin is primarily an anti-epileptic drug, meaning it helps lessen the seizures caused by epilepsy. It usually isn’t used solo, but rather alongside other medications. It is far more effective when paired with additional meds.
It is also useful to help dogs with the treatment of chronic long-term pain, which is usually associated with a nervous system disease. Not as popular, but still prescribed – Gabapentin is sometimes used to help dogs with anxiety.
In the US, Gabapentin is not technically FDA approved for use in animals. This isn’t any cause for concern, though, as this is the case for many veterinary medicines.
How Does It Work?
The discussion is still ongoing when trying to pinpoint exactly how Gabapentin works.
There is no question that it is effective when blocking communication between certain nerves. This blockage helps treat seizures, epilepsy, and some chronic pain.
In dogs, Gabapentin has been shown to significantly reduce the severity and length of seizures. This is a major benefit because reducing length also reduces side effects and elongated pain.
Today, Gabapentin for dogs is widely prescribed for a range of issues.
How Much Should Your Dog Take?
The ultimate decision of how much your dog should take will be up to your vet. It is important to follow your vet’s advice because even the slightest increase in dosage size in animals can be considered a dangerous over dose.
Typically, dosages range from 100mg to 300mg depending on what the Gabapentin is being used to treat.
Gabapentin Side Effects
Gabapentin has lots of wonderful applications, but it does come with some minor side effects that owners should be aware of. The possible side effects of Gabapentin can include:
- Lethargy or sedation
- Bulging eyes
- Loss of coordination
If you notice any of these occurring in your pet, speak to your vet to ensure that they adjust your dog’s medication to alleviate them.
Can A Dog Have Human Gabapentin?
It is important that you do not give your dog human Gabapentin. The reason behind this is that the dosages can be vastly different.
Even if you cut your pill in half to give to your dog, you can’t be 100 percent sure of the dosage your dog is receiving. Dogs typically require a significantly smaller dose than those in human prescriptions. Always reach out to your vet to get a prescription tailored for your dog with specific instructions. Even the slightest amount of extra Gabapentin could cause an overdose in your dog.
The Ultimate Decision
In the end the decision is ultimately yours. You get to choose whether or not you want to give your dog Gabapentin. There is not significant research available to 100 percent determine its safeness or effectiveness. It has been proven to be safe and it has been proven to be effective. Your vet will let you know if Gabapentin is a good choice for your dog. It may be better for some dogs than others. If you think it could help your furry friend, ask your vet their opinion. You never know until you try.