What is ACP? ACP is a drug called Acepromazine Maleate which is a phenothiazine drug. It is made by a drug company called Novartis.
How does ACP work? ACP and other phenothiazines have a depressant effect on the central nervous system. This causes tranquillisation or sedation and a reduction in anxiety.
When is ACP used? ACP is used commonly as a pre medicant before anaesthesia as it means the doses of the other anaesthetic drugs can be reduced. It is also used as a sedative in situations such as dogs that are anxious of vets or travelling and also in horses to sedate for dentistry or shoeing. It can be an unreliable sedative when used alone so is often combined with other drugs.
How is ACP given? ACP can be given orally in tablet form but this is usually a one off situation and long term use is not advised. ACP can also be given as an injection under the skin, into the muscle or into a vein.
Does ACP have any side effects? ACP lowers blood pressure so shouldn’t be used in animals where this is a pre-existing condition. In some breeds, such as Boxers, syncope or fainting can occur so it should be used in lower doses in these breeds.
Storage and Handling: ACP should be stored out of direct light and under 25oC. It should be kept out of the reach of children.
What is Advantage? Advantage is a spot on solution for dogs cats and rabbits containing the active ingredient imidacloprid, an ectoparasiticide. Ectoparasiticides are drugs that kill parasites. Advantage is made by Bayer.
How does Advantage work? Once applied to the skin, the Advantage is distributed throughout the skin where it is then ingested by the parasites. When the parasites ingest the drug by biting your pet, the imidacloprid acts on the central nervous system of the parasite, causing paralysis and death.
When is Advantage used? Advantage is used to treat infestations of fleas on dogs, cats and rabbits and can also be used long term for prevention of flea infestations. Advantage can also be used to treat infestations of biting lice in dogs. Advantage should be applied every 4 weeks.
How is Advantage given? Advantage is a spot on formulation so the liquid from the pipette is applied to the skin on the back of the neck. The skin is exposed by parting the hair or fur.
Does Advantage have any side effects? Very occasionally, irritation and alopecia (hair loss) can occur at the site of administration. Excessive drooling can occur if the product is ingested. It shouldn’t be used in puppies or kittens under 8 weeks of age or rabbits under 10 weeks of age.
Storage and Handling: Advantage should be stored in a cool, dry place, away from food and drink. Wash hands thoroughly after use.
What is Advantix? Advantix is a product made by Bayer to treat and prevent infestations of parasites. The active ingredients are imidacloprid and permethrin
How does Advantix work? Once applied to the skin, Advantix is distributed all over the animal in the skin where it is ingested by the parasites. The imidacloprid blocks nerve transmission in the parasites causing paralysis and death when the parasite ingests the product in the animal's skin. The permethrin opens channels in the nerves which make the imidacloprid more effective.
When is Advantix used? Advantix is used to treat and prevent infestations of fleas in dogs. Advantix is also repellent to ticks but may not kill ticks already attached to the body. A repellent effect is also seen against sand flies, mosquitoes and stable flies for between 2-4 weeks depending on the species.
How is Advantix given? Advantix is applied to the skin on the back of the neck and must be applied in an area that the animal cannot turn around and lick off. It should not be applied to broken skin. All dogs in the household should be treated.
Does Advantix have any side effects? Advantix should NOT be given to cats as it can be extremely toxic due to the fact that cats cannot metabolise the permethrin. It should not be used on puppies less than 7 weeks old. Occasionally itching (pruritus) and reddening of the skin (erythema) can be seen at the site of application but other potential side effects such as agitation, restlessness, vomiting or diarrhoea are rare. Advantix can cause lethargy and tremors if accidentally ingested by your dog and you should seek veterinary attention in this case.
Storage and Handling: Store below 30oC and discard all pipettes after 18 months. Do not let Advantix enter water courses as permethrin can be dangerous to aquatic life. Do not eat, drink or smoke around the product and wash hands after use.
What is Advocate? Advocate is a spot on product made by Bayer used to treat and prevent infestations of parasites such as fleas, lice, mites and some worms. It contains the active ingredients 10% imidacloprid and 1% moxidectin.
How does Advocate work? After application on the skin, the imidacloprid is absorbed and distributed throughout the skin where it is ingested by the surface parasites (ectoparasites) causing paralysis and death. The moxidectin is absorbed into the blood and therefore distributed around the body where it can target internal parasites such as gastrointestinal worms. The moxidectin also causes paralysis by interfering with normal nerve transmission.
When is Advocate used? Advocate is used to treat fleas, lice and mites and worms in dogs. The mites include ear mites (otodectes) and demodex. It is also used in the prevention of heartworm in dogs. Advocate can also be used on cats to treat fleas, ear mites and gastrointestinal worms as well as for prevention of heartworm. Fleas and heartworm in ferrets can both be prevented by use of Advocate.
How is Advocate given? Advocate is applied to the skin on the back of the neck every 4 weeks for flea treatment. It can be given every 2 weeks to ferrets with a heavy infestation. This regime will also be effective for treatment of mites, lice and worms. Advocate should only be applied to undamaged skin.
Does Advocate have any side effects? Advocate shouldn’t be used in puppies under 7 weeks old or kittens under 9 weeks old. It is not ideal to use in dogs or cats less than 1kg or ferrets under 0.8kg. Occasionally signs such as itching or greasy fur at the site of application may occur, sometimes accompanied by vomiting but this is usually transient. Salivation may occur if ingested. Advocate should be used with care; Collies and related breeds and ingestion of the product should definitely be prevented as they can be sensitive to the moxidectin.
Storage and Handling: Store under 30oC and do not eat, drink or smoke around the product. Avoid contact with eyes, skin or mouth and wash hands after use. Do not let Advocate enter a water course as moxidectin is toxic to aquatic animals.
What is Aludex? Aludex is a solution for dilution made by Intervet that is used to treat mange in dogs. It contains the active ingredient Amitraz which is a 5% solution in Aludex which must be diluted before use.
How does Aludex work? The amitraz causes disturbances in the normal nerve conduction in the mites causing them to be killed.
When is Aludex used? Aludex is used in cases of mange in dogs caused by either Demodex mites or Sarcoptes mites. This will have been diagnosed by your vet before starting treatment.
How is Aludex given? Aludex is applied as a bath. The solution is diluted x100 to treat Demodex and x200 to treat sarcoptic mange. The diluted solution is worked into the coat and onto the skin of the affected animal and then left to dry, not rinsed off. This is done at weekly intervals until the mites cannot be found in the skin any longer. Baths should be given outside or in well ventilated areas.
Does Aludex have any side effects? Aludex should not be used in Chihuahuas, pregnant or lactating animals, puppies under 3 months old or cats. It can result in sedation and lethargy in some dogs. If this persists or is severe then contact your vet.
Storage and Handling: Do not smoke around product as it is flammable. Store under 25oC. Do not store the diluted solution, discard after use. Do not pollute watercourses as amitraz is toxic to aquatic life. Shake well before use. When giving the baths, wear waterproof gloves and a mask and wash these after use. Avoid contact with eyes, skin or mouth. If you feel unwell after using the product, seek medical advice.
What is Amoxycare? Amoxycare is a broad spectrum antibiotic in the penicillin class. The active ingredient is amoxicillin and it is made my Animalcare.
How does Amoxycare work? The amoxicillin prevents bacteria being able to make new cell walls, weakening their structure and killing them. This is a mechanism of action common to other penicillin’s.
When is Amoxycare used? Amoxycare is used to fight infections in dogs and cats. It is active against a wide variety of infections including those in the gastrointestinal tract, respiratory tract, urinary tract, genitals, eyes and ears as well as skin and wound infections.
How is Amoxycare given? Amoxycare is given orally in tablet form. They can be placed directly into the animal's mouth or can be crushed and added to food. It is also available as an injection which can be given under the skin or into the muscle.
Does Amoxycare have any side effects? Amoxycare should not be given to animals with a known sensitivity to penicillin as it can cause an allergic reaction. Occasionally nausea, diarrhoea and skin rashes can be seen.
Storage and Handling: Do not handle Amoxycare if you are sensitive to penicillin based antibiotics. Wear gloves when handling Amoxycare to avoid sensitisation.
What is Ampicare? Ampicare contains the penicillin based antibiotic ampicillin. It is produced by Animalcare.
How does Ampicare work? The ampicillin blocks the synthesis of bacterial cells walls, weakening the bacteria interfering with multiplication, resulting in the death of the bacteria.
When is Ampicare used? Ampicare can be used to treat infections in the gastrointestinal tract, respiratory tract and urogenital tract. Ideally antibiotic should be used after the exact bacteria have been identified and shown to be susceptible to that antibiotic but that is not always possible.
How is Ampicare given? Ampicare is given orally as capsules and should be given on an empty stomach.
Does Ampicare have any side effects? As with any penicillin, Ampicare should not be given to an animal that is sensitive to penicillin. Nausea and diarrhoea can sometimes be seen after administration.
Storage and Handling: Care should be taken to avoid sensitisation to penicillin so wear gloves when handling. Ampicare should not be handled by people with a known allergy to penicillin. Store under 25oC in a dry place.
What is Antirobe? Antirobe is an antibiotic of the lincosamide class made by Pfizer. The active drug is clindamycin.
How does Antirobe work? The clindamycin interferes with the ability of the bacteria to produce proteins which are essential for life.
When is Antirobe used? Antirobe is used in both dogs and cats primarily for abscesses, infections in the mouth and antibiotic cover for dental procedures. It can also be used to treat infections in the bone (osteomyelitis). In dogs Antirobe can be used to treat skin infections.
How is Antirobe given? Antirobe is given orally in a capsule. The capsule can be given whole or opened and sprinkled onto food. Antirobe can be given at double the normal dose for severe infections.
Does Antirobe have any side effects? Antirobe should not be given to small mammals such as rabbits and guinea pigs as it can predispose to severe infections in the gut. Vomiting and diarrhoea have been seen after administration. If this happens, discontinue treatment and contact your vet.
