Let’s know about Imodium for dogs. Medicines are sometimes used in dogs in dogs but as with any medication, it is wise for dog owners to understand exactly what they are giving their dog. Knowing how Imodium works and what are the potential side effects can help prevent any surprise after-effects.
What is Imodium?
Imodium is a brand name for a medicine called loperamide hydrochloride. Loperamide is a type of medicine called a synthetic opioid but unlike other opioids, it does not help with pain relief, so it is not a concern for addiction. Opioids, including loperamide, often have the side effect of constipation, so this drug is commonly used to help with runny stools and diarrhea in dogs as well as people.
Mode of action of Imodium
Imodium works by decreasing the speed of intestinal motility and by decreasing the water and electrolyte absorption in the intestines of a dog. This mode of action is actually a side effect of the drug but it is the only reason it can be recommended to use. For this reason, it is considered an antidiarrheal. Within the intestinal tract, receptors in cells and Imodium bind to the opiate receptor. Imodium also increases anal sphincter tone with neurotransmitters called acetylcholine and prostaglandins. All of these things help to slow down the speed at which things move through the intestines to force the dog’s stool.
Disease Imodium Can Cure
Imodium may be recommended for the treatment of loose stools, diarrhea, and gastrointestinal hypermotility. There is not a specific disease that Imodium is used to treat instead it helps in resolving the symptoms of normal stools which are seen in many diseases and temporary gastrointestinal upset. Some of the issues and diseases that can cause by using Imodium in your dog include IBD, anorexia nervosa, and other problems affecting stool character. If loose stools, watery stools, or diarrhea are observed in your dog, your veterinarian may recommend a short course of Imodium to help firm up the stool but this is not a long-term medication…
Side Effects of Imodium Use
Use of Imodium in dogs will commonly result in bloat, constipation, and sedation if side effects are being observed.
- Bloat: This potentially fatal condition occurs when a dog’s stomach fills up with air and circulation. An enlarged stomach may also dilate and result in gastric dilatation volvulus (GDV).
- Constipation: For a dog with diarrhea, clearing constipation may seem like a relief to the owner but constipation is not healthy or comfortable.
- Anesthetizing: Imodium may not provide any pain relief, but can sometimes make a dog swoon. Lethargy, sleepiness, and slow reactions are signs of this side effect.
Less commonly seen but more related, paralytic ileus, toxic megacolon, pancreatitis, and central nervous system issues can also be side effects of Imodium use.
- Paralytic ileus: Ileus occurs when normal peristalsis or motility in the intestines stops. Paralytic ileus occurs when one of the muscles in the intestinal tract becomes paralyzed, resulting in a blockage in the intestines because food cannot pass through.
- Toxic Megacolon: Megacolon occurs when the colon enlarges. Toxic megacolon occurs when the colon suddenly enlarges in a severe way and may end up rupturing.
- Pancreatitis: Inflammation of the pancreas may occur after Loperamide use. This can be a serious and painful condition in a dog.
- CNS Issues: The central nervous system (CNS) plays an important role in everyday bodily functions. Various CNS effects can occur with this system following Imodium use, including confusion, agitation, and even seizures.
Considerations Before Using Imodium in Dogs
You should always consult your veterinarian before administering any medication to your dog. If it has already been recommended for your dog, you should be aware of the above side effects along with potential drug interactions and overdosage toxicity concerns. Imodium should not be administered if your dog has ingested a toxin and it has not yet been eliminated from its body or if your dog has a hypersensitivity to opioid medications. It should also not be used in dogs that are taking Amarone, carvedilol, erythromycin, ketoconazole, itraconazole, quinidine, tamoxifen, or verapamil because drug interactions may occur.
Collies and related breeds can be highly sensitive to Imodium so special caution should be taken when using it in those breeds.