If you’re one of those unlucky people who wakes up with searing heartburn pain after you visit your favorite Mexican restaurant, then you’re probably best friends with a drug called Pepcid AC. If you’re worried about your dog having digestive problems, Pepcid AC may be prescribed by your veterinarian.
Can I Give My Dog Pepcid AC?
Pepcid AC (famotidine) is actually a histamine blocker, meaning it blocks the chemical, histamine, from creating an allergic response in the body. In this case, it treats a variety of digestive upsets like ulcers, gastritis (the inflammation of the stomach), and acid reflux.
Pepcid AC is most commonly prescribed when there’s a chance for stomach irritation or ulceration. This can be in cases of a Helicobacter infection, parvovirus, or inflammatory bowel disease. Many vets will send dogs home on a Pepcid AC regimen after they’ve ingested a toxin, such as Tylenol, that can lead to ulcers in the stomach. It’s also great for dogs who are on medications that cause stomach irritation. It coats the stomach to prevent irritation or ulceration and allows the medication or toxin to pass without harming the stomach.
Will Pepcid AC Hurt My Dog – Is it Safe?
There are a few medical conditions that make Pepcid AC a poor choice. Dogs with preexisting liver and kidney problems shouldn’t be on Pepcid because it can be difficult for these organs to metabolize certain drugs when damaged.
Dogs with stomach cancer shouldn’t have Pepcid, nor should dogs who have shown a sensitivity to other H2 receptor antagonist drugs. If this sounds like a foreign language, good! That means you’ll have to visit your vet to decide if Pepcid AC is the best choice for your dog.
How Much Pepcid AC Can I Give My Dog?
Famotidine (Pepcid AC) is typically given once to twice daily. If it’s to protect your dog’s stomach from an irritating medication, you’ll give it on an empty stomach a half hour before you administer the prescribed medicine. If there is food in the stomach, the famotidine within Pepcid AC can’t effectively coat the stomach, thus allowing irritation to take place.
Dogs less than 20 pounds will get a 1/4 tablet, dogs between 20 and 60 pounds will get a 1/2 tablet, and dogs over 60 pounds will get an entire tablet. The typical tablet is 20 mg, but there are also 10 mg tablets on the market. Ask your vet what size would be best for the easiest dosing possible.
These dog dosages are variable and will depend on what your dog is taking the drug for, their size, and how long they need to remain on the famotidine (Pepcid AC). A quick call to your vet should fill in any blanks.
What If My Dog Gets Too Much Pepcid AC?
It’s pretty hard to overdose a dog on Pepcid AC. It’s a relatively innocuous drug, and it’s safe even in large amounts. If your dog does get too much famotidine and you’re worried about an overdose, keep an eye out for fatigue, vomiting, diarrhea, abnormal heartbeat (either very high or very low), and difficulty breathing. Low blood pressure is also a concern. Symptoms of low blood pressure include dizziness, a rapid and irregular heartbeat, and fainting.
What Can I Give My Dog for Vomiting or Digestion Issues?
If your dog is vomiting, there are better options to treat the vomiting than Pepcid AC. If it’s just a minor round of vomiting, the best thing you can do is not give your dog any food or water for about six hours, and then feed them a bland diet for 72 hours. A bland diet consists of boiled rice and boiled chicken or ground beef (no added seasonings).
When your dog is vomiting, monitor them closely for dehydration. Check their skin turgor by pulling up on the skin between their shoulders and letting it go. If it stays tented, that means your dog is dehydrated and needs to see a veterinarian right away. If it immediately goes flat again, that means your dog is fine.
Other signs of dehydration include a dry mouth or nose, sunken eyes, and pale gums. Keep a very close watch on your dog, and if you notice anything out of the ordinary, then you should call your veterinarian for advice on what to do next. Most likely your dog will need IV fluids or some fluids under the skin to properly rehydrate them.
Pepcid AC has its place in veterinary medicine, but it should always be given under the direction and advice of a veterinarian. Pepcid AC works very well in some cases, but there are other procedures and medications available that will work even better for your dog depending on what they’re suffering from. Making a simple veterinary appointment will ensure your dog is getting the right treatment.