Storage and Handling: Store under 25oC. Wash hands after handling and return any unused capsules to your vet for disposal.
What is Atopica? Atopica is a product made by Novartis Animal Health which contains the drug cyclosporine. Cyclosporin is a drug that modifies the immune system.
How does Atopica work? The cyclosporine in Atopica suppresses the immune system which reduces the skin's reaction to agents that would otherwise cause an allergic reaction. Atopica does this locally within the skin as opposed to other agents such as steroids that suppress the immune system as a whole and therefore this reduces undesirable side effects.
When is Atopica used? Atopica is used in cases of chronic cases of allergic skin disease in dogs, known as atopic dermatitis. Atopica will only be prescribed by your vet after some investigations have been done to rule out other causes of skin disease.
How is Atopica given? Atopica is given orally in soft capsules and should be administered 2 hours before or after food ie. on an empty stomach. Atopica is initially given daily and when clinical signs are under control, frequency of dosing may be reduced.
Does Atopica have any side effects? The most common side effect seen with Atopica is vomiting and diarrhoea. These are usually transient and do not require you to stop giving the Atopica to your dog. Rarely you may notice overgrowth of the gums, changes in the coat and weakness. If this happens, contact your vet. Atopica may interfere with the efficacy of vaccines.
Storage and Handling: Store below 25oC and keep the capsules in the foil blister packs until required.
Epiphen is an anti-seizure medication used to control epilepsy. Phenobarbitone is the active ingredient in Epiphen which is from the class of drugs known as barbiturates. Epiphen is manufactured by Vetoquinol UK Ltd and comes in two sizes of tablets; 30mg and 60mg in pots of 1000 tablets. For accurate dosing of small animals, Epiphen is also available as a solution. Epiphen is given by mouth and the daily dose is usually split and given twice daily.
What is Epiphen used for?
Epiphen is used to control seizures owing to epilepsy. There are many other causes of seizures and in these cases Epiphen is not so effective and so it is better to find and treat the underlying cause. Epiphen contains the active ingredient phenobarbitone which is a barbiturate and this acts as an anticonvulsant by making the brain less excitable and so it is therefore less likely to seizure. Epiphen will control seizures but it will not cure the problem completely. Epiphen can be combined with other anti-epileptic medication in severe cases of Epilepsy. Treatment with Epiphen to control seizures is usually ongoing for the lifetime of the pet.
· Epiphen should be used exactly as prescribed by your vet
· Epiphen can take two weeks to reach therapeutic levels in the system
· Epiphen is given by mouth and can be given with food
· You should keep a record of your pet’s seizure activity to help with ongoing monitoring
· If you suspect any side effects from Epilepsy then you should contact your vet for advice
· If you think your pet has had an overdose of Epiphen, you should call your vet immediately
· Epiphen tablets should not be divided
· Store tablets below 25oC and out of reach of children
· Epiphen is normally given twice daily
· Epiphen can have side effects including an increase in thirst, hunger and urination
· These side effects are often only temporary and resolved if treatment continues
· Epiphen should not be used in pregnant or lactating animals
· If you suspect an overdose then you should contact your vet as soon as possible
· Epiphen should be used cautiously in patients that also have liver disease
· Epiphen can cause liver disease when given at excessively high doses
· If you suspect side effects from Epiphen then you should contact your vet for advice
· If Epiphen is stopped, it should be done gradually to avoid an increase in seizures
· Epiphen can interact with other drugs so always let your vet know about any other medication
· Overdose may compromise blood pressure, respiration and heart rate
· At high doses Epiphen may have a sedative effect
Dosage and Administration
· There is a dose range for Epiphen so it can be altered according to the response in the animal
· In severe cases Epiphen can be combined with other anti-seizure medication
· The initial dose is based on the animal's weight so you should weigh your pet regularly
· Epiphen is available as 30mg and 60mg tablets as well as a liquid solution
· Epiphen can take 1-2 weeks to take effect
· Epiphen tablets are small, round and white and cannot be split
· Epiphen is given by mouth twice daily
· The exact dose rate will be calculated by your vet
· Levels of phenobarbitone in the blood need to be monitored regularly
· The dose of Epiphen can be increased if seizures aren’t controlled
Further Information about Epiphen
Epiphen is a drug which contains the active ingredient phenobarbitone which is a barbiturate drug. Epiphen is used to control seizures owing to epilepsy. Epilepsy is a functional abnormality in the brain where abnormal electrical activity causes the animal to have seizure. There are many other causes of seizures such as low blood glucose or liver disease and in these cases Epiphen is not effective and the underlying cause needs to be discovered and specifically treated.
Epiphen is manufactured by the company Vetoquinol UK Ltd and is available as either a liquid or tablets and is given by mouth twice daily. Epiphen can take one to two weeks to take effect. It is useful to your vet if you record your pet’s seizure activity to help with monitoring.
The active ingredient in Epiphen, phenobarbitone, reduces seizure activity in two main ways. It acts centrally in the brain and reduces the excitability of the neurones which makes them less likely to seizure. It also reduces the threshold of stimulation needed before seizures occur which means it takes more stimulation of the neurones than usual to cause a seizure whilst on Epiphen, again making seizures less frequent. Epiphen controls seizures by making them less severe and they will occur less often, but it does not resolve them completely.
Epiphen can cause side effects. The most common side effects seen are; increased thirst (polydipsia), increased hunger (polyphagia) and increased urination (polyuria). These side effects are usually transient and resolve if treatment is continued. Epiphen may have a sedative effect at high doses which is reversible when dose is lowered. Epiphen can then be used with other anti-seizure medications to control the seizures. At high doses Epiphen can cause liver damage and should be used with care in animals with pre-existing liver damage. Epiphen should not be used in pregnant animals as phenobarbitone can cross the placenta and can damage the puppies. If you suspect your pet is experiencing any side effects from Epiphen then you should contact your vet as soon as possible.
Epiphen is available as small white, round tablets that contain 30mg or 60mg of phenobarbitone, the active ingredient. Epiphen is also available in a solution which makes accurate dosing of smaller animals easier as the tablets should not be split. The daily dose is split into two equal doses and given twice daily orally.
There is a range of dose rates for Epiphen as the rate of absorption varies a lot from one patient to another. The important parameter is not so much the dose of Epiphen that the patient is being given but what level of phenobarbitone reaches the bloodstream. As a result, blood tests to check the levels of phenobarbitone need to be done regularly whilst being treated with Epiphen.
The initial dose rate is 2-5mg Epiphen per kilo of bodyweight. It can take 1-2 weeks to reach a constant blood level of phenobarbitone so the dose should not be increased within the first fortnight. The pet's blood levels of phenobarbitone should then be checked. The aim is to reach therapeutic levels of phenobarbitone in the blood – this means levels that have actually been proved to control seizures. These levels are 15-45 micrograms of phenobarbitone per ml. If the levels are lower than this, seizures will not be controlled. The dose of Epiphen can then be increased by 20% and another test will need to be done around 2 weeks later. Conversely if the levels are too high, side effects may occur and the dose of Epiphen can be subsequently reduced.
If phenobarbitone levels in the blood are at the high end of the dose range and seizures are still not controlled then Epiphen can be combined with other anti-seizure medications such as potassium bromide (Libromide).
An overdose of Epiphen can depress respiration and heart rate as well as lowering blood pressure. Animals can then collapse or even be in a coma. If you suspect your pet has had an overdose of Epiphen or suffered any other adverse effects then you should contact your vet for advice.
Frequently asked questions about Epiphen
Q. What does Epiphen do?
A. Epiphen is used to control seizures in animals with epilepsy.
Q. How is Epiphen given?
A. Epiphen is given by mouth twice daily. It is either administered as small white tablets or as a liquid solution.
Q. Can Epiphen tablets be split?
A. It is not recommended to split Epiphen tablets. Small animals should be dosed with Epiphen solution to improve the accuracy of dosing.
Q. My dog got hold of the pot of Epiphen and has eaten several tablets, what should I do?
A. If you suspect any kind of overdose then you should call your vet as soon as possible.
Q. When will I see the Epiphen starting to work?
A. Epiphen can take up to two weeks to start making a difference.
Q. Will my pet stop seizuring completely when being treated with Epiphen?
A. No, probably not. Treatment of epilepsy aims to reduce the frequency and severity of seizures, not to eradicate them completely.
Q. How long will my pet need to be on Epiphen?
A. Treatment for epilepsy is usually lifelong.
Q. How often will I need to return to the vet for check ups?
A. Initially rechecks will need to be frequent; every couple of weeks, and will include blood tests until you and the vet are happy that your pet is stable. They can then be reduced but will probably still be a minimum of every 3-6 months.
Q. My pet has started seizuring more frequently, should I give more Epiphen?
A. No. You should not change the dose without first having a check up with your vet. A blood test may be needed to check the levels of phenobarbitone in your pet's blood.
Q. My pet has been very thirsty and urinating a lot since starting treatment with Epiphen. Is this normal?
A. Yes, these can be common side effects of Epiphen and are usually temporary. You should continue treatment as advised by your vet.
What is Frontline? Frontline
is a product used to kill parasites living on your pet such as fleas, tick and lice. The active ingredient is fipronil which kills adul
t fleas and in Frontline Combo, S-methoprene is added which kills eggs and larvae as well.
How does Frontline work? The fipronil in Frontline blocks nerve transmission in the parasites so it kills them on contact.
When is Frontline used? Frontline is used monthly as prevention of flea, tick and lice infestations. If it hasn’t been used for a while and an infestation has occurred, it can also be used as treatment. Treatment of the environment is also advised in this situation.
How is Frontline given? Frontline is a liquid which is available either in spot on pipettes which are applied to the skin on the back of the neck or as a spray which can be applied to the whole animal. When using the spot on it is important to place it in an area that cannot be licked off by the pet.
Are there any side effects with Frontline? Occasionally itching (pruritus) and loss of hair (alopecia) can be seen at the site of application. You should not bath an animal within 24 hours of applying Frontline as the product may wash off and be ineffective.
