Cetirizine (brand name Zyrtec®, Reactine®) is an antihistamine used to treat pruritus (itching) associated with atopic dermatitis, urticaria (hives), and insect-bite reactions in cats and dogs. Its use is in cats and dogs is ‘off label’ or ‘extra label’. Many drugs are commonly prescribed for off label use in veterinary medicine. In these instances, follow your veterinarian’s directions and cautions very carefully.
Uses/benefits of Cetirizine For Dogs
In case you aren’t familiar with Zyrtec, it’s an allergy medication that can be purchased at your local drug store. It’s used to treat symptoms like watery or itchy eyes, runny noses, sneezing, hives, and itching. Its main competitor is Benadryl, another well-known allergy medication. Unlike Benadryl, drowsiness with Zyrtec is often very rare. The active ingredient in Zyrtec is cetirizine. Cetirizine is an antihistamine commonly used to treat itchy skin in dogs. It’s a popular prescription for canines because most dogs tolerate the medication very well, and it doesn’t have the effect of leaving your pet sedated and lethargic.
With the other allergy-fighting ingredients in Zyrtec and the fact that it can be purchased over the counter, vets often prescribe it as an affordable and effective method for combating your pet’s allergies While Zyrtec is generally safe for dogs, there are some precautions that you should keep in mind before administering it to your animal.
- Cetirizine is an antihistamine medication used to help treat and prevent allergic problems in dogs and cats.
- Antihistamines work by blocking histamine, a substance produced in the body during an allergic reaction or sensitivity.
- Cetirizine helps relieve itching skin, runny nose, watery eyes, and other symptoms of allergies.
- Cetirizine is the generic name for the brand name Zyrtec.
Features of Cetirizine For Dogs
Cetirizine is give by mouth in the form of a tablet, or as an oral syrup. It may be given with or without food. If your pet acts sick or vomits after receiving the medication, try giving it with a small amount of food.
This medication will take effect quickly, in about 1 to 2 hours, and improvement of your pet’s signs should follow.
- If your pet is receiving cetirizine twice a day and you miss a dose, give the next dose when it is time to do so.
- If you are giving the medication once a day, give it when you remember and continue giving the medication at the regular time.
Never give your pet two doses at once or give extra doses.
Dosage Of Zyrtec For Dogs
The following is a guideline for typical use of the drug in dogs and must not replace your veterinarian’s advice for your individual pet. Veterinarians often prescribe Zyrtec for dogs in a dosage of 0.5 mg per pound of body weight. Your veterinarian will be able to advise you on the correct amount of for your dog, along with the number of times a day you should administer the medication. It’s important that your dog completes the full course of medication recommended by your vet and that you adhere to the dosage amount instructed.
Precautions Before Giving Your Pet Zyrtec
Never give your dog Zyrtec-D. The “D” stands for pseudoephedrine, which is used to deal with congestion in humans. However, it can have lethal consequences if given to a dog. It overstimulates their central nervous system and heart, causing canine seizures, heart failure, and potentially death. If your dog struggles with kidney or liver problems, giving them Zyrtec could make the problem worse. This is because Zyrtec can cause urine retention in animals. This isn’t too serious of an issue if your dog is healthy beforehand, but it could exacerbate preexisting issues in your pet.
Also, if your dog is nursing, giving her Zyrtec could be very dangerous for the nursing puppies. The ingredients in the allergy prescription can be transferred to the puppies through your dog’s milk. Their bodies are too weak for a strong medication like Zyrtec, and it could lead to serious issues. The same goes for pregnant dogs. It’s also possible that your dog may be allergic to antihistamines. If you give your dog Zyrtec and see a worsening of symptoms or lack of improvement, then they could be having an allergic reaction to the medication.
Prices of Cetirizine For Dogs
$9.19 – $39.99