Sucralfate for Dogs - What Is It & How It Is Given
A common practice in veterinary medicine is to prescribe human medication to dogs. Sometimes, human medications can be ideal for dogs because no equivalent drugs are developed specifically for dogs. One of these medications your vet can prescribe to your dog is Carafate® or Sulcrate®. These medications have the active ingredient called sucralfate, and it will help control different types of ulcerations. Here is what you should know about sucralfate for dogs.
Sucralfate is an anti-ulcer agent whose job is to react with stomach acid and form a protective barrier. The barrier should help ulcers heal, and it is resistant to digestive agents found in the dog’s stomach. It is an effective way to deal with gastrointestinal ulcers in humans, cats, dogs, and other animals.
The off-brand use of these medications is not uncommon in veterinary medicine. Sucralfate is given to dogs that are experiencing ulceration, most commonly in the gastrointestinal tract. This medication will effectively help your dog deal with ulcers, or in some cases, prevent them from happening. Dogs that have a history of developing ulcers can take this medication.
Ulcers can happen for many reasons, and when they do, they will hurt your dog. Some of the most common ulcers causes are irritable bowel syndrome, lymphoma, medications, gastritis, helicobacter, extreme exercise, etc. All of these conditions can make your vet prescribe sucralfate to your dog.
Sucralfate is considered very safe for dogs and other animals. In clinical trials, lab animals were given 50X the recommended dosage, and the animals were fine. One thing vets and owners should account for is the dog’s blood sugar levels. Dogs with diabetes should be careful because sucralfate can cause a significant increase in blood sugar levels. In rare cases, dogs that take sucralfate can experience constipation or diarrhea.
Sucralfate is available in two forms - in a tablet and liquid suspension. It should be administered on an empty stomach, so you should give it to your dog at least an hour before or two hours after a meal. If you are using tablets, it is a good idea to dissolve them in lukewarm water. If you are using the liquid suspension, you should shake the bottle thoroughly before you administer it.
The medication is fairly effective, and it should take effect in 1 - 2 hours. The physical effects should be visible after 24 hours. Your dog should have a lot less pain from the ulceration they are experiencing.
Like any other medication, especially the ones prescribed for off-label use, the key is the correct dosage. Luckily, there are not many reasons to get worried, even if you miss the recommended dosage when it comes to this specific drug. It is a fairly safe drug with little to no side effects. Nevertheless, it is best to stick to recommended dosages for the drug’s efficiency. The recommended dosage is;
- Dogs up to 20 pounds - ¼ to ½ gram every 6 - 8 hours
- Dogs from 20 - 60 pounds - ½ to 1 gram every 6 - 8 hours
- Dogs from 60+ pounds - 1 to 1 ½ gram every 6 - 8 hours
Your vet will tell you the exact dosage for your dog individually. They know your dog’s medical history and will know how much sucralfate your dog should take. Be sure to mention all other drugs or supplements your dog is taking, so there aren’t any drug interactions you should be aware of.
IMPORTANT NOTICE: Sucralfate will form a protective barrier on the lining of your dog’s stomach, which means other drugs will get improperly absorbed. If your dog is taking other medications alongside sucralfate, you should tell your vet so you can schedule drug administration properly.
There are no special storage demands for this drug. Keep it in a tightly sealed container away from the light, like you would store any other drug in your home. If your vet made a special formulation, you should follow their instructions on storage and administration.
Sucralfate is very effective against ulcerations, and it will help your dog’s gastrointestinal issues. Make sure you follow your vet’s instructions on administration and keep a regular schedule. This is considered a safe drug, so overdoses are basically non-existent. Never administer the drug on your own; talk to your vet before you do it.
World Dog Finder team