Storage and Handling : Store in a cool, dry place under 30oC and keep out of reach of children. The spray is flammable and should be stored out of direct sunlight and under 25oC
What is Frusemide?
Frusemide is a diuretic. Diuretics are drugs used to treat fluid accumulation in tissues, this is also called oedema. People often refer to diuretics as “water tablets”. The lungs are the organ most usually affected by abnormal fluid accumulation. Trade names for frusemide include Frusecare (which is manufactured by Animalcare Ltd) and Frusedale (manufactured by Dechra Veterinary Products). Frusemide is available in either tablet form which can be then be given at home, or as an injection which can be given by your vet in the surgery. The frusemide injection is called Dimazon and is manufactured by Intervet Schering-Plough.
What is frusemide used for?
Frusemide is generally used to treat oedema, often of cardiac origin. This means that it is associated with cardiac insufficiency although fluid accumulation in the lungs can also be due to trauma. Working as a diuretic, frusemide causes this fluid to be reabsorbed and it then exits the body as urine. Frusemide is also sometimes used to help manage some cases of renal insufficiency. When controlling heart failure, frusemide is rarely used on its own but it is often combined with other drugs such as Vetmedin and Vasotop.
· Frusemide should only be given to your pet when advised to do so by your vet.
· The frequency of giving Frusemide tablets can be once, twice or three times daily.
· Frusemide tablets can be split to give more accurate dosing
· The dose of frusemide depends on weight so you should weigh your pet frequently.
· Frusemide can be given to both cats and dogs
· Frusemide tablets can be given with food.
· If you think your pet is having any side effects from taking frusemide then you should contact your vet straight away.
· If you accidentally give your pet too many frusemide tablets then you should speak to your vet.
· Frusemide is available either in tablet form or as an injection.
· Store Frusemide tablets out of direct sunlight and don't let them go over a temperature of 25oC
Potential Side Effects of Frusemide
· Frusemide should not be used in animals that weigh less then 4kg
· Other side effects of frusemide may be weakness or restlessness
· Frusemide should not be used in end stage kidney failure when the animal is not producing urine
· Frusemide may not work as effectively if animals are drinking excessive quantities of water
· If you suspect your pet is suffering any side effects from taking frusemide then you should call your vet straight away
· Frusemide can sometimes cause vomiting and diarrhoea
· Frusemide should not be given at the same time as steroids
· Frusemide should not be given with aminoglycoside or cephalosporin antibiotics
· Frusemide is safe to use in pregnant or lactating dogs and cats
· Repeat bloods tests may be required to monitor your pet during long term therapy
Dosage and Administration
· Frusemide has a wide dose range so the dose can be adjusted according to the disease
· Frusemide should only be administered to dogs and cats weighing over 4kg
· The maximum dose rate is 5mg frusemide per kg of the animal's bodyweight
· A maintenance dose rate would be 1-2mg/kg bodyweight
· This dose can be given once or twice a day
· There should be a gap of 6-8 hours between doses
· Frusemide comes as a white circular tablet
· Frusemide tablets are scored so that it is easier to split them
· Dimazon (injectable Frusemide) can be given by the vet at higher dose rates and more frequently in order to control an emergency situation.
Further information about Frusemide
Frusemide is a drug from the class of drugs known as diuretics. Frusemide is a POM-V (Prescription Only Medicine- Vet) drug which means that it can only be obtained from a veterinary surgeon or by getting a written prescription from a veterinary surgeon.
Frusemide acts on the kidneys, specifically the Loop of Henle in the nephron. Frusemide has the effect of causing the kidneys to excrete more water with the result being increased urination in patients treated with Frusemide. Because of this, frusemide is used to treat abnormal accumulation of fluid in tissues which is called oedema. Often this is pulmonary oedema, an accumulation of fluid in the lungs which is most frequently caused by congestive heart failure but can be caused by trauma. Frusemide can be used in cases of kidney disease but only if the animal is able to produce urine. Frusemide is a potent drug and usually starts to work within an hour of administration.
Frusemide is the name of the active ingredient and it also has trade names like Frusedale (manufactured by Dechra Veterinary products) and Frusecare (manufactured by Animalcare Ltd). These two companies produce tablets containing 40mg of frusemide and the tablets can be divided for ease of dosing.
Frusemide is most commonly used in the treatment of congestive heart failure but rarely on its own. Frusemide is often used along with other drugs such as Vetmedin and Vasotop and sometimes along with other diuretics such as Prilactone which contains the diuretic spironolactone.
Blood tests are often carried out as regular monitoring is needed for pets on long term medication such as Frusemide. Frusemide can sometimes have side effects such as gastrointestinal disturbance and weakness. If you suspect your pet is suffering any side effects from frusemide then you should contact your vet as soon as possible.
Further Information on dosage and administration
Frusemide is produced as circular white tablets each containing 40mg of frusemide. These tablets are scored so that they can be easily split to increase the accuracy of dosing. Frusemide tablets can be given at the same time as food or directly into the mouth of the pet. Frusemide is also available as an injection called Dimazon (manufactured by Intervet Schering-Plough) which can be given by the vet. Dimazon can be given intravenously to increase the speed with which the drug starts to work.
There is a range of dose rates for frusemide and they depend on your pet’s individual weight so you should weigh your pet regularly to ensure that the dose is still appropriate. The higher end of the dose range for frusemide tablets is 5mg frusemide per kg of the animal's bodyweight. This can be used in severe situations or flare ups of disease. The maintenance dose rate of frusemide is 1-2mg frusemide per kg of the animal's bodyweight. These doses can be given once or twice daily and there should be a 6-8 hour gap between doses.
Your vet will need to monitor your pet whilst they are taking frusemide, especially if they are on long term therapy. This may involve blood tests by which the electrolyte levels in the blood can be chacked as these can be disturbed by dieresis. It is your vet who will determine the appropriate dose of frusemide for your pet and you should never alter this dose without first discussing it with your vet.
Frequently asked questions about Frusemide
Q. What is Frusemide?
A. Frusemide is a diuretic which causes excess fluid to be excreted by the body via urine. It is used in cases of heart failure and renal insufficiency.
Q. How does Frusemide work?
A. Frusemide acts on a part of the nephron in the kidney called the loop of Henle and it prevents water being reabsorbed back into the body. Instead the fluid is excreted from the body as urine.
Q. How is frusemide given?
A. Frusemide is given at home in tablet form but at the vets it can also be given as an injection called Dimazon.
Q. How long will my pet need to be on frusemide?
A. This very much depends upon the disease that your pet has but in cases of heart failure this is often lifelong treatment.
Q. I’ve forgotten a dose of frusemide. Should I give double the amount next time?
A. No don't give double, just give the next dose as normal but if you see a change in your pet’s condition then do call your vet.
Q. Can I break up the frusemide tablets?
A. Yes, the tablets are designed to be split and are scored down the middle to make this easier.
Q. When will the frusemide begin to work?
A. Frusemide is a very fast acting drug and it should start to work within an hour of dosing.
Q. My pet has got hold of the frusemide tablets and eaten a whole pot. What should I do?
A. In the case of an overdose of frusemide then you should call your vet practice as soon as possible for further advice.
Q. My pet seems to be getting worse despite treatment with frusemide. Should I increase the dose?
A. No. If you notice any change in your pet’s condition then you should call the vet for advice. You should never alter the dose of a drug without speaking to the vet first.
What is Incurin?
Incurin is a drug used to control urinary incontinence in dogs, in particular spayed bitches. Incurin is manufactured by the company Intervet Schering–Plough and contains the active ingredient Estriol which is a type of oestrogen. Incurin is available in packs of 30 small, scored tablets. The dose rate is simple, starting at 1 tablet per dog per day and can be reduced if treatment is successful.
What is Incurin used for?
Incurin is used to control urinary incontinence in spayed bitches. This is a hormonal problem resulting in the urethral sphincter muscle being weaker than usual which means that urine can leak out unconsciously. This is called urethral Sphincter Mechanism Incompetence (SMI).
Incurin contains the active ingredient Estriol which is a type of Oestrogen. Oestrogen is a hormone which causes the muscular urethral sphincter to tighten and as a result it can more easily control urination thereby preventing the leaking.
Incurin has only been shown to be effective in spayed bitches, it has not been shown to be effective in intact bitches or in male dogs.
· Only give Incurin as advised to do so by your vet.
· Do not alter the dose rate without checking with your vet first.
· Do not store above 30oC
· Incurin is only given once daily.
· If you suspect any side effects from Incurin then contact your vet
· If you accidentally overdose your pet then call your vet for advice.
· Incurin does not always need to be given every day
· Incurin is available as small white, scored tablets.
· Animals taking Incurin should be re checked by their vet every 6 months.
What are the possible Side Effects of Incurin?
· Incurin can have side effects at high doses.
· Side effects are most likely to occur if animals are receiving more than 2 tablets per day.
· Side effects from Incurin are related to the oestrogen increasing female traits.
· Incurin should not be used in intact bitches.
· Incurin can cause a swollen vulva and increased attractiveness to males.
· Incurin can cause an increase in size of mammary tissue.
· Side effects are reversible if the dose of Incurin is lowered.
· Incurin should not be used in animals less than 1 year old.
· In very rare cases vaginal bleeding and hair loss can be seen.
· Incurin should not be used in pregnant animals.
Dosage and Administration of Incurin
· Each Incurin tablet contains 1mg of the active ingredient Estriol.
· The dose of Incurin is tapered to the lowest effective dose.
· The initial dose rate of Incurin is one tablet per dog each day.
· Incurin tablets are given orally.
· Incurin tablets are scored so they can be broken easily.
· If there is a good response to treatment then the dose can be lowered
· If your pet doesn’t respond to Incurin then the dose can be increased.
· Incurin tablets are small, round and white.
· Incurin should not be used in animals that are drinking or urinating excessively due to another disease process.
