Educational Articles

Medications

  • Acepromazine is a sedative/tranquilizer used primarily in cats and dogs as a pre-medication for anesthesia or for chemical restraint. It is given by injection in the clinic or by mouth in the form of a tablet. The most common side effect is low blood pressure. Acepromazine should not be used in conjunction with certain toxicities, or in pets with heart disease, low blood pressure. It should be used cautiously in pets with mild liver or heart disease, clotting problems, or in pregnant, debilitated, or young animals. If a negative reaction occurs, call your veterinary office.

  • Acetazolamide is a diuretic used off label and given by mouth to treat glaucoma or alkalosis. The most common side effect is stomach upset, but other side effects of the central nervous system, blood, kidneys, electrolytes, blood sugar levels, liver, or skin are possible. Do not use this medication in pets with liver or kidney disease, or low sodium or potassium blood levels. Use with caution in pets with acidosis, diabetes, pregnancy or lactation. If a negative reaction occurs, please call your veterinary office.

  • Afoxolaner is used to treat and control flea and tick infestations in dogs. Sometimes afoxolaner is used for the treatment of sarcoptic mange or demodectic mange. The tablet should always be given as directed by your veterinarian. The majority of dogs have very few side effects from afoxolaner, provided it is given according to label recommendations and at the prescribed interval. If you suspect an overdose or negative reaction to the medication, call your veterinary office immediately.

  • Albuterol sulfate is a bronchodilator, used off label, to treat asthma and cough related to bronchoconstriction. It is administered as an inhalant in cats and by mouth, as a tablet, in dogs. The most common side effects include nervousness, shaking, fast heartbeat, and dizziness. Use with caution in pets with diabetes, hyperthyroidism, high blood pressure, seizures, heart disease, abnormal heart rhythms, or pregnancy. If a negative reaction occurs, call your veterinary office.

  • Allopurinol (brand names Lopurin®, Zyloprim®) is a drug used to prevent the recurrence of uric acid and calcium oxalate uroliths (stones) in dogs. This medication works by decreasing the production of uric acid in the body. It is also used in the treatment of leishmaniasis in dogs and cats and is usually combined with other drugs. Be sure to tell your veterinarian about any medications (including vitamins, supplements, or herbal therapies) that your pet is taking.

  • Alprazolam is a medication given by mouth as a tablet or liquid used off label in cats and dogs to treat anxiety and phobias. Common side effects include sedation, increased appetite, or uncoordinated walking. This medication should not be used in pets with a paradoxical reaction and should be used with caution in debilitated, geriatric, pregnant, lactating pets, or in pets with liver or kidney disease, or glaucoma. If a negative reaction occurs, please call your veterinary office.

  • Aluminum hydroxide is commonly used off label to treat high phosphate levels in pets with kidney disease. It is given by mouth, with meals, in the form of a liquid gel, powder, or a compounded capsule. The most common side effect is constipation, and therefore should be used in caution with pets with a gastrointestinal obstruction or pets prone to constipation. If a negative reaction occurs, please call your veterinary office.

  • Amantadine is an antiviral medication given by mouth in the form of a tablet, capsule, or liquid, that is mainly used off label for its pain control effects in pets. Common side effects include agitation and gastrointestinal effects. It should not be used in pets that are allergic to it, or that have untreated glaucoma. It should be used with caution in pets with liver, kidney, or heart disease, or in pets with eczema or seizures. If a negative reaction occurs, please call your veterinary office.

  • Aminocaproic acid is a medication that blocks the breakdown of blood clots, and is used to treat postoperative bleeding, especially in sighthounds. It is given by mouth in the form of a tablet or liquid, or it can be given by injection by your veterinarian in the hospital. Side effects are uncommon but can include vomiting, diarrhea, or decreased appetite when they do occur. Do not use this medication in pets that are currently experiencing clotting in the vessels, and use with caution in pets with heart, liver, or kidney disease. If a negative reaction occurs, call your veterinary office.

  • Amitriptyline is a tricyclic antidepressant. Amitriptyline has been prescribed to treat separation anxiety in your dog or to treat excessive grooming, urine spraying or anxiety in cats. In birds, amitriptyline may be used for behavior problems such as feather picking. This medication may also be used to prevent itching in dogs, to treat neuropathic pain or to decrease the signs of urinary tract inflammation in cats.