Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Cerenia Tablets: Preventing Car and Motion Sickness in Dogs

We often get a lot of questions from pet owners regarding certain medications that veterinarians have prescribed their dogs. It’s common to want additional clarification when it comes to prescribed medicine! While we always encourage owners to ask questions and discuss concerns with their vet, we also understand the need for personal research. Some of the most frequently asked questions we receive are about Cerenia tablets for dogs, which is a medication that is often prescribed as an anti-vomiting treatment. Below, we break down the different uses, dosing information and the side effects of Cerenia. What is Cerenia used for? Cerenia (maropitant citrate) is actually the only FDA-approved medication that treats and prevents canine vomiting from a variety of reasons. A major yet common cause of nausea and vomiting among dogs is motion sickness while travelling. While there are other symptoms of motion sickness are excessive drooling and panting, the most concerning can definitely be vomiting. It can be especially alarming when transporting a dog via car, plane or boat because of the obvious mess and smell. While the image of a dog happily panting with his tongue out of car window seems to be ingrained in all of our minds, the truth of the matter is a lot of dogs actually fear cars and can get quite anxious when they’re inside of one. Cernia works to alleviate and prevent nausea which makes it incredibly useful for planning travel and transportation. In addition to the discomfort, your dog can actually become dehydrated or develop gastrointestinal issues with repeated vomiting. If you notice a spike in acute vomiting with your dog, your vet may also prescribe Cerenia to understand the root cause of frequent vomit. Cerenia may also be administered right before a surgery to assist in preventing an opioid reverse reaction (most commonly present as a preanesthetic). Cerenia works by actually blocking vomiting signals in your dog’s brain to prevent vomiting.

What is the dosing information for Cerenia?

Cerenia is available in two forms: injection and tablet. As an injection, it will be administered at your vet’s office. As a tablet, your vet will prescribe a specific dosage to be taken at home. While you should always follow your vet’s dosage instructions when it comes to the tablet formulation, this is the common dosing info: 

Administer Cerenia tablets orally at a minimum dose of 2 mg/kg (0.9 mg/lb) body weight once daily for up to 5 consecutive days.

Cerenia tablets are also only recommended for use in dogs that are eight weeks or older. Puppies between two and seven months can be given this medication every day for up to five days while dogs older than seven months can ingest it daily until the vomiting has stopped.

We’re also often asked whether Cerenia can be given with food and the answer is yes. However, it’s recommended you give your dog his or her recommended dose two hours before traveling with a small amount of food.

What are the side effects of Cerenia?

As with most medications, there are some side effects when it comes to Cerenia that includes lowered energy or drowsiness, weight loss, diarrhea or stool changes, and lack of appetite. When receiving the injection formulation, another side effect can be pain or tenderness at the injection site. It’s also a good idea to plan a trial of the medication before actually embarking on a long trip. Vomiting can still occur even on an empty stomach and since diarrhea can be a possible side effect, you don’t want to swap out one stinky mess for another. It could ruin your road trip or any travel adventure. 

Just like you prepare for an upcoming vacation, you should give great consideration to your dog if he or she is joining you on your next trip. No matter the mode of transportation, consider your dog’s feelings and reactions to a new environment and prep by visiting the vet, especially if you know your dog is prone to fear of travel. It is possible to prevent car sickness in dogs with the right medication! At Medi-Vet, we carry Cerenia in different dosing strengths, including: 16mg, 24mg, 60mg and 160mg