Prilosec for Dogs

If heartburn stopped you from enjoying taco Tuesdays at your local watering hole, your doctor may have given you Prilosec so you could get back to enjoying the spicy side of life. Although your dog doesn't dine on spicy chili and hot wings, your vet may still recommend giving him Prilosec. It will help protect him from developing intestinal and stomach ulcers.

Sullen Golden Retriever with sad eyes
Prilosec for Dogs
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Why do vets prescribe Prilosec for dogs?

Like people, dogs can develop ulcers in the stomach and intestines. This occurs if there is too much acid in the stomach or if something irritates the stomach lining. In dogs, the typical causes of ulcers include long-term use of anti-inflammatory drugs, gastrointestinal parasites, disease, trauma, or gastrointestinal blockages. Sold under the brand name of Prilosec, omeprazole for dogs prevents new ulcers from forming while healing existing ulcers.

Ideally, your dog will need Prilosec only until her existing ulcers heal and your vet treats the underlying issue that caused them. In some cases, however, your dog may need to stay on the medication. If your dog frequently takes ibuprofen, for instance, she may need to stay on Prilosec to protect her from developing ulcers in the future. Fortunately, Prilosec for dogs is inexpensive, so long-term usage won't break the bank. As of 2019, you can get 10-milligram Prilosec pills for only 36 cents apiece.

Some dogs shouldn't take Prilosec

Though quite helpful for a lot of dogs, Prilosec isn't safe for those who are pregnant or nursing. You should also, of course, avoid Prilosec if your dog is allergic to it or has reacted negatively to it in the past. If your dog has liver disease, your vet will watch him closely while he is taking Prilosec and may avoid this drug completely.

It's also important to understand that omeprazole for canines can impact other medications. Because it changes stomach acidity, Prilosec may cause your dog to absorb ketoconazole, ampicillin, and iron more slowly. It keeps other drugs in the stomach longer, potentially increasing their effects. This applies to drugs like diazepam, phenytoin, and warfarin.

How to give your dog Prilosec

Unless your vet tells you otherwise, it's best to give your dog her Prilosec first thing in the morning before she's eaten anything. If you forget a dose, give it to your dog as soon as you remember. If it's almost time for the next dose, just skip the one you forgot. A typical dose is between 0.25 and 0.5 milligrams of medication per pound.

It's important to take Prilosec pills whole rather than crushing or breaking them. If wrapping a pill in cheese or a hollow treat tricks your dog into swallowing it, you're home free. Dogs that are wise to the cheese trick, however, may do better with Prilosec paste.

The paste is also preferred when the required dosage amount is an odd number. If, for instance, your dog needs 15 milligrams of Prilosec, but pills are available only in 10- and 20-milligram increments, opt for the paste. This prevents the need to give 1 1/2 capsules, which would require halving a pill.

Prilosec side effects

After your dog starts taking Prilosec, he may vomit and could temporarily lose his appetite. He could also develop diarrhea and become quite flatulent. Though unpleasant for all involved, these side effects aren't serious and usually resolve on their own as your dog gets used to his new medicine. Some dogs won't experience these issues at all.

In rare instances, your dog could develop a urinary tract infection or experience nervous system disruptions. These problems indicate a more serious reaction and require veterinary intervention. If your dog struggles with Prilosec, your vet may try other antacid medications such as famotidine for dogs, which is sold under the brand name of Pepcid.