The first thing you’ll want to do when your pupper gets sick is try to fix the problem at home. Often, the easiest way owners do this is by giving their own OTCs to their pets.
Giving your dog your own medicine to treat it isn’t out of the ordinary; many dog parents give their dog painkillers or other OTCs present at home as a quick fix. For example, some people give their dogs pepto bismol when they get an upset stomach.
So when your dog twitches or gets muscle spasms, you’ll naturally want to give it cyclobenzaprine or Flexeril, a common drug prescribed for it. However, you must be very careful with what you’re giving your dog because not every medicine is safe for your pupper.
So, can dogs take cyclobenzaprine?
Well, there’s no easy answer to this because cyclobenzaprine isn’t typically recommended for dogs, but vets can prescribe it under certain conditions.
So the real question is, can you give your dog cyclobenzaprine without a vet’s recommendation? No, it is best not to give your dog this drug.
Cyclobenzaprine is a muscle relaxant prescribed for muscle spasms and muscle control in humans, but it isn’t the safest medicine for a dog. Cyclobenzaprine can trigger several harmful side effects, including an upset stomach, tremors, loss of balance, and seizures in a dog.
In particular cases, dogs can take cyclobenzaprine, but it’s only appropriate for a medically-licensed professional to prescribe it. It would help if you didn’t give your dog cyclobenzaprine without consulting the vet because it could severely harm your dog.
There’s a lot to unpack with this; let’s discuss it in detail.
What is Cyclobenzaprine?
Cyclobenzaprine is a muscle relaxant, a class of drugs that affects skeletal muscles (muscles connecting the bones) to reduce and control any spasms, damage, or involuntary movements.
We typically prescribe cyclobenzaprine to patients suffering from a muscle injury or when they are unable to control muscle movements.
What is Cyclobenzaprine Used for? How Does It Work?
Cyclobenzaprine is a muscle relaxant prescribed for physical therapy, muscle spasms, and pain caused by any muscle injuries.
In some cases, cyclobenzaprine can also be used as an antidepressant. This is because cyclobenzaprine sends signals to the nervous system to relax, which then lightens the strain on muscles, allowing them to loosen up.
What is Flexeril?
Cyclobenzaprine is typically sold under the brand name Flexeril.
Flexeril treats skeletal muscle issues like muscle spasms, muscle sprains, injuries, and unexplained pain. Flexeril may even be used for other purposes, such as an antidepressant.
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Can Dogs Take Cyclobenzaprine?
Let’s get to the big question: can dogs take cyclobenzaprine, and if they can’t, why not?
We don’t recommend giving your dog cyclobenzaprine because it can do more harm than good. Cyclobenzaprine is a muscle relaxant and an antidepressant meant to relieve muscles from strain after signaling to the nervous system.
The way cyclobenzaprine works might benefit us, but it could harm our puppers because the drug isn’t meant for them.
So it is best to avoid giving your dog cyclobenzaprine unless a vet advises so, and even then, you should ask the vet for the dosage and frequency of serving cyclobenzaprine.
What Makes Cyclobenzaprine Unsafe for Dogs?
It would be best if you didn’t give your dog cyclobenzaprine or Flexeril because it isn’t licensed to treat dogs. Cyclobenzaprine typically treats humans, so vets don’t use it unless a dog severely needs it.
But dogs shouldn’t take cyclobenzaprine because of its composition; common cyclobenzaprine drugs like Flexeril contain lactose (hydrous), a crystallized milk sugar that can severely harm a dog.
As you probably know, most canines are lactose intolerant and can’t digest it very well. Eating most medicines containing forms of lactose can induce vomiting, diarrhea, and similar symptoms of an upset stomach in dogs.
And that’s not the only reason dogs shouldn’t take cyclobenzaprine; cyclobenzaprine is a strong drug with severe side effects that your dog might not survive.
Taking cyclobenzaprine can make a dog sick, possibly triggering adverse and frequent health problems.
Explaining The Harms of Cyclobenzaprine for Dogs
Some dog parents will wonder what’s the worst that can happen if a dog takes cyclobenzaprine. After all, there are cases where vets prescribe cyclobenzaprine to dogs, and no harm comes out of it.
However, there’s a huge difference between prescribing cyclobenzaprine to a dog and giving the drug without a medical prescription.
Vets know exactly what a dog needs and prescribe medicines based on their knowledge. We might think we know our dogs, and we do, but there are some things, like our dog’s medical needs, that we can’t understand.
We don’t recommend self-prescribing cyclobenzaprine to a dog because it has multiple harmful side effects. Let’s look at a couple of them:
Most vets avoid prescribing cyclobenzaprine to dogs because frequent usage can cause addiction. Although it is quite rare for a dog to become addicted to cyclobenzaprine, it is still possible.
Dogs can become addicted to cyclobenzaprine because of its similar structure to tricyclic antidepressants.
Frequently taking cyclobenzaprine, even in controlled quantities, can make a dog’s body dependent on the drug; suddenly leaving the medicine can trigger painful reactions, discomfort, and health problems in dogs.
The most common reason vets don’t prescribe cyclobenzaprine to dogs unless it is a medical necessity is that the drug can be toxic.
Toxicosis caused by cyclobenzaprine can trigger severe symptoms, including weakness, tremors, shaking, seizures, and frequent vomiting. In severe cases, cyclobenzaprine can even cause death.
Serious Symptoms and Health Problems
A dog may stay healthy and unharmed after taking cyclobenzaprine, but this only happens when a vet prescribes the drug based on the dog’s health.