Further Information about Incurin
The active ingredient of Incurin is Estriol. Estriol is an oestrogen which is a hormone produced by entire bitches. When bitches are spayed or undergo an ovariohysterectomy the lack of oestrogen can cause the urethral sphincter to weaken. This condition is called Urethral Sphincter Mechanism Incompetence (SMI). The result of this condition is that bitches leak urine instead of being able to contain the urine within the bladder until an appropriate time.
The Estriol in Incurin causes the muscle of the urethral sphincter to tighten to give better control over urination and prevent the leaking of urine. There is 1mg of Estriol in each Incurin tablet and these tablets are given once daily.
Incurin is a POM-V (prescription Only Medicine- Vet), which means it is a drug that can only be obtained by the vet that is treating your pet or via a written prescription from them. Incurin is manufactured by Intervet Schering-Plough and is available in blister pack of 30 small, white, scored tablets. If you suspect either an overdose or any side effects from Incurin then you should contact your vet for advice.
Further Information about Dosage and Administration of Incurin
The dose rate of Incurin is very simple and is not related to the bodyweight of the dog. The initial dose rate of Incurin is one tablet per dog per day. If the response to this dose is good then you can try and taper the dose to half a tablet daily. Conversely if the response to this dose is not good and the incontinence continues then you can increase the dose to two tablets per dog per day. Ideally the dose of Incurin is tapered to the lowest effective dose. You should, however, not alter the dose without first consulting your vet.
Each Incurin tablet contains 1mg of the active ingredient Estriol. The Incurin tablets themselves are small, round white tablets which come in blister packs of 30 tablets. The Incurin tablets are also scored to make it easier to split them for dogs that need dosages involving half a tablet. Incurin tablets are given orally once a day.
Incurin tablets are generally very safe if administered as advised to do so by your vet but can have side effects when given at the higher end of the dose range. These side effects are mainly related to feminisation which is an effect of the oestrogen in the Incurin. Side effects of Incurin can include increased size of mammary tissue, swelling of the vulva and increased attractiveness to males. In rare cases, bleeding from the vulva can occur and occasionally hair loss. These side effects are reversible when the dose of Incurin is reduced.
If you see any potential side effects from Incurin or if you think your dog has accidentally received an overdose of Incurin then please call your vet for advice.
Frequently asked Questions about Incurin
Q. What does Incurin do?
A. Incurin helps to control urinary incontinence in neutered bitches.
Q. How does Incurin work?
A. Incurin contains the hormone oestrogen which causes the urethral sphincter to tighten and controls urination.
Q. How are Incurin tablet given?
A. Incurin tablets are given orally, once daily.
Q. Can Incurin tablets be split?
A. Yes, Incurin tablets are scored to make then easy to split for doses requiring half a tablet.
Q. My pet has accidentally eaten the entire box of Incurin, what should I do?
A. If you suspect an overdose of Incurin then you should contact your vet as soon as possible for advice.
Q. How long will my pet need to take Incurin?
A. Medication with Incurin is usually lifelong but the dose will be reduced to the lowest effective dose.
Q. How often will I need to go back to the vets for health checks?
A. Once your pet is stable then it is advised to recheck with the vet every 6 months. Rechecks may be more frequent than that initially.
Q. My dog has started leaking urine again, should I increase the dose?
A. No. You shouldn’t change the dose without first checking with the vet. You should call your vet for advice.
Q. Can Incurin have any side effects?
A. Incurin can have side effects, usually when it is being given at the higher end of the dose range. These can include increase in size of mammary tissue, a swollen vulva and increased attractiveness to males.
Q. Should I stop the medication if I see side effects?
A. The first thing you should do is contact the vet but most of the side effects are reversible when the dose of medication is lowered.
What is Metacam? Metacam is a drug called a Non Steroidal Anti Inflammatory (NSAIDs). It is used as pain relief or analgesia as well as to reduce inflammation and swelling. The active ingredient is meloxicam.
How does Metacam work? Meloxicam, the active ingredient in Metacam, blocks the cascade of reactions that produce prostaglandins because these are involved in inflammation. It does this by blocking an enzyme called COX-2 which is involved in the pathway.
When is Metacam used? Metacam is used in cases of acute pain such as post operatively in a wide range of surgeries from routine procedures such as neutering to less routine procedures such as lump removals or wound stitch ups. Metacam is also commonly used in chronic pain such as the management of arthritis in both dogs and cats. Metacam is safe to be given daily to control pain and inflammation.
How is Metacam given? Metacam can be given at the vets by injection and at home in either tablet form or as an oral suspension. The oral suspension comes with a dosing syringe with a scale that corresponds to your pet’s weight. You draw up the liquid to the appropriate weight and give on a full stomach once a day.
Are there any side effects of Metacam? Metacam can have gastrointestinal side effects such as vomiting and diarrhoea, sometimes with blood. If this happens, stop treatment and call your vet for advice. Metacam can also occasionally have effects on the liver and kidneys so if you see any illness after administration, call your vet. Metacam should not be given at the same time as other NSAIDs or steroids.
Storage and Handling: Metacam oral suspension needs to be shaken well before use and you should discard an open bottle after 6 months. Metacam should be kept out of reach of children.
How long will a bottle of Metacam last?
Oral suspension for cats (0.5mg/ml)
Size of Bottle →
↓Weight of Cat
3ml bottle of Metacam
15ml bottle of Metacam
Oral Suspension for dogs (1.5mg/ml)
Size of bottle→
↓Weight of Dog
What is Optimmune?
Optimmune is a drug used to control chronic inflammation of the eyes or conjunctivitis in dogs, specifically that caused by autoimmune disease in the eye. Optimmune is a topical ointment which comes in a 3.5g tube and is manufactured by Intervet Schering Plough Animal Health. The active ingredient in Optimmune is cyclosporine. The exact regime for administering Optimmune will be decided by your vet but it is usually administered onto the eye twice a day.
What is Optimmune used for?
Optimmune is used to control recurrent inflammation of the eyes specifically when caused by autoimmune disease, where the body starts to damage its own tissue. In this case, it damages the lacrimal glands which produce tears and the eyes become dry. Dry Eye is also known as keratoconjunctivitis sicca (KCS) and this is the condition that Optimmune is used to treat. Optimmune stimulates tear production which lubricates the eye and reduces inflammation. The active ingredient that achieves this is called cyclosporine which a drug that suppresses the immune system.
Top Optimmune tips
· Only use Optimmune as advised to do so by your vet
· Optimmune should be administered twice a day
· 90% of dogs affected with KCS need lifelong treatment
· Take your pet for regular checkups to monitor progress
· Optimmune can be combined with other topical eye medications
· Optimmune is a thick, petroleum based ointment
· Store below 250C and out of reach and sight of children
· Wear gloves when applying Optimune and wash hands after use
· Optimmune can take between 10 days and 6 weeks to show an improvement
· Optimmune is generally a very safe drug with few associated problems
· Optimmune tends to remain in the eye and not be absorbed into the body
· Optimmune shouldn’t be used if there is bacterial or fungal infection in the eye
· Do not use Optimmune in pregnant animals as its safety has not been determined
· There can be a mild irritation of the eye in the first few days
· If this irritation continues then treatment with Optimmune should be stopped
· Do not stop or change treatment with Optimmune without checking with your vet
· Treatment needs to be continuous to be able to work; tear production will stop again within 24 hours of stopping treatment with Optimmune.
Dosage and Administration of Optimmune for Dogs
· Optimmune is administered to the affected eye twice daily, approximately 12 hours apart
· Each dose of Optimmune consists of 1/4inch or 1/2cm of Optimmune ointment
· Any excess discharge should be bathed from the eye before applying Optimmune
· Treatment with Optimmune is long term and needs to be given daily
· You should avoid contaminating the tube of Optimmune when administering it
· Replace the cap of the Optimmune after use
· Any unused Optimmune remaining in the open tube after one month should be discarded
· The majority of dogs affected with KCS require lifelong treatment with Optimmune
· Wear gloves when administering and wash hands after use
Further Information about Optimmune for Dogs
Cyclosporine is the active ingredient in optimmune. Optimmune is used to treat Keratoconjunctivitis Sicca (KCS) or “Dry Eye”. KCS is an autoimmune disease where the body’s immune system damages other tissues in the body; in this case the lacrimal glands which produce protective tears. When these tears are missing the eyes become dry and inflamed. A test called a Schirmer Tear test (STT) measures this tear production and if it is low, Optimmune can be used to stimulate the tear production. The cyclosporine in Optimmune suppresses the immune system and so reverses the effects of the autoimmune mediated dry eye. Treatment with Optimmune can take between 10 days and 6 weeks to show an improvement but when the lacrimal glands are producing tears again the inflammation should resolve. The vast majority of cases of KCS require lifelong treatment with Optimmune but prognosis is good with continued treatment.
Optimmune is available as a white, petroleum based ointment which is applied topically to the surface of the eye. Optimmune ointment contains 0.2% cyclosporine and comes in a tube containing 3.5g of ointment. Optimmune is made by Intervet Schering Plough Animal Health and is a POM-V drug which means it can only be obtained from a vet or with a prescription from a vet who is looking after your pet.
Optimmune is generally a safe drug as it remains mainly in the cornea and is not absorbed into the rest of the body so its effects remain localised. Even so, there can still be mild side effects such as mild irritation of the eye and if this persists for over a week then treatment should be stopped. Optimmune should not be used in pregnant or lactating animals as its safety in these animals has not been determined. Although the cyclosporine in Optimmune suppresses the immune system it has been shown that long term use of Optimmune does not cause an increased incidence of infections in the eye.
Further Information about Dosage and Administration of Optimmune
Optimmune is a topical ointment that contains 0.2% of the active ingredient cyclosporine. It is manufactured by Intervet Schering Plough Animal Health and is available as a tube of 3.5g of Optimmune. Optimmune is administered to the surface of the affected eye (or eyes) twice daily, every 12 hours. Each dose of Optimmune is ¼ inch or ½ centimetre of the ointment. Excess discharge from the eyes should be gently bathed away before the ointment is administered.
