Diarrhea is one of the most unpleasant digestive problems you can experience. It seems to hit at the most inconvenient times, and whether it’s from a food that disagrees with you or a virus, you can help relieve the symptoms with Imodium. If you’ve noticed your dog’s stomach is in turmoil and they’ve got a case of diarrhea, you might be tempted to pull your trusty Imodium out to give your dog relief.
Can I Give My Dog Imodium?
Yes, you can give your dog Imodium if your vet has said it’s okay. The problem with just giving your dog Imodium for diarrhea is you don’t know what’s causing it. If it’s stomach upset from a food they ate, then Imodium will probably treat the diarrhea associated with that. But if it’s diarrhea from a viral, bacterial, or protozoal infection, Imodium isn’t going to do much.
When is Imodium Unsafe for Dogs?
Imodium should never be given to dogs who have any form of liver or kidney disease or a history of problems with these organs unless your vet has said it’s okay. Puppies shouldn’t have Imodium, nor should pregnant or nursing dogs. A history of intestinal obstruction, thyroid problems, or glaucoma means your dog should avoid Imodium, too.
It’s very important to never give Imodium to dogs with the MDR1 gene mutation. Collies are the most common breed to have this mutation, but it’s also found in German and Australian shepherds, all sheepdogs (including Shetland, English/Old English, and McNab), Longhaired Whippets, Silken Windhounds, and Skye Terriers. If you have a mutt of unknown origin, you should consult with your veterinarian about the safety of Imodium. They may have other recommendations for you.
If you think your dog’s vomiting and diarrhea are because they ate something toxic, then absolutely do not give your dog Imodium. You need the toxin to clear their system (with veterinary help).
Is Imodium Safe for Dogs?
Yes, Imodium is safe for your dog and side effects are minimal. Many veterinarians recommend Imodium for acute cases of diarrhea, but they still advise that it only be given under their supervision. As said above, there are many causes for diarrhea in dogs, and if it requires an antibiotic or other form of treatment, Imodium is only going to mask the symptoms or do absolutely no good for your dog.
The recommended dose is about 1 milliliter/cc per pound of body weight given every 8 to 12 hours. This dose can vary based on your dog’s current condition, so try not to use Imodium as an alternative to proper veterinary care. It’s important to note that there are various forms of Imodium that come in different concentrations. Unless you know how to properly calculate a dosage with a different concentration, you should call your vet and ask their advice to avoid giving your dog too much.
If your vet has recommended the pills, the typical dose is 0.05mg/ per pound. The capsules are only sold in a 2 mg size, so again, this requires some knowledge in calculating drug dosages. Imodium might seem like it’s a safe drug, but that’s only if you’re giving your dog the right dosage. If you miscalculate a dose, an overdose can affect your dog’s kidneys or cause dizziness, constipation, vomiting, and dehydration. Your vet does not mind answering questions and helping you calculate a proper dog dosage if you’re unsure! If your dog is showing any overdose symptoms, get them to your veterinarian ASAP.
What Can I Give My Dog for Diarrhea?
If your dog has diarrhea any longer than 48 hours, you should always consult your veterinarian. At this point, it’s likely there is a cause that requires different treatment. For those first 48 hours, your dog should be on a bland diet. Boiled rice paired with boiled chicken or ground beef are bland enough to help their intestines heal and not upset their stomach. Keep an eye out for dehydration, too. If your dog becomes lethargic, their eyes appear sunken, or their mouth becomes dry, they need to get to the vet for fluids. Once dehydration has occurred, oral fluids are not enough to rehydrate your dog effectively.
Canned pumpkin (plain, not seasoned pie filling) is a great way to absorb the extra water in their intestines, which in turn firms the stool. Consult with your veterinarian about the appropriate amount for your dog. Too much pumpkin will lead to constipation.
Imodium is a great treatment option for dogs with minor diarrhea. As the owner, you should keep a close eye on your dog to recognize the difference between minor diarrhea and something that your vet should be taking a look at.