Gabapentin, also commonly known by its brand name Neurontin, is an anti-epileptic medication that’s most commonly prescribed for patients that suffer from seizures, as well as patients that suffer from chronic nerve pain.
This medication works on chemicals and nerves in the body that are responsible for causing seizures, in an attempt to stop these seizures from happening in the patient.
Just like Gabapentin is given to humans to help with these problems, Gabapentin is also given to dogs to help with the same issues, a topic we will be covering in great detail in this article.
Gabapentin For Dogs Usage & Prescriptions
Before we go on with the rest of this article about everything you have to know when it comes to giving your dog Gabapentin, we’d like to dedicate this subsection to make it very clear that Gabapentin is 100% a prescription drug and should only be given to your dog after you have a legitimate prescription from a legitimate veterinarian.
Even though Gabapentin has not yet been FDA approved as of this writing, this medication is still widely prescribed by competent veterinarians all over the world when it comes to helping dogs with their cases of pain and/or seizures.
Gabapentin Use In Dogs
If you’re considering giving your dog Gabapentin for any reason whatsoever, you must know beforehand what cases and problems this medication is able to help with in dogs.
– Seizures (Mainly Cluster Seizures): Gabapentin is often administered to dogs that experience seizures, and mainly cluster seizures – a term that’s often used to refer to more than one seizure in a relatively short amount of time.
– Pain: Gabapentin is also given to dogs as a form of pain-relief.
A Note About Gabapentin For Dogs And Seizures
It must be made very clear that while Gabapentin is an anti-epileptic medication that’s given to patients to help them stop experiencing seizures, Gabapentin isn’t given alone to dogs that suffer from seizures.
Instead, Gabapentin is given to dogs that suffer from seizures along with other necessary medication.
Gabapentin Dosage For Dogs
First thing’s first, you should never try to determine a dosage of Gabapentin to give to your dog by yourself, as this will almost always not end well.
If you start administering Gabapentin dosages for your dog on your own, you run the risk of your dog developing tolerance to this medication very fast and will soon find yourself increasing dosages without your dog feeling the same pain relief they used to feel when they first started taking Gabapentin.
Your veterinarian is the most competent person when it comes to determining the exact dosage of Gabapentin your dog needs to take for their specific case, as well as the duration they need to be taking this specific medication for.
It must also be made very clear right from the get-go that once you start giving your dog certain dosages of Gabapentin within the frame of an overall treatment plan for specific pains they’re feeling or their case of seizures, you MUST follow through with the entire plan and not skip any dosages or stop for a while and resume afterwards.
By doing either of the latter two, this can result in your dog’s pain coming back stronger than before, or their case of seizures coming back worse than it was when you first started giving them this medication.
What Do I Do If I Missed A Dosage Of Gabapentin For My Dog?
In the unfortunate case that you do miss a dosage of Gabapentin for your dog and it’s not yet near the time for their next dose, try to give your dog the missed dosage of Gabapentin right away.
However, if you do miss a dosage of Gabapentin for your dog and it’s almost time for their next dose, then skip the missed dosage and wait until its time for their next dose to give them their medication.
The last thing you want to do is give your dog two dosages of Gabapentin in a very short time interval, since this will almost always lead to an overdose.
Different Gabapentin Dosage For Dogs For Different Cases
Since the specific reason you may be giving your dog Gabapentin may differ from the specific reason someone else may be giving their dog Gabapentin, the generally recommended dosages for the most common different cases tend to vary quite a bit.
Gabapentin Dosage For Dogs For Pain Relief
The lowest of dosages generally recommended when administering Gabapentin for dogs is used to relieve pain, since not much of this medication is required to achieve this goal.
The general recommended dosage of Gabapentin for dogs that suffer from pain relief is anywhere from 1.5 mg/lb to 5 mg/lb, given to dogs not more than once every 24 hours.
Again, this is the most general recommendation you will get when looking for the most recommended dosage of Gabapentin for dogs, and it would be much better for you to have your veterinarian determine the exact dosage that your dog needs for their specific case.
Some dogs need to stick to the lower end of this range because of specific pain they’re feeling, while other dogs need to stick to the higher end of this range because of specific pain they’re feeling, so how do you know which side of the spectrum your dog should stick to?
Your veterinarian is the most competent person able to determine that.
Gabapentin Dosage For Dogs For Seizures
The highest of dosages generally recommended when administering Gabapentin for dogs is used to treat seizures, since more of this medication is required to treat such difficult cases.
The general recommended dosage of Gabapentin for dogs that suffer from seizures is 5 mg/lb to 12 mg/lb, given to dogs not more than once every 8 to 12 hours.
The required dosage of Gabapentin that your dog needs for their specific case of seizures may be on the lower end of this spectrum or on the higher end, and this should only be determined by a specialized veterinarian with proper experience in the field and dealing with such cases in the past.
Again, if your dog suffers from seizures (especially frequent seizures), treatment with Gabapentin alone is definitely not the solution.
For such cases, Gabapentin should be given to dogs along with other medication to support it, and these medications are determined by your veterinarian.
How Can I Give My Dog Gabapentin?
First off, the only two forms of Gabapentin for dogs you should be choosing from are tablet and capsule form.
If you come across an oral solution of Gabapentin for dogs, you’re going to want to stay away from it 9 times out of 10, because these solutions almost always contain a substance called Xylitol, which (in short) is deadly to dogs.
Gabapentin Side Effects In Dogs
Supposing that you’ve obtained a legitimate prescription from a legitimate veterinarian in order to give your dog Gabapentin, and that you’re following their directions when it comes to dosages and length of treatment course, the chances of your dog experiencing negative side effects because of this medication are quite slim.
Gabapentin is known to be a very safe medication to give to dogs, and reports of serious side effects are very rare.
However, some exceptions do indeed exist, whereby even when the dog owner follows their veterinarian’s directions to the T, their dog does indeed experience some negative side effects.
The following are the most common documented side effects that could happen in these exceptional cases.
- Lethargy and increased desire to sleep
- Lack of proper body coordination during movement
When Is Gabapentin Bad For Dogs?
There are certain times and cases when Gabapentin can be a very bad drug for your dog and should be kept very far away from them as possible, most common of which are discussed in the list below.
– Dogs allergic to this medication
– Pregnant or nursing dogs
– Kidney disease or kidney problems
– Dogs that have deficiencies in any of the following: Vitamin D, Vitamin B1, Calcium and Folate.
– Dogs that are known to have predisposition to developing pancreatic cancer, or have pancreatic cancer run in their family
You should also be very careful before giving your dog Gabapentin if they’re already being given other medication, since Gabapentin is known to negatively interact with many other drugs out there, some of which you could already be giving your dog as of now – a recipe for disaster.
You should clearly communicate with your veterinarian about any other medication your dog is on before you have them taking Gabapentin.