Treatment should be continuous as the effects of Optimmune do not last for long and tear production will reduce again within 24 hours of stopping treatment. An improvement of the clinical signs will usually be seen in approximately a fortnight but it can take up to 6 weeks for an improvement to be seen.
You should try to avoid contamination of the tube of Optimmune when administering it to your pet. Replace the cap after use and wear gloves when administering Optimmune. If the ointment comes into contact with your skin then you should wash it off. One month after opening you should discard any remaining contents of the tube and start a new tube of Optimmune.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. What does Optimmune actually do?
A. Optimmune is used to control dry eye in dogs by stimulating tear production.
Q. How should Optimmune be given?
A. Optimmune is a thick ointment which is applied directly to the surface of the eye twice a day.
Q. When will I see the Optimmune starting to work?
A. Optimmune will usually start to improve the inflammation in the eyes after about a fortnight of treatment but it may take up to 6 weeks.
Q. What side effects might I see when starting treatment with Optimmune?
A. You may notice an irritation of the eyes in the first week or so and if this persists the treatment may need to be stopped.
Q. My pet’s eyes seem much better since starting treatment, should I reduce the dose now?
A. No, you should not change the dose of a medication without first checking with your vet.
Q. My pets eyes suddenly seem to be getting worse again, should I increase the amount of Optimmune I’m giving?
A. No. There may be another reason for the deterioration such as infection so you should consult your vet.
Q. Can Optimmune be combined with other eye medications?
A. Yes, Optimmune can be combined with other drops which can aid in the control of dry eye but you should not add in any medications without checking with your vet first.
Q. How long will my pet need to be on Optimmune?
A. 90% of dogs with dry eye will need to be on lifelong treatment.
What exactly is Prilactone?
Prilactone is in a class of drugs known as diuretics which are used to treat abnormal accumulations of body fluid. Spironolactone is the active ingredient of Prilactone and it is manufactured by Ceva Animal Health. Prilactone comes in three strengths; 10mg, 40mg and 80mg in packs of 30 tablets. Your vet will decide the exact dose of Prilactone required by your pet and it will most likely be given once daily at the same time as food.
What is Prilactone used for?
Prilactone is used to increase water excretion from the body as it is a diuretic. This then treats abnormal accumulations of fluid in the body known as oedema. When fluid builds up in the lungs this is called pulmonary oedema and Prilactone is most commonly used in cases of congestive heart failure where this occurs . Prilactone is usually used in combination with other drugs to treat congestive heart failure. Prilactone is frequently used along with drugs such as Vetmedin, Vasotop and other diuretics such as Frusemide.
Top tips for Prilactone
· You should only give Prilactone to your pet if it has been prescribed by a vet
· If you see any potential side effects associated with Prilactone then you should call your vet for advice
· You should wash your hands after you have administered Prilactone to your pet
· Prilactone is only licensed for use in dogs
· Prilactone tablets can be given at the same time as food
· Prilactone tablets can easily be split for ease of dosing
· You should weigh your pet frequently to make sure that the dose is still accurate
· If you think your pet has consumed an overdose of Prilactone you should call your vet immediately
· Prilactone is often used in conjunction with other drugs
Potential Side Effects of Prilactone
· Prilactone can alter electrolyte levels so monitoring of this is required
· Animals taking Prilactone can sometimes go off of their food
· Prilactone should not be used in any animals intended for use in breeding
· Prilactone should only be used in dogs that have congestive heart failure
· Prilactone should be used with care in dogs that have liver disease
· If your pet consumes an overdose of Prilactone then call your vet immediately for advice
· Prilactone should be used carefully in growing dogs
· Prilactone is not safe for use in pregnant or lactating bitches
· If you suspect your pet is suffering any side effects from taking Prilactone then call your vet for advice
Dosage and Administration of Prilactone
· Do not alter the dose of Prilactone that you are giving without first consulting your vet
· The specific dose of Prilactone will be determined by your vet and based on how much your pet weighs
· Prilactone is often administered in conjunction with other drugs
· Prilactone is given once daily
· Prilactone tablets are given orally, with food.
· Prilactone comes in three strengths; 10mg, 40mg and 80mg
· For accuracy of dosing Prilactone tablets are scored to make them easy to split.
· Your pet should be monitored regularly in case the dose of Prilactone needs to be changed
Further Information about Prilactone
Prilactone is a drug that is used in the treatment of congestive heart failure in dogs. Spironolactone is the active ingredient of Prilactone which is a diuretic and Prilactone is manufactured by Ceva Animal Health. Diuretics cause excess water to be excreted from the body as urine, via the kidneys. Diuretics are used to treat oedema which is an abnormal accumulation of fluid in the tissues, usually the lungs in cases of heart failure. Prilactone is classified as a POM-V which means that only a vet can prescribe the drug to an animal that is presently under their care.
Usually in the kidneys, sodium is reabsorbed into the body and water with it. This is mediated by a compound called Aldosterone. Prilactone blocks this process so both sodium and water are excreted and potassium is retained instead. It is because of this that Prilactone is called a potassium sparing diuretic. In contrast, other diuretics cause potassium to be lost.
Because of these processes, levels of electrolytes in the body such as sodium and potassium can be disturbed and this is why regular monitoring which includes blood tests is required. The main side effects that can be seen with Prilactone are related to these electrolyte changes and can include symptoms such as lethargy and being off their food. If you see any side effects then you should call your vet for further advice.
Further information about dosing and administration of Prilactone
The dose rate for Prilactone is 2mg spironolactone per kg of bodyweight. It is your vet who will decide the exact dose of Prilactone required by your pet. The chart below shows how many of each size tablet a dog would need daily, depending on how much they weigh;
Bodyweight of Dog (kg)
10mg Prilactone tablet
40mg Prilactone tablet
80mg Prilactone tablet
The dose of Prilactone is given by mouth once daily and the tablets can be given in food. Prilactone comes in three different strength of tablet and they are scored so they can be divided to improve the accuracy of dosing. The tablet sizes are 10mg, 40mg and 80mg. Prilactone tablets are oval tablets, white in colour with a brown mottled effect and range from 1-2cm in length depending on the strength of tablet.
Prilactone will often be given alongside other drugs and regular monitoring will be required to check that it is still having the desired effect.
Frequently asked Questions
Q. What does Prilactone do?
A. Prilactone is used to treat oedema, most often pulmonary oedema in cases of congestive heart failure.
Q. How is Prilactone given?
A. Prilactone comes in tablets of various sizes which are given orally, with food. You should wash your hands after handling Prilactone as some people can have an allergic reaction to it.
Q. Can I split Prilactone tablets?
A. Yes, Prilactone tablets are designed to be split and are scored to make it easier and more accurate.
Q. Does Prilactone have any known side effects?
A. Prilactone can alter electrolyte levels and can have effects on the liver. If your dog seems off colour in any way then you should contact your vet for advice.
Q. How long will my dog need to take Prilactone for?
A. Congestive heart failure is a condition that is managed rather than cured so treatment is usually for the rest of your dog’s life.
Q. What should I do if my pet accidentally eats a whole box of Prilactone?
A. You should seek veterinary attention as soon as possible. There is no specific antidote but symptomatic treatment may be required.
Q. If my pet is deteriorating, should I increase the dose of Prilactone?
A. No, you should call your vet for advice, you should not change the dose without first checking with your vet.
Q. What should I do if I forget to give my dog a dose of Prilactone?
A. If you remember within a couple of hours of the normal dosing time then you can give the tablet but don’t just give double at the next dose. If unsure you should call your vet for advice.
Propalin is a drug which is commonly used in neutered bitches to control urinary incontinence caused by urethral sphincter mechanism incompetence (SMI). Phenylpropanolamine in the form of phenylpropanolamine hydrochloride is the active ingredient of Propalin. Vetoquinol UK Ltd is the manufacturer of Propalin. Propalin is a clear, colourless liquid which comes in bottles of 30ml or 100ml. The exact dose of Propalin to give your dog will be calculated by your vet and is given orally three times a day.
What is Propalin used for?
Vets use Propalin to treat urinary incontinence in neutered bitches. Where urethral sphincter mechanism incompetence (SMI) is the underlying cause of the incontinence, Propalin is used in these cases. Propalin contains phenylpropanolamine which works by stimulating the nerves that control the urethra and cause it to hold closed more firmly, therefore preventing urine leaking. Propalin is only effective in neutered bitches and is not effective in cases of inappropriate urination with underlying behavioural causes. Treatment with Propalin is usually life-long.
Top Propalin Tips
· Propalin should only be given to neutered bitches
· Propalin should be used only as directed by your Vet
· Propalin is to be given three times daily
· Discard an open bottle of Propalin after 3 months
· Propalin is a clear, colourless liquid, which is given orally
· Propalin is available as bottles of either 30ml or 100ml solution
· If you suspect side effects from Propalin then you should contact your Vet
· If your pet has received an overdose of Propalin, contact your Vet for advice immediately
· The dose of Propalin is based on the animal's weight so you should weigh your pet regularly
· Store Propalin under 250C but not refrigerated
Potential Side Effects of Propalin
· Propalin can cause inappetance, loose stools or diarrhoea
· Propalin may cause restlessness and in severe cases collapse
· Propalin may increase blood pressure and heart rate and can cause arrhythmias
· These side effects can resolve if treatment is stopped
· Do not use Propalin in pregnant or lactating animals
· Propalin should be used with care in animals with existing conditions such as Diabetes, Cushings, Liver and Kidney disease
· If you suspect side effects then you should call your vet for advice
· An overdose of Propalin can cause severe cases of the above side effects
· If you suspect an overdose then call your vet immediately
· Wash your hands if Propalin comes into contact with the skin
Dosage and Administration of Propalin
· Propalin is a clear, colourless syrup
· Propalin is given by mouth, three times a day
· Propalin comes with a 1.5ml graduated syringe for ease of dosing
· The dose is based on your pet’s weight so you should weigh your pet regularly
· The dose of Propalin is 0.8mg phenylpropanolamine per kg of bodyweight
· This equates to 0.1ml Propalin syrup per 5kg bodyweight
· Do not change the dose rate without speaking to your vet first
· Propalin is better absorbed when given on an empty stomach
· Propalin is available in 30ml and 100ml bottles
Further Information about Propalin
Propalin contains the active ingredient phenylpropanolamine which is used in the treatment of neutered bitched who are suffering from urinary incontinence. Propalin is available as a 40mg/ml syrup in bottles of 30ml or 100ml and is given orally three times a day. Propalin is used in cases where urethral sphincter mechanism incompetence is the underlying cause of the incontinence. Urethral sphincter mechanism incompetence occurs in neutered bitches and it is in these animals that Propalin works. Propalin should not be used in entire bitches.
