Which Imodium Dosage is Good for Dogs?

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If you have been on the receiving end of a doggie diarrhea attack late at night, you have probably contemplated medication from your human medicine cabinet to get it to stop. One drug that many people turn to is Imodium, otherwise known as loperamide.

Imodium is a fast-acting medication that stops diarrhea in its tracks, making it an effective treatment for a case of the runs in your canine companion. However, while the dosage directions for human Imodium consumption are indicated on the packaging, how much should you give your dog? For more information check Live Paw’s “Can I give my dog Imodium after diarrhea?” article. 

Causes of canine diarrhea

Like humans, many factors can cause your doggie to have an upset tummy, accompanied by runny stool. It is distressing for your pet and for whoever has to clean up afterward, which is likely to be you. That is why dog owners are quick to want to treat canine diarrhea. However, this is not necessarily the best approach. If this is happening in your car, we recommend looking into a dog cargo liner for vehicle protection. Another way to keep your car clean from the mess your dog can make in the car, like loose pet hair are to check out the dog hair remover products at www.PetLovers.com.

Sometimes, diarrhea is a dog’s body’s response to eating something it should not have. For example, pinching a whole pizza off the counter, rooting through your garbage, or scoffing up some cat poop from the litterbox can lead to diarrhea. This case of the runs is usually temporary, and it is best to let whatever your canine ate get out of their system.

In other instances, diarrhea results from a parasite in the gut or bacterial infection. When you treat diarrhea, you are not addressing its cause. Parasites and infections require medicinal intervention. And a trip to the vet might be necessary. By suppressing your dog’s runny tummy, you are allowing the cause of it to continue unabated.

What is Imodium?

Loperamide is a synthetic opioid that most people keep in their medicine cabinets for diarrhea. It is effective and puts an end to diarrhea quickly. Opioids were not created without stopping a runny tummy in mind. Instead, it was an unintended consequence, as opioids are usually utilized for pain relief, with morphine and oxycodone being prime examples.

Imodium does not work like opioids. It is not known for its pain-relieving properties, and it is improbable that someone addicted to opioids would select Imodium as their drug of choice.

Loperamide slows down food movement through the gut, allowing it to form more solid stools before ejection. It comes in capsule and liquid form and is readily available over the counter at any pharmacy.

Determining your dog’s Imodium dose

You should always consult your vet before administering Imodium to your dog to ensure that it is the best course of action. Based on some questions about the appearance of your dog’s excrement and how frequently their tummy is working, a vet will tell you if Imodium, a consultation, or an alternative treatment is necessary. Your vet also knows the dog’s medical history, which plays a role in determining if Imodium is a good idea or not.

As a rule, the standard dose of Imodium capsules is a 2 mg capsule two to three times a day for a 50-pound dog. The owner of a 25-pound dog will therefore administer half the capsule, equating to 1 mg.

For a more precise calculation, an Imodium liquid is easier to work with. Use 0.1 mg per 2.2 pounds (2 kg) of body weight. Always have your dog weighed when you visit the vet. Trying to determine how much a dog weighs on a bathroom scale during a diarrhea episode might not be the most effective approach. If you have a general idea of the dog’s weight, you can quickly administer the Imodium dose.

Avoid administering Imodium to dogs from herding breeds, puppies, senior doggies, pregnant and nursing females, and dogs with any other medical conditions that require chronic medication. Use loperamide with extreme caution in small dogs that weigh less than 20 pounds.


Side effects of Imodium

The side effects of loperamide in canines are much the same as they are in humans. While it is unlikely that your dog will experience any of them, it is best to know what they are in case it happens.

The most common side effects are flatulence and bloating lethargy and central nervous system depression. The latter is characterized by decreased heart and breathing rates, which could lead to unconsciousness and coma.

Most dog owners see these Imodium side effects after giving their doggie too much loperamide. This happens when diarrhea continues after the initial dose, and an owner administers additional Imodium. This most often leads to constipation, leaving you with another digestive issue to deal with.

Constipation can lead to hemorrhoids or anal fissures, both of which are painful. In extreme cases, it might result in fecal impaction, which should be treated by a vet immediately.


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