Gabapentin for Dogs: How it Works, Dosage, and Side Effects

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By: Fabiana Piñeda Updated: June 22, 2020

gabapentin for dogsDoes your dog get nerve pain? Seizures? Have you heard about Gabapentin for dogs?

These days, dogs and cats are true members of the family, in every sense of the word. Just like humans, dogs and cats can experience health problems including pain and seizures over their lifetime.

It’s natural for their loving owners to want to ease this discomfort, and care for their pets with the best possible treatment available.

With advances in veterinary science and treatment, it is possible to ensure that your pet lives a happier, healthier life!

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What Is Gabapentin For Dogs?

Gabapentin is a medication already in use for humans, which has been recently discovered to be an effective veterinary medicine.

Gabapentin drug molecule used in treating neuropathic pain for dogs

Gabapentin for dogs targets the nervous system of the animal, which can help with neuropathic pain and seizures suffered by dogs, especially those with epilepsy, chronic pain or in the later years of their lives.

Pharmacology 101: How Does Gabapentin For Dogs Work?

So how does Gabapentin for dogs actually work? Well, as with many drugs used in medicine today, vets understand generally how Gabapentin works, however, there is still research being undertaken to work out the specific mechanisms of its amazing effects.

Pain is a complex process in the body, and over time vets have changed their approach to its management in their furry patients greatly.

Vets now prefer to treat animals using their professional judgment, based on the situation (for example, post-surgical pain), rather than any outward signs of pain that the animal may be exhibiting.

Gabapentin is a unique drug in that it does not directly impact on pain but rather is believed to act as a type of nervous system ‘dampener’.

By affecting the voltage-gated calcium channels in the brain, Gabapentin effectively reduces calcium currents in the central nervous system.

This means that connections in the brain responsible for pain, seizures and even anxiety are temporarily blocked, leading to a decrease in these symptoms.

As a neuropathic drug, Gabapentin itself does not actually block pain signals from reaching the brain. However, its ability to ‘quiet’ the nervous system means that it can amplify the effects of other pain medications used to treat chronic pain in combination with them.

From Nerve Pain Relief To Dog Seizures: What Is Gabapentin Used For In Dogs

Gabapentin for dogs has been discovered to have a wide range of important uses in canines.

One of the key uses of Gabapentin in dogs is to help alleviate chronic pain conditions, such as arthritis pain.

When used in conjunction with opioid pain relievers or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, Gabapentin has been shown to increase the efficacy of these, resulting in more effective pain relief for your dog.

It is also an important drug for post-surgery recovery in dogs, ensuring the animal’s pain is as minimal as possible while they heal from an operation or procedure.

If you have a dog that has epilepsy, then you may already know of Gabapentin. Gabapentin is particularly effective in preventing seizures in dogs due to epilepsy, which is a wonderful relief for owners with a pet that suffers from this worrying condition.

Gabapentin for dogs is also emerging as an excellent solution for use in the anxiety of dogs, due to it having a calming effect on the nervous system.

Another excellent function of Gabapentin for our furry friends is as a safe sedative in stressful situations, such as prior to surgery or a vet visit.

Dog seizures can be scary! Make sure you read Dog Seizures: Symptoms, Types, and Treatment for Seizures In Dogs! For more information.

5 Facts You Need To Know About This Medication For Nerve Pain And Epilepsy In Dogs

  1. Gabapentin for humans is the same drug as Gabapentin for dogs, however, if you already have Gabapentin at home it is important not to use this for your dog. The human dosage is completely different and could be dangerous for your pet.
  2. When a pet is experiencing pain, they may not necessarily show any obvious signs of this. In fact, general malaise can be a key indicator of pain.
  3. It is important to never stop giving your dog Gabapentin suddenly, as this can cause acute seizures and pain. Always wean your dog off the drug slowly with the assistance of your vet.
  4. Gabapentin is excreted via the kidneys, so is off limits for pets with renal problems.
  5. A seizure is actually the physical manifestation of abnormal brain electrical activity.

Gabapentin For Anxiety: Does Gabapentin Help With Canine Anxiety?

While studies are still in progress, Gabapentin has shown huge promise in the treatment of canine anxiety. Due to its effect of calming the nervous system, Gabapentin can help to soothe general anxiety and situational anxiety, such as attending the vet or pre-surgery.

Another great alternative for dog anxiety is CBD oil. Honest Paws offers CBD oil for dogs as well as CBD dog treats for pups who suffer from stress, anxiety or pain. Pet owners are turning to this all natural option because by doing so, their pets are avoiding conventional medications that are chemically-based and could potentially have side effects.