Phenylpropanolamine is a “sympathomimetic” drug which stimulates alpha adrenergic receptors in nerves. This means that Propalin mimics the sympathetic nervous system, responsible for “flight or fight” as this also causes urine to be retained. Propalin stimulates the alpha adrenergic receptors in the nerves that control the urethra and cause an increase in the pressure that keeps the urethra closed which therefore retains the urine and stops it leaking from the animal.
Propalin can have some side effects, especially at high doses and these are related to over stimulation of the sympathetic nervous system. These include diarrhoea, increased heart rate and blood pressure, restlessness, dizziness and in severe cases, collapse. These are usually reversible when treatment with Propalin is stopped. If you suspect any potential side effects then you should always contact your vet.
The dose rate for Propalin is 0.8mg of the active ingredient phenylpropanolamine per kilo of bodyweight. The concentration of Propalin is 40mg phenylpropanolamine per ml syrup so this equates to 0.1ml Propalin syrup per 5kg of the animal's bodyweight. Propalin syrup comes in bottles of either 30ml or 100ml and there is a specific graduated dosing syringe for ease of accurate dosing. The dose of Propalin is given three times a day orally. Propalin is absorbed better and is therefore more effective if given to fasted dogs, on an empty stomach.
Propalin should not be given to intact i.e. Non neutered bitches, especially if they are pregnant or lactating. Propalin should be used with care in animals with that also have Diabetes, Cushings, Kidney or Liver disease or any other underlying metabolic disease. In animals under one year of age, there can be an anatomical reason for the urinary incontinence and it should be attempted to rule this out before starting treatment with Propalin.
If you suspect any adverse effects from Propalin then you should contact your vet as soon as possible. You should never alter the dose of Propalin without consulting your vet first. Treatment with Propalin is usually life-long.
Frequently Asked Questions about Propalin Syrup
Q. What does Propalin do?
A. Propalin is used to treat urinary incontinence in neutered bitches. It does this by stimulating nerves and increasing the pressure that holds the urethra closed.
Q. How is Propalin given?
A. Propalin is a clear syrup that is given orally, ideally on an empty stomach.
Q. How often is Propalin given?
A. Propalin is given three times a day as it does not last for long in the body.
Q. How long will my pet need to be on Propalin?
A. Once started, treatment with Propalin is usually life-long.
Q. My dog has been stable but has started leaking again, should I increase the dose of Propalin?
A. No, there can be other factors that complicate the incontinence. Do not alter the dose without first checking with your vet.
Q. Does Propalin have any side effects?
A. Yes, Propalin can have side effects such as going off food, diarrhoea and restlessness.
Q. I think my pet is suffering adverse effects from Propalin, should I stop the medication?
A. Some side effects can resolve when medication is stopped but you must check with the vet first before stopping treatment.
Q. My dog has just chewed and eaten a whole bottle of Propalin, what should I do?
A. You should contact your vet as soon as possible for advice if you suspect an overdose of Propalin.
Q. Will I need to return to my vets for check ups?
A. Yes. Whilst on Propalin your pet will need to be checked every 6 months as a minimum, but more frequently if the condition is not stable.
What is Soloxine?
Soloxine is a drug that is used in the treatment of Hypothyroidism or an underactive thyroid in dogs. It contains the active ingredient L-thyroxine which is a synthetic compound, identical to the thyroid hormone produced in dogs. Soloxine is produced by the amnufacturer Virbac Limited and is available in pots of 250 tablets in a range of sizes so that accurate dosing can be achieved. The total daily dose of Soloxine is usually given once daily but the exact dose regime will be decided by your dog's vet.
What is Soloxine used for?
Soloxine is used in the treatment of hypothyroidism in dogs. Hypothyroidism means that the thyroid gland is not producing enough thyroid hormone which leads to a slowing of the metabolism. Affected animals can be lethargic, put on weight, suffer hair loss and a thinning of the skin. Treatment with Soloxine will supplement the thyroid hormone and reverse these signs. It is slow to start taking effect but does then last for a long time. Treatment is usually life-long as hypothyroidism is managed rather than cured.
· Weigh your pet regularly so as to maintain an accurate dose of Soloxine.
· Only give Soloxine as advised to do so by your vet.
· Soloxine is usually given once a day.
· Soloxine should be given on an empty stomach.
· Wash your hands after handling Soloxine.
· If your pet receives an overdose of Soloxine then you should call your vet immediately.
· If you see side effects relating to Soloxine then call your vet for advice.
· Soloxine comes as small, scored elliptical tablets in various strengths.
· Store Soloxine in a cool, dry place under 25oC
· Soloxine is licensed as a POM-V which means it can only be obtained from a vet.
Side Effects of Soloxine
· Soloxine is generally a very safe drug
· Soloxine can be slow to take effect so results may not be seen immediately
· Soloxine should be used with care in dogs with heart disease
· Side effects are often related to dogs receiving too high a dose of Soloxine.
· Chronic overdose of Soloxine may result in weight loss, increased hunger and thirst
· Other symptoms of Soloxine overdose include nervousness, panting and aggression
· If you suspect an overdose of Soloxine then call your vet for advice
· If you see any other side effects associated with Soloxine then you should call your vet.
Dosage and Administration of Soloxine
· Soloxine has a range of doses so the dose can be altered depending on response
· Soloxine is available as small, scored elliptical tablets
· The daily dose is usually given as one single dose
· The exact dose will be determined by your vet
· Soloxine should be given on an empty stomach
· Soloxine is available in several sized tablets for ease of accurate dosing
· Weigh your pet regularly as the dose of Soloxine is based on weight
· Do not alter the dose of Soloxine without first consulting your vet
· Treatment with Soloxine is usually lifelong
Further information about Soloxine
Soloxine is a drug used to treat hypothyroidism in dogs. Hypothyroidism is a condition that occurs when the thyroid gland in the dog does not produce enough thyroxine; the thyroid hormone. Thyroid hormone controls the metabolism so low levels of it cause a slowing of the metabolism. Animals with hyperthyroidism put on weight, lose their hair and often have skin changes such as thinning of the skin. Hypothyroidism is usually seen in dogs and is very uncommon in cats.
Soloxine contains L-Thyroxine which is a synthetic version of the naturally occurring thyroid hormone. It is identical to the natural hormone. Treatment with Soloxine supplements the hormones levels and reverses the clinical signs associated with low hormone levels.
The total daily dose of Soloxine is usually given once daily on an empty stomach. Soloxine is usually a very safe drug when prescribed as directed by your vet but occasionally side effects can be seen. These often relate to chronic over supplementation with Soloxine which can result in clinical signs such as nervousness, panting, excessive hunger or thirst and a raised heart rate. Side effects are usually mild and can be reversed with dose adjustment. Do not adjust the dose without first speaking with your vet.
Dosage and Administration of Soloxine
Soloxine has a range of doses so that the dose can be adjusted according to your pet’s response to treatment and tailored to suit each individual dog. The usual starting dose is 22 ug/kg bodyweight but higher doses are usually required to stabilise hormone levels. Doses of up to 44 ug/kg bodyweight may be required.
Soloxine tablets are small, scored and elliptical and come in a variety of sizes for ease of accurate dosing. There are five different sizes of Soloxine tablet: a yellow 0.1mg tablet, an orange 0.2mg tablet, a green 0.3mg tablet, a white 0.5mg tablet and a blue 0.8mg tablet.
The total daily dose is usually given as a single dose once daily as this gives higher levels of the hormone in the blood. Soloxine is best given on an empty stomach. Soloxine is slow to start working so you may not see results immediately. Regular monitoring, including blood tests to measure thyroid hormone levels, is essential to monitor treatment. This will determine whether any changes in dose are needed. If levels of thyroid hormone have not risen to normal then the dose may need to be increased, conversely if the levels have risen too high then the dose of Soloxine may need to be lowered.
Frequently asked Questions about Soloxine
Q. What does Soloxine do?
A. Soloxine is used to treat hypothyroidism in dogs. It contains L-Thyroxine, a synthetic thyroid hormone, identical to canine thyroid hormone.
Q. How is Soloxine given?
A. Soloxine is a tablet given once daily, ideally given on an empty stomach.
Q. How long will my pet need to take Soloxine?
A. Treatment with Soloxine is usually life-long.
Q. When will I see the Soloxine starting to work?
A. Soloxine is slow to start working so you won’t see results immediately. Your vet will measure thyroid hormone levels regularly to monitor progress.
Q. Can Soloxine tablets be split?
A. Yes, Soloxine tablets are scored to make it easier to split them. This helps with more accurate dosing.
Q. Does Soloxine have any side effects?
A. Soloxine is generally very safe but can occasionally have side effects such as weight loss, panting and behavioural changes. If you notice any side effects then contact your vet for advice.
Q. My dog has managed to eat the whole pot of Soloxine in one go. What should I do?
A. If you suspect any overdose of Soloxine then you should contact your vet immediately.
Q. I accidentally missed a dose of Soloxine, should I give double the dose next time?
A. No, just give the next dose as usual. Do not give double the dose. Dosing should be kept as regular as possible.
What is Vetmedin? Vetmedin is a drug licensed for use in dogs which is used to support the heart and circulation in cases of congestive heart failure. The manufacturer of Vetmedin is Boehringer Ingelheim Ltd and it comes in pots of either 50 or 100 flavoured tablets or pots of 100 hard gelatine capsules. The active ingredient in Vetmedin tablets and capsules is Pimobendan. Your vet will decide what dose your dog will need to be given, but the total daily dose of Vetmedin should be divided into two equal daily doses given about an hour before food.
