May 29, 2023

Is Gabapentin in dogs as safe and flexible as it is in people? What are the side effects of gabapentin in dogs and is there anything else you need to know about?

Today i’m talking all about the safety and flexibility of gabapentin to treat pain so next up we have a question from paint philly and they asked is gabapentin as safe and flexible in dogs as it is in people because i understand that people can safely take higher dosages so and we’ll start off with just what gabapentin is it’s an antiepileptic drug that also has pain

Killing properties and really it’s used to treat chronic pain so long standing pain and especially the pain that’s resulting from nerve stimulation which is something that we call neuropathic pain it really treats a hyper sensitivity to that pain so what happens with neuropathic pain is that the nerves they just become inked they have an increased sensitivity to

Pain so things that might have only been slightly painful become very painful and that’s that’s called hypersensitivity but with a neuro pathak pain we also get something called allodynia and that is when non painful things are previously non painful things start to feel painful so i kind of liken it to the fact that if the body is feeling pain from one particular

Area all the time it really just over interprets any signal coming from the area so something that wasn’t painful becomes painful and something that was only kind of mildly uncomfortable becomes incredibly painful now gabapentin it’s not so effective when it’s used by itself and it’s much better when used alongside other pain killers and typically with other pain

Killers we’re talking about the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or nsaids and i’ve got a whole load of information about nsaids on the our pets ofcom website so if you’re interested in those and the safety of those then definitely check that out on the website so gabapentin and can also be used for a different reasons and the other big reason is being used to

Reduce anxiety and reduce fear in specific stressful situations so the classic ones for those would be vet visits and fireworks going to the groomers and yeah we want to be using it if we’re using it for that we want to be using it very intermittently and just using it for those particular events because it tends to lose the anti-anxiety effect if it is if penton

Is given on a regular or long-term basis so moving then on to the safety of gabapentin say is a very safe drug we whip but as with everything there are there is the risk of side effects and typically the the most common one that we’ll see will be a little bit of sedation and wobbliness will occasionally get vomiting but either way these side effects are generally

Very mild and they’re generally very short-lived so it’s not something that we typically have many problems with the big cause for concern or the big thing to be aware of more accurately would be that some human preparations of gabapentin contain the sweetener xylitol and xylitol is highly toxic it can cause death with a very small amount so although the amount of

Xylitol present in the human preparations isn’t very high it’s definitely something to avoid because we don’t want to be risking um yeah kind of severe kidney failure kind of liver sorry severe liver damage or death ultimately with with giving our pets islets whole so that’s something to think about there and then as for the dose range well you know gabapentin it

Does actually have a really wide dose range some of its broken down by the liver i mean is then removed from the body kind of exclusively by the kidneys it’s actually eliminated faster in our dogs than it is in humans so that’s something to think about as well and then the other thing to think about is that we can actually get withdrawal symptoms from gabapentin

If we’re giving high doses and long term treatment and so it’s going to be best if we’re then stopping the gabapentin treatment to wean them off so also given how it’s metabolized you know theoretical care should be taken if pet is in severe liver or kidney failure but you know is this a real word real-world concern i’m not so sure i think generally it’s very very

Safe and then as for overdosing well they tolerate overdosing very well and we’re just going to get an increased likelihood of side-effects which kind of i’ve already tall ready spoken about so yes by and large gabapentin it’s incredibly safe dogs can tolerate kind of higher doses we don’t want to get carried away and it’s not gonna the the more we give isn’t going

To increase necessarily as pain killing effects after a and dough straight so we want to keep within the normal dose range and that will obviously be up to your vet to decide but if they you know get a little bit extra it’s probably not the end of the world and it’s going to be very well tolerated and finally yet gabapentin it can be a very effective addition to

Pain management strategy but it’s certainly not the be-all and end-all and we don’t want to be relying on gabapentin as the only form of pain relief for a dog or a cat who is otherwise painful you’ve been watching the dr. alex answers video podcast remember to subscribe and head over to dr. alex for any link downloads and get your question answered

Transcribed from video
Gabapentin in Dogs – Safety and Side Effects – Dog Health Vet Advice By Our Pets Health