Vomiting and diarrhea are common symptoms of illness that can affect all mammals. This is often the result of a bacterial infection, a virus, or food poisoning. These symptoms will usually pass quite quickly, but are often distressing, painful, and inconvenient. When humans are suffering from these symptoms, they will often get some over the counter medicine to combat the sickness and diarrhea. Two of the most common medications bought from a pharmacist ate Pepto-Bismal and Kaopectate. If you have a dog who is suffering from these symptoms of illness, you may have wondered whether it is safe to give them the same medicine as you take yourself or not. You may also have wondered if there is a similar medicine available that is specifically for dogs that are available from pet stores.
The Reasons for a Stomach Upset
The potential causes of sickness and diarrhea in dogs are usually very similar to those that cause humans to experience these problems. Either a bacterial or viral infection are two of the most common causes. Another common cause is eating something that they should not have done, such as out of date food, something out of the garbage, a plant from the garden, or even a small object that is then causing an obstruction in their bowel. There can even be simple causes, such as changing the brand of your dog’s food.
Imodium for Dogs
A common treatment for human tummy upsets is Imodium. This is the brand name for a drug called Loperamide. This drug encourages the body to absorb excess water and to slow down the movement of material through the digestive system. With this in mind, the purpose of this drug would suggest that it would have the same effect on dogs as it has in humans. However, the manufacturers of this drug advise against it being given to dogs and say it is only for use in humans. The biggest warning comes in relation to giving this drug to older dogs.
Pepto-Bismol and Kaopectate for Dogs
In terms of the active ingredients, Pepto-Bismol and Kaopectate are very similar as the main active ingredient is bismuth subsalicylate. In addition to reducing diarrhea, this drug reduces acid and reduces irritation of the digestive system. The different brands contain different doses of the active ingredient, so giving them to your dog is unwise. It is especially unsafe if your dog is taking any other prescription medication.
Treating a Dog with Diarrhea
Before giving your dog a human medication, you should consult your vet for advice. They can take you if any of the over the counter medicines are safe to give your dog and, if they are, what dosage you should give to your pet. They can also advise you if they need to see the dog themselves or if they can offer a prescription for medication that is more suitable for dogs than human medication.
Common advice that a vet may give you is to temporarily change your dog’s diet to counteract diarrhea. Typically, this advice is to give your dog small portions of chicken and white rice regularly. This will help to give them the nutrients they need without further aggravating their digestive track. Vets will often recommend to a dog owner to try their dog on this simple diet for a few days as they will usually see a vast improvement in the health of a dog. Just like humans, sickness and diarrhea are usually short-lived.
A vet will also generally recommend that you ensure your dog has access to water. Vomiting and diarrhea can cause dehydration. By making sure that your dog has a ready supply of water, you can reduce the risk of your dog becoming dehydrated by keeping up their levels of hydration.
The final piece of advice that a vet will generally give to the owner of a dog suffering from vomiting and diarrhea is to contact them if there is no improvement in the dog’s health within a few days. While diarrhea is a common symptom of minor illnesses that will cause no long-term health problems, it can also indicate more serious health conditions. The vet will want to check any dog that is showing no improvement. Similarly, if your dog has an existing health problem, a vet may recommend that you take your pet in for examination.