What is Vetmedin used for? Vetmedin is a drug that is used to treat congestive heart failure in dogs. Specifically Vetmedin is used in cases of Dilated Cardiomyopathy, which causes an enlarged heart and also in cases of heart valve insufficiency (this means that the valves are leaking). Vetmedin works by causing the heart to pump more effectively thereby increasing the amount of oxygen delivered to the tissues. Vetmedin is often used together with other tablets like Frusemide, which is a diuretic used to stop the build up of fluid in the lungs and Vasotop which contains the active ingredient ramipril which can be used to reduce blood pressure as well as increase cardiac output. The life of many pet patients with heart failure can be prolonged by using Vetmedin with a combination of these other drugs.
What tips can you give me for using Vetmedin?
· Only use Vetmedin under the guidance and advice of your vet
· Contact your vet immediately in the case of an overdose
· Vetmedin should be given twice daily
· Give Vetmedin approximately an hour before feeding
· If you suspect any side effects when using Vetmedin then contact your vet
· Store in a dry place, less than 250C, out of reach of children
· Vetmedin is often combined with other drugs
· Vetmedin is available as tablets or hard capsules
What are the possible side effects of Vetmedin?
· Vetmedin is generally a very safe drug
· Vetmedin should only be used in dogs with heart failure
· The commonest side effect seen is vomiting
· Side effects are dose dependant so can resolve if the dose is lowered
· If Vetmedin is used according to instructions then side effects are rare
· Vetmedin can cause a mild increase in heart rate
· Call your vet as soon as you notice side effects when using Vetmedin
· There is no information on using Vetmedin in pregnant or lactating dogs
Dosage and Administration of Vetmedin
· The daily dose of Vetmedin is given as two equal doses approximately 12 hours apart
· Vetmedin tablets are flavoured to make them more palatable
· Vetmedin should be given approximately an hour before food
· There is a dose range for Vetmedin so it can be adjusted according to the severity of the disease
· The dose of Vetmedin will depend on the weight of your pet
· The dose of Vetmedin will be determined by your vet
· Vetmedin is available in various sizes for ease of dosing
· Your pet should be check regularly by the vet in case the dose of Vetmedin needs altering
· Don’t alter the dose of Vetmedin without first consulting your vet
Further information about Vetmedin
Vetmedin is a drug containing the active ingredient pimobendan. Vetmedin is used to treat congestive heart failure in dogs, specifically those with dilated cardiomyopathy or valvular insufficiency. Vetmedin comes in two formulations. Vetmedin flavour tablets come in 1.25mg and 5mg strengths and Vetmedin capsules come in just 5mg. Vetmedin is a POM-V drug which means it can only be obtained via a prescription from your vet.
The active ingredient of Vetmedin, pimobendan, is a benzimidazole derivative. It increases the sensitivity of the heart muscle or myocardium to calcium which causes it to contract more strongly so the heart is pumping more efficiently. Drugs which have this effect are called positive inotropes. Vetmedin can also have what is called a positive chronotropic effect which means it can also make the heart beat faster.
Vetmedin is absorbed better by the body, called bioavailability, on an empty stomach so the recommended is to administer Vetmedin about an hour before food. Vetmedin does have potential side effects and the most commonly seen is vomiting. This is often seen within the first week and is dose dependant so the vomiting will often resolve if the dose of Vetmedin is reduced. The dose should not be altered without first consulting your vet so you should call your vet as soon as you suspect any potential side effects.
Further information about dosing and administration of Vetmedin
There is a range of dose rates for Vetmedin which is 0.2-0.6mg of pimobendan per kilogram of the dog’s bodyweight. This is the total daily dose and should be divided into two equal does and given approximately 12 hours apart about an hour before feeding.
To give tablets to your dog without food, steady your dog and life their nose so they are looking at the ceiling. Their mouth will open and you can reach into the mouth and place the tablet as far back on the tongue as you can. Remove your hand quickly and close the mouth. You can then stroke their throat or syringe some water into your dog’s mouth to encourage swallowing.
Vetmedin capsules come in one size – 5mg – and Vetmedin flavour tablets come in 1.25mg and 5mg but can also be split for ease of dosing. Your vet will usually start your pet on a low dose and if there is no response to the drug within a week then a higher dose of Vetmedin can be given once directed to do so by your vet. Regular monitoring is essential to check your pet’s progress and to decided if other drugs are also needed.
Frequently asked Questions about Vetmedin
Q. What does Vetmedin do?
A. Vetmedin helps the heart pump more efficiently resulting in more blood and therefore oxygen circulating through the body. It can reduce the symptoms of heart failure and prolong life
Q. How is Vetmedin given?
A. Vetmedin is given either as tablets or capsules, twice daily, approximately an hour before food.
Q. Can Vetmedin tablets be divided?
A. Yes, the tablets are scored making it easier to break them. However, the capsules should be given whole.
Q. When will I see the Vetmedin starting to work?
A. Your pet will usually show a response to treatment within a week of commencement on the medication. If this doesn’t happen then the dose may need to be increased, but you will be advised by your vet. Remember each animal is different and so will respond differently to the treatment.
Q. How long will my pet need to take Vetmedin?
A. Treatment is usually lifelong as heart disease is managed rather than cured
Q. How often will I need to return to the vets?
A. Initially, regular checks are essential to check your pet’s response to treatment. If your pet is stable then checks may extend to every 6 months but this will be at the discretion of your vet.
Q. How will I know if the Vetmedin has stopped working?
A. If the drug stops being effective the heart disease will deteriorate resulting in breathing difficulties, coughing and exercise intolerance. You should then speak to your vet to decide a new treatment plan.
Q. What should I do if I miss a dose of Vetmedin?
A. Just give the next dose as normal. You don’t need to give more at the next dose.
Q. What should I do if I accidentally give too much Vetmedin?
A. You should monitor your pet for any adverse reaction and call your vet for advice.
Q. Should I give more Vetmedin if I think my dog is getting worse?
A. No, you should call your vet for advice. You should never alter doses of medication without first speaking with your vet.
What is Vetoryl?
Vetoryl is a medication that is used in the treatment of Hyperadrenocorticism (Cushings) in dogs which occurs when the body is producing an excess of 'cortisol' the steroid hormone. Trilostane is the active ingredient found in Vetoryl . Vetoryl is manufactured by Dechra Veterinary Products and comes in boxed blister packs of 30 capsules. Vetoryl is available in four different sized capsules to ensure accurate dosing for any size of dog. The total daily dose will be decided on by your dog's vet and will be given once daily, usually in the morning.
What is the drug Vetoryl used for?
Vetoryl is a drug used to treat Cushing’s disease in dogs. Cushings occurs when the adrenal glands produce too much of the steroid hormone cortisol. Cortisol is usually released at times of stress which is a normal function of the body, but a prolonged excess is detrimental. This excess can be either because of a mass secreting cortisol from the adrenal gland or because the brain is releasing an excess of the hormones that stimulate the adrenal glands to produce the hormone. Trilostane blocks the pathway of reactions that make cortisol thereby reducing the amount of it in the bloodstream which also reduces the clinical signs associated with Cushings. These clinical signs include excessive thirst and urination and a pot bellied appearance. Close monitoring is needed to ensure that the Vetoryl is not suppressing the levels of cortisol too much as some cortisol is still required by the body to enable it to respond to stressful situations.
Top Vetoryl Tips
· Endeavour to give Vetoryl at a similar time every day.
Vetoryl comes in capsules of various sizes
· Vetmedin should be given once daily, preferably in the morning.
· Store in a dry place, under 25oC, out of the reach and sight of children.
· Weigh your pet regularly as the dose is based on your pet’s weight
· If you suspect any side effects from Vetoryl then you should contact your vet for advice.
· If your pet has had an overdose of Vetoryl then contact your vet immediately.
Potential Side Effects of Vetoryl
· Vetoryl can have side effects so if you suspect these then you should call your vet for advice
· Some known side effects are lethargy, vomiting, diarrhoea and anorexia
· Rarer side effects can include ataxia, hypersalivation, bloating and muscle tremors
· Occasionally Vetoryl can cause necrosis of the adrenal glands leading to irreversible side effects requiring other medication to control.
· You should not alter the dose of Vetoryl without consulting with your dog's vet first
· These effects may also be due to an overdose causing abnormally low cortisol levels
· These effects are generally reversible
· Vetoryl should not be used in pregnant or lactating animals.
· Vetoryl should not be used in dogs that weigh less than 3kg.
· Vetoryl should be used with care in animals that have pre-existing kidney or liver disease.
Dosage and Administration of Vetoryl
· The daily dose of Vetoryl is to be given once daily
· Vetoryl comes in hard gelatine based capsules
· The dose of Vetoryl will be based on your pet’s weight
· You should use Vetoryl as directed by your dog's vet and not alter the dose without checking with the vet first
· Vetoryl is available in various sizes to ensure accurate dosing for your dog's size
· There is a range of doses for Vetoryl so the dose can be tailored to each animal
· Your pet should be checked regularly by their vet in case the dose of Vetoryl needs altering
· Vetoryl comes in boxed blister packs of 30 capsules
· Each capsule has the strength printed on the side for ease of identification
Further Information about Vetoryl for dogs
Vetoryl is a drug that is used to control and treat Hyperadrenocorticism, also known as Cushings disease. It contains the active ingredient trilostane.
Cushings occurs when the adrenal glands are producing too much of the stress hormone called cortisol. This occurs either because a mass in the adrenal glands is excreting cortisol or because the brain is secreting too much of the hormone that stimulates the adrenal glands to produce the hormone. The trilostane in Vetoryl blocks the pathway of chemical reactions that produce cortisol so whatever the cause of the Cushings, Vetoryl will reduce the level of cortisol in the dog's body. The body does still need some cortisol though to respond to stressful situations so regular blood tests need to be carried out to ensure the correct levels of cortisol are maintained and the Vetoryl is not pushing the levels too low.