In common cases, especially when dog parents give cyclobenzaprine as a quick remedy, a dog can have severe toxic reactions to the drug. This happens because dog parents don’t know how to adjust the dosage correctly and give their dogs more than the recommended quantity.
A dog can get extremely sick from even a small dosage of cyclobenzaprine. Some dogs will get better from taking cyclobenzaprine, while others get sicker.
The most common health consequences of taking cyclobenzaprine are:
● Changes in Movement
Cyclobenzaprine controls muscle spasms so that it will affect a dog’s body movement after consumption.
Cyclobenzaprine can cause shaking, tremors, and general weakness in dogs. These symptoms are more common in dogs taking cyclobenzaprine as a licensed drug for more than 2-3 weeks.
However, it would be best if you didn’t assume such reactions happen only with long-term use of cyclobenzaprine. The reaction of a dog to cyclobenzaprine is unpredictable and can happen anytime.
● Changes in Behavior
A dog’s behavior is always a telltale sign; sudden behavioral changes are common with reactions to medicines like Flexeril.
Taking cyclobenzaprine impacts the muscles and affects the brain, so your dog could feel depressed, anxious, upset, or tired after taking it. Sometimes, a dog begins to act differently or weirdly, suggesting a change in mental health.
● Sudden Health Changes
Some dogs experience lethargy, weakness, dry mouth, uncontrolled body movements, and loss of balance after taking cyclobenzaprine. Most of these symptoms go away, but your dog could have serious health problems after taking cyclobenzaprine.
Taking cyclobenzaprine can lower a dog’s heart rate and body temperature, making it easier for the dog to feel cold and sick. In severe cases, taking cyclobenzaprine can trigger seizures, high blood pressure, and coma.
Can Cyclobenzaprine Kill a Dog?
Cyclobenzaprine isn’t always deadly for dogs, but taking it frequently or taking the wrong dose can be deadly.
A dog’s reaction to cyclobenzaprine depends on its health; a dog with chronic illnesses or one that frequently gets sick might not be able to bear a simple dose of cyclobenzaprine and could die. Healthier and young dogs might be able to bear the effects of cyclobenzaprine.
However, cyclobenzaprine won’t always kill a dog. In some cases, vets prescribe cyclobenzaprine because the dog can benefit from it.
Yet, it’s always best to avoid giving your dog cyclobenzaprine unless your vet is okay with it.
When to Give Cyclobenzaprine to Dogs?
It is best not to give any medicinal drugs to your dog without the vet’s recommendation. Giving medical drugs, even simple OTCs, can be dangerous because you never know how your dog will react to them.
Giving cyclobenzaprine to dogs carries the same precautions, although there might be a few times when giving the drug is fine.
Of course, you’ll still have to consult the vet, but as long as you have your vet’s approval, you may give your dog cyclobenzaprine.
You may give your dog cyclobenzaprine if it suffers from a muscle injury or uncontrollable spasms. Always ask your vet if your dog can take cyclobenzaprine before giving it because not all dogs can handle it.
How Much Cyclobenzaprine is Safe for Dogs?
The dosage of cyclobenzaprine for a dog differs from yours. A dog shouldn’t take the same dose of cyclobenzaprine that your doctor prescribed you, so it’s always best to consult your vet.
The dosage of cyclobenzaprine differs from dog to dog and depends on your dog’s health and medical history. Weak dogs suffering from chronic illnesses or frequently getting sick will have a lower dosage than dogs who don’t.
So how much cyclobenzaprine can you give your dog?
In all honesty, we can’t answer this because every dog has a different dosage. Our recommended dosage might harm your dog depending on its health, so you can simply request your vet for a dosage guideline.
What to Do If My Dog Takes Cyclobenzaprine?
A dog’s reaction to cyclobenzaprine depends on the dog’s health and the dosage taken. However, it is always best to proceed cautiously and take all the necessary steps to avoid your dog getting sicker.
Here are all the steps you need to take if your dog takes cyclobenzaprine:
Contact the Vet
Immediately contact the vet if your dog accidentally takes cyclobenzaprine. You don’t know how your dog will react to cyclobenzaprine, but your vet will, so it’s best to keep the dogtor in the loop.
The vet will guide you on what to do and if your dog’s symptoms are serious enough to schedule an emergency visit.
In some cases, the vet will ask you to induce vomiting. You can induce vomiting by giving your dog activated charcoal because it binds to toxic substances and reduces toxicity.
However, do not attempt to induce vomit without your vet’s advice. Inducing vomiting without medical recommendation can go severely wrong and harm your pet.
Schedule An Appointment/Call Emergency Services
Schedule an appointment with the vet or the nearest pet clinic if your dog’s condition worsens. You can also contact your local emergency services or animal rescue programs if you can’t get a hold of the vet or don’t have access to one.
The chances of survival after taking cyclobenzaprine depend on the dog’s health and dosage. However, you can save your pupper if you are quick to spot toxicity and get to the vet’s in time.
The Final Bark: Cyclobenzaprine for Dogs
Cyclobenzaprine is a common muscle relaxant used to treat muscle spasms, sprains, and injuries. It is quite an effective drug for us, but it isn’t the best for our dogs.
A dog can get extremely sick from taking cyclobenzaprine because it can have toxic side effects. Cyclobenzaprine can trigger addiction and other health problems in case it isn’t toxic.
It is best not to give your dog any cyclobenzaprine, even if it suffers from a painful muscle injury, without consulting your vet. Giving the wrong dose of cyclobenzaprine can trigger severe health problems and even death in some dogs.