Benadryl for dogs: a good idea?
Posted on May 02 2018
It is not uncommon for a dog to experience an allergic reaction. If you have them, you already know how bad your dog can feel. In our desire to help our four-legged friends, we can decide to turn to Benadryl for help. But should we?
What causes dog allergies?
There is a wide range of things that could cause an allergic reaction in your dog, ranging from pollen and mold to parasites and foodstuffs. Attacks can manifest themselves in many ways, such as sneezing, increased scratching, diarrhea, and hives. If a dog is particularly sensitive to an allergen, the results can be quite unpleasant:
Can Benadryl be used to help my dog get over an allergy?
Benadryl is, in fact, one of the few human over-the-counter medications that can be administered to a dog with the blessing of a veterinarian. If given an adequate dose, a dog's body can tolerate the medication without succumbing to side effects. However, if your dog is sneezing or scratching profusely, do not run to your corner pharmacy and pick up a pack of Benadryl for the time being. It is important that you know some things about when and how to administer the medication to your four-legged friend. It also helps to know a little about the drug itself.
The basics about Benadryl
Benadryl is the name of the over-the-counter brand for an antihistamine also known as diphenhydramine. In scientific jargon, it is an antagonist that blocks your dog's synapse brain from sending commands to create the common symptoms of allergies. In other words, it works by counting your dog's body to stop producing repulsive material. Along the way, Benadryl also blocks the so-called acetylcholine receptors, and its inhibition causes drowsiness and drowsiness. This can act as a benefit to your dog, as it will help you slow down and get the rest you need to hit the allergy of your system. One of the effects exhibits Benadryl in dogs that can not be done in humans is to inhibit vomiting. This is done by blocking impulses that are derived from the section of the brain responsible for digestion and negative digestive functions, such as vomiting. This effect allows Benadryl to an even more attractive option for the prevention of allergies.
Are there times when you refrain from using Benadryl?
The fact that Benadryl has been proven to be an effective weapon in the battle over canine allergies, does not mean that it should be a universal go-to drug for any situation. There are certain times and conditions concerning your dog that can make using the antihistamine a terrible idea. For example, Benadryl has been shown to impede the effectiveness of other medications that your dog may be currently taking to crush other issues. If your dog is on any other type of medication, check with your veterinarian before administering Benadryl to make sure it is safe.
Benadryl can also serve to inadvertently exacerbate certain moderate to severe problems your dog may be suffering from. Some of these problems include glaucoma, cardiovascular disease, lung disease and enlarged prostate. Again, check with your veterinarian if you suspect that Benadryl could accidentally do more harm than good.
What dose should be given by my dog?
The amount of Benadryl should be administered to your dog depends on your body weight. Unfortunately, (or fortunately, if you are a person numbers), this means that you are going to have to do a little math in order to administer the proper dose. The golden rule with the Benadryl administration for dogs is to give them 1 milligram per pound of body weight, 2 to 3 times a day. If you have a 25 pound dog, for example, you will want to give it 25 milligrams per administration session, which is a dosage most pharmacies conveniently have in the form of tablets. If you have a small dog or if you want a more accurate measurement, you may want to consider giving your dog the liquid version of the medication. If you go to the liquid or compressed route, however, you need to make sure you are double-checking the dose before you provide your dog with the med.
Are there any side effects to worry about?
The most important side effect to take Benadryl is drowsiness. However, since this ends up promoting the kind of rest that your dog may be reluctant to participate of its own accord, you may consider this a characteristic rather than an error. As we can relate from our own human experiences, "turn off" can be very effective. The other side effects that have been linked to Benadryl are a loss of appetite or upset stomach, the latter of which could lead to vomiting and / or diarrhea. However, these conditions are considered rare at best. Most likely, they are going to be things that your dog will not have to experience.
When should I escalate treatment to the veterinary stage?
While Benadryl may be an effective treatment for canine allergies, it should be noted that it is only effective for mild to moderate allergies. It should not be considered a worthwhile treatment if your dog is suffering from an acute or severe reaction. Medicine is not going to make your dog any good if your face is swelling or you can not breathe properly.
In the case of an acute allergic reaction, you should take your dog to a veterinarian immediately. If you are more than your regular veterinarian's practice hours, look for the nearest emergency veterinary clinic. Do not assume that you will be able to hang on it until the next morning - that you may not be able to do so.
In these situations, your veterinarian will obviously be able to provide an immediate high-resistance allergy treatment for your dog. At the same time, he or she may be able to detect the underlying cause of the severe rupture, and may respond by prescribing a combination of medications and / or treatments to combat the root problem.
So Both leave this
A sick dog can often create a nervous owner. However, if your dog is simply suffering from a mild allergic reaction, providing the correct dose of Benadryl will clear your problems relatively quickly. Most likely, it will do a lot to calm nerves, too.
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