Niacinamide for Dogs

By Mary Lougee

Niacinamide is a prescription medication for dogs to help heal serious skin conditions such as discoid lupus erythematosus or various less-serious skin diseases. The treatment course of this medicine is quite long until results are seen.

Canine Niacinamide

Niacinamide is a form of B supplement related to vitamin B3, or niacin. This supplement maintains healthy skin cells. Niacinamide is available in liquid, capsules and tablets for dogs.

Discoid Lupus Erythematosus

Niacinamide is given to canine patients in combination with tetracycline to treat discoid lupus erythematosus, a disease of dogs' noses. Lupus is an immune disease caused by the immune system reacting to its own DNA. This canine disorder is usually limited to the nose. A dog's black nose will change to a blue-gray or even pink color, and may have cracking and scaling skin that ulcerates. Niacinamide may be given to dogs with other skin conditions by itself.

Tetracycline relieves the infection in the nose cells, while niacinamide converts carbohydrates from food into glucose for energy to speed healthy cell development. The combination of the two drugs enables the cracking and ulcers to subside while making new skin cells on the nose to heal and returning the nose to its normal color and texture.

Potential Side Effects

Side effects are not common from taking niacinamide. The potential side effects include lethargy, a diminished appetite and vomiting. If you notice any of these side effect or anything unusual and different with your dog, take him to your veterinarian for a checkup.

Niacinamide Tips

  • Shake a bottle of liquid niacinamide well before administering it to your dog.

  • Store the medication away from heat and dampness in a place other than the bathroom.

  • Give your dog all of the medication for the time specified by your vet. Often one to two months of administration of niacinamide to heal DLE.