Can Medication Make Your Dog Sick?
Assess drug side effects with the following five tips.
Shawn Messonnier, D.V.M.
When your dog's veterinarian prescribes medications to help him recover from illness, side effects may be associated with the drugs. For dogs that suffer drug side effects, a natural alternative, such as an herbal remedy, homeopathic medication or natural supplement, may be a better choice. The following tips can help you decide which approach is best for your dog.
- Ask your dog’s veterinarian about potential side effects for all prescribed medications. Don’t rely on your memory; write down the information and keep it with your dog’s medication.
- Testing during the drug development stage reveals some side effects. Other side effects may not occur until after the drug has been used in the general population after approval. Therefore, your veterinarian may not even know all of the potential side effects from the medication.
- Any deviation from your dog’s normal behavior might be related to the prescribed medication. If your dog acts differently when taking a medication, call your doctor's office immediately for advice.
- The only definitive way to know if your dog’s medication is causing a problem is to stop the medication under doctor supervision, allow the dog to recover, then start the medication again and see if the same side effects occur.
- Vomiting and diarrhea are the most common side effects that occur in dogs, regardless of the particular medication.
Here's a good rule to remember: Any medication can potentially cause any side effect in any pet. New side effects are always being discovered, so the fact that a drug is not known to have a certain side effect doesn’t mean it’s not causing a new side effect.
Even though natural remedies can also cause side effects, they are rare when used properly, especially compared with the frequency of side effects seen in conventional medications. Whenever possible, decreasing or eliminating medications, and replacing them with natural therapies is often a better choice.
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