How to Give Lactulose to Your Dog

By Kimberly Caines

Lactulose is a prescription medication given to dogs to treat constipation and liver disease. The medication increases the amount of liquid in your dog's intestine, which softens the stool and promotes defecation. Proper administration of Lactulose is essential to get a favorable outcome. Therefore, dog parents must always stick to their veterinarian's dosage and administration instructions.

Oral Administration of Lactulose

Lactulose is a liquid that can be administered orally with a syringe or dropper. Hold your dog's lips closed and slightly tilt his chin upward. Then, insert the syringe in the cheek pouch of your dog's mouth and gradually release the liquid. Once the liquid enters your dog's mouth, he'll automatically swallow it. If you're dealing with a temperamental dog, have a friend assist you with holding the dog while you administer the liquid. If approved by your veterinarian, you may also mix the medicine with milk, water or fruit juice.

Rectal Administration of Lactulose

If your dog is in severe danger of liver failure, or if he has to undergo an endoscopy, your veterinarian may decide to give him a Lactulose enema. The Lactulose is administered through a tube into your dog's rectum. After this, your dog will be taken to an area where he can defecate. This method of administering Lactulose is best performed by a veterinarian, because rectal trauma is not uncommon.

Lactulose Dosage Instructions

To treat liver disease, also known as hepatic encephalopathy, your dog can be given a Lactulose dosage of 15 to 30 ml, four times per day. For constipation, you may be required to give your dog a Lactulose dosage of 1 ml for each 10 pounds of body weight, three times per day. Always follow your veterinarian's dosage instruction. Give the medicine to your pet companion at the same times each day. If you forget a dose, give it to him as soon as possible, or skip it if the next dose is approximately two hours away.

Precautionary Measures

Before getting a prescription for Lactulose, inform your veterinarian of your dog's medical condition. Hypersensitive dogs must not use Lactulose and if your dog is diabetic, caution is required. Lactulose may also interact with antibiotics or other laxatives that your dog is taking. Because Lactulose can cause diarrhea and dehydration, avoid depriving your dog of water.

Side Effects

When giving your pet companion medications, it's essential to observe his behavior. If your dog is allergic to Lactulose, he may have difficulty breathing and his face, lips and tongue may swell. Other side effects that Lactulose may bring on include nausea, vomiting and flatulence. If any of these occur, discontinue the use of the medication and contact your veterinarian or seek emergency care.