Vetoryl can have some side effects but these are usually mild and can often be due to the dose of Vetoryl being set too high. The side effects will usually resolve if the dose is subsequently lowered. The most common side effects of Vetoryl are lethargy, vomiting, diarrhoea and anorexia. Sometimes rarer side effects can occur such as weakness, muscle tremors, bloating and hypersalivation. If you suspect your dog is suffering from any side effect from Vetoryl then you should contact your vet for advice.
Vetoryl should not be used in pregnant or lactating animals or animals that weigh less than 3kg. Vetoryl should be used with care in animals with pre-existing kidney or liver disease. The use of Vetoryl to treat Cushings may uncover underlying diseases such as renal disease or osteoarthritis.
Further Information about dosage and administration of Vetoryl
There is a dose range for Vetoryl so that the dose can be tailored to each individual patient depending on severity of disease and patient response. The initial dose rate is 6mg/kg which is then adjusted depending on response and most animals will stabilise on a dose between 2 and 10 mg/kg. The dose is to be given once daily with food. If your pet will not eat the food with the capsule in it then you can put the capsule straight into your pet’s mouth instead. It is best to give Vetoryl capsules in the morning as the blood tests that need to be taken for monitoring purposes have to be taken between 4 and 6 hours after the capsule has been administered. If the Vetoryl is given in the morning then this means the bloods can be taken in the afternoon whereas if the Vetoryl is given in the evening, the blood tests will be due in the middle of the night!
The table below gives a guide as to what dose of Vetoryl would be needed for various sized dogs:
Weight of dog (kg)
Starting Dose (mg)
Dose Range (mg/kg)
Vetoryl is available in four strengths of capsule to make sure the above recommended dosing can be administered accurately. The sizes are; 10mg, 30mg, 60mg and 120mg. They are hard gelatine capsules, black and ivory in colour with the size printed on the capsule.
Regular monitoring of the dog is essential to make sure that the dose of Vetoryl being given is properly controlling the Cushings disease.
Frequently asked questions about Vetoryl
Q. What is Vetoryl?
A. Vetoryl is a drug used to control a disease called Hyperadrenocorticism or “Cushings” which occurs when the adrenal glands produce too much of the stress hormone called cortisol.
Q. How is Vetoryl given to my dog?
A. Vetoryl comes as hard, gelatine capsules and is given by mouth once daily.
Q. Is it okay to split Vetoryl capsules?
A. No, Vetoryl capsules should not be split.
Q. How long will my dog need to take Vetoryl for?
A. Treatment with Vetoryl is usually for the rest of the dog's life.
Q. My dog improved initially when started on Vetoryl but now seems to be deteriorating. Should I increase the dose of Vetoryl?
A. No, it can be dangerous to alter the dose without checking with your vet first. You should book a recheck appointment if you are concerned.
Q. My dog has been very lethargic since starting treatment and has started vomiting. Should I stop giving him the Vetoryl?
A. If you suspect any side effects from Vetoryl then you can stop the medication but call your vet straight away for advice and to book a recheck appointment.
Q. I forgot to give my dog their Vetoryl capsule this morning, what should I do?
A. If your dog misses a dose of Vetoryl then just carry on from the next scheduled dose as normal. If this happens just before your pet has monitoring blood tests then you will need to let the vet know.
Q. How often will my dog need to return to the vets for check ups?
A. Initially these will be very frequent, often every 3 weeks until the disease is stable. Once stable, these check ups may extend to every 3-6 months.
What exactly is Vidalta for cats?
Vidalta is a drug that is used to treat cats with an overactive thyroid gland or that suffer with Hyperthyroidism. Vidalta is made by the manufacturer Intervet Schering-Plough and it is available in two sizes of tablets; 10mg and 15mg. Vidalta is available in pots of either 30 or 100 small round, pink tablets. Carbimazole is the active ingredient in Vidalta. Vidalta tablets are given orally once daily.
What is Vidalta used for?
Vidalta is used to treat Hyperthyroidism in cats. Hyperthyroidism occurs when the thyroid glands, which are situated either side if the neck, enlarge and begin producing excessive amounts of thyroid hormone. Vidalta stops this process by reducing the uptake of iodine which is required to make thyroid hormones and it also blocks the pathway of reactions that forms the hormone. Excess thyroid hormone up-regulates the metabolism causing increased hunger and thirst, weight loss and an increased heart rate amongst other symptoms. Vidalta will reduce these clinical signs as it reduces the amount of thyroid hormone being produced by the thyroid glands.
· Vidalta is only for use in cats
· Vidalta is available in two strengths; 10mg and 15mg tablets
· Vidalta can be given with or without food
· Your vet will decide the dose of Vidalta required by your cat
· Only give Vidalta if directed to do so by a vet
· Vidalta is normally given once a day.
· Store Vidalta in a cool dry place, at a temperature of less than 25oC
· If you see any side effects associated with Vidalta, you should call your vet for advice
· If you suspect your cat may have had an overdose of Vidalta then you should call your vet immediately
· Never alter the dose of Vidalta without first consulting with your vet
What are possible Side Effects of Vidalta?
· Vomiting and diarrhoea are the most common side effects of Vidalta.
· These are usually mild and do not require that treatment with Vidalta be stopped
· Occasionally skin lesions (such as dermatitis) may be seen with Vidalta
· Side effects from Vidalta are more likely at high doses (>20mg per cat)
· Do not use Vidalta in pregnant or lactating queens.
· If you suspect side effects from Vidalta then you should call your vet for advice
· Kidney and Liver parameters should be closely monitored during treatment with Vidalta
· Women of child bearing age should wear gloves when handling Vidalta
· Transient anaemia may also occur with Vidalta so this should be monitored
Dosage and Administration of Vidalta
· Vidalta comes in two sizes of tablets; 10mg and 15mg.
· Your vet will decide the dose of Vidalta required by your cat.
· Do not alter the dose without first checking with your vet
· Vidalta should be given once daily.
· Vidalta should be given at the same time each day
· Vidalta tablets should not be broken or crushed
· Treatment with Vidalta is often lifelong
· The dose of Vidalta can be altered by your vet according to your cat's response to treatment
· Regular monitoring is required while on treatment with Vidalta
More Information about Vidalta
Vidalta is a drug used to treat hyperthyroidism in cats. It contains the active ingredient carbimazole which blocks both the uptake of iodine by the thyroid gland and also the pathway of reactions that produce the thyroid hormones thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3). Having an excess of thyroid hormone causes the metabolism to be up-regulated which causes a high heart rate, increased hunger and thirst and weight loss as well as other signs. Giving Vidalta at a dose that suppresses production of thyroid hormone will reduce these clinical signs.
Vidalta can be used long term for medical management of hyperthyroidism but there are also other forms of treatment; the thyroid gland can be removed surgically but cats with hyperthyroidism are not good candidates for anaesthesia so Vidalta can also be used for two to three weeks leading up to surgery to stabilise the thyroid hormone levels. The third method of treatment is injecting the cat with radioactive iodine to destroy the thyroid gland and this would require hospitalisation at a specialist centre for about a month.
Vidalta is manufactured by the manfacturers Intervet Schering-Plough and comes as 10mg or 15mg tablets. Vidalta is a POM-V (Prescription Only Medicine- Vet) medication which means that it can only be obtained from a vet or with a prescription from the vet who is looking after your cat.
More information about Dosage and Administration of Vidalta
The initial dose for Vidalta is 15mg per cat once a day. The 10mg tablets can be used, however, in cases where the thyroid hormone level is only mildly raised but the thyroid hormone level needs to be monitored regularly in order to tailor the treatment to each individual cat. The therapeutic dose range for Vidalta is 10mg-25mg per cat.
The tablets can be given with or without food but are only given once daily. It is important that the tablets are given at a similar time each day, especially with respect to feeding times as this maintains a stable level of the drug in the cat's system. Vidalta tablets should not be broken or crushed.
Monitoring of thyroid hormone levels as well as liver, kidney and red and white blood cell parameters should initially be done at 10 days then at 3, 5 and 8 weeks after starting treatment. If thyroid hormone levels have stabilised then rechecks can become less frequent but the exact regime will be determined by your vet and will depend on your individual cat’s response to the treatment. If the levels of thyroid hormone remain high then the dose of Vidalta can be increased, if however they have fallen too low, the dose may need to be decreased.
Frequently asked questions about Vidalta
Q. What does Vidalta actually do?
A. Vidalta is used to control hyperthyroidism in cats. It does this by blocking production of the thyroid hormones thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3).
Q. How should Vidalta be given?
A. Vidalta is given once daily by mouth. It is important that it is given at the same time each day.
Q. Can Vidalta be given at the same time as food?
A. Yes, Vidalta can be given with or without food but whichever you choose, this needs to remain constant.
Q. Can Vidalta tablets be split or divided?
A. No. Vidalta tablets should not be crushed or broken.
Q. How long will my cat need to take Vidalta for?
A. Usually lifelong if it is being used for medical treatment of hyperthyroidism or alternatively for 2-3 weeks prior to surgery to remove the thyroid gland.
Q. I forgot to give my cat a dose of Vidalta this morning, what should I do?
A. Just give the next dose as normal, do not give double the amount of Vidalta at the next dose.
Q. My cat managed to eat several Vidalta tablets in one go, what should I do?
A. If you suspect that your cat has had an overdose of Vidalta then you should call your vet immediately for advice.
Q. How soon after starting Vidalta should I see an improvement in my cat’s clinical signs?
A. Vidalta starts to work quite quickly and so you should see an improvement within a couple of weeks.
Q. I’m not seeing a huge improvement in my cat, should I give them more Vidalta?
A. No. You should not change the dose without speaking to your vet. Speak to your vet if you think the Vidalta is not working.
Q. How often will I need to return to the vets for rechecks?
A. Rechecks will be frequent initially but if your cat is responding well then they will reduce to every few weeks and then every few months. In the long term, follow up checks every 3-6 months are recommended.