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Seizures In Dogs: Pregabalin Vs Gabapentin What Works Best!

Another drug commonly used for seizures is known as Pregabalin. While both work with similar effectiveness, they have different side effects which should be discussed with your vet to work out what is right for your furry pal.

What Can I Give My Dog For Pain: Gabapentin Dosage For Dogs

It is important your vet individually calculates and advises you on the ideal dosage for pain relief for your pet, but the information below can be used as a general guide.

For the treatment of seizures in dogs, Gabapentin dosage starts at 5 to 10 mg per pound (10 to 20 mg/kg) every 6, 8, or 12 hours. For the treatment of pain control in dogs, Gabapentin doses range from 1.5 to 5 mg per pound (3 to 10 mg/kg) every 24 hours.

Your vet will take other factors into account too when calculating their doses, such as the breed of dog and their reaction to the medication. The short half-life of Gabapentin means that it only stays within a dog’s system for around 2-3 hours.

Gabapentin is available to purchase in different dosage concentrations.

Gabapentin 100mg For Dogs

This concentration is suitable for smaller breeds with epilepsy, or dogs with pain issues.

Gabapentin 300mg For Dogs

This concentration is suitable for medium to large breeds with epilepsy or very large dogs with pain issues.

Gabapentin Dose For Dogs: Dealing With Dog Pain Relief

If your dog is dealing with chronic pain, it is certainly worth looking into Gabapentin as a form of pain relief.

It is important to remember that your vet is an expert in working out dosages for your pet, and if using Gabapentin as a pain reliever, it’s wise to stick to the amount set out by them so as to avoid unwanted side effects.

Not sure if Gabapentin is for your dog? Learn more about Tramadol For Dogs and how it can help with your canines pain.

Can This Neuropathy Medication Cause Adverse Reactions? Gabapentin For Dogs Side Effects

Close-up of a face of a sick dog showing side effects of gabapentin

Gabapentin has lots of wonderful applications, but it does come with some minor side effects that owners should be aware of. The possible side effects of Gabapentin can include:

  • Lethargy or sedation
  • Wobbliness
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Depression
  • Bulging eyes
  • Loss of coordination

If you notice any of these occurring in your pet, speak to your vet to ensure that they adjust your dog’s medication to alleviate them.

Gabapentin For Dogs: Overdose!

Administering a medication as a pet owner can be an intimidating experience, especially if it’s your first time. To ensure your pet stays happy and healthy it is extremely important to follow your veterinarian’s instructions and any directions that come with the medication.

While an overdose using Gabapentin for dogs is rare it is important to be informed of how to handle the situation in the very unlikely event that it arises. It is important to remember that an overdose of Gabapentin is rarely fatal, and can be managed safely by your vet.

If your dog begins to show the sudden onset of any of these symptoms and have not shown them before, they may be experiencing an overdose:

  • Lethargy or sedation
  • Wobbliness
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Depression
  • Bulging eyes
  • Loss of coordination
  • Oversleeping

If you believe your dog has overdosed on Gabapentin, do not cease their regular dosage of the drug, as this can have harmful side effects. Instead, take your dog to your local vet to be checked out and treated, if required.

Gabapentin For Dogs: Can My Pooch Experience Withdrawal?

Like any drug, there is a chance that if taken off this medication too suddenly, your dog may experience serious medical issues from withdrawal.

Under no circumstances should you suddenly stop your dog’s dose of Gabapentin, as this can cause serious health problems for your pet! If you want to discontinue using Gabapentin, seek your vet’s assistance to slowly wean your pooch off the medication.

Aspirin For Dogs? Here Are Other Medications For Pain Relief For Dogs!

Surprisingly, a number of well-known human medications come in versions that are also used to help our furry friends.

Aspirin is used in dogs to treat pain, and antihistamines such as Claritin help out our animals friends when they have allergic reactions. It really makes you remember – humans and animals are alike in so many ways!

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Stop Those Dog Seizures And Nerve Pain! Gabapentin For Dogs Will Help Your Pooch Live A Better Life!

Seizures and pain in dogs can be heartbreaking to experience, but by taking advantage of the new knowledge available in the world of veterinary science, it is possible to help your beloved best friend gain a new lease on life.

Whether it is to treat pain, epilepsy or anxiety, Gabapentin is a medication that can improve the quality of your dog’s life exponentially.

Your pooch and you deserve a happy healthy life together, so don’t hesitate to talk to your vet about improving your dog’s wellbeing!

Common Questions On Gabapentin For Dogs

What kind of drug is gabapentin?

What pain meds can you give a dog?

What are the most common side effects of gabapentin?


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