What’s the Right Gabapentin Dosage for Dogs?

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Also, I am not a veterinarian and this post is not meant to take the place of a licensed veterinarian.

 

What’s the Right Gabapentin Dosage for Dogs?

You came to this site looking for a specific answer, so here it is:

  • 5 – 10 mg/kg administered orally every 8 hours.

For reference:  1 kilogram is the equivalent of approximately 2 pounds.

I found the answer to this question on the website of the International Veterinary Academy of Pain Management. This dosage is a guideline  for veterinarians and can be tweaked depending on how your dog responds to the treatment.  The dosage may also change dependent on your dog’s medical condition. Epilepsy is usually treated at a higher dose.

If you want more detailed information on the topic, keep reading.

 

Gabapentin Dosage for Dogs – Everything You Need to Know

Gabapentin was originally formulated for people and used as anti-seizure medication. It can be used as an anti-anxiety medication in people, and it is sometimes used to relax dogs before they get into the veterinarian’s clinic.

Other reasons for gabapentin use in dogs include:

Gabapentin is also known by the brand name Neurontin.  It is sometimes used as a booster drug to amplify the effects of narcotic pain medication. By doing this, the veterinarian can avoid increasing the narcotic while still getting the pain-killing effect.

 

What's the Right Gabapentin Dosage for Dogs

The right gabapentin dosage for dogs depends on a number of things including dog weight and type of illness.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Where to Buy Gabapentin for Dogs

 

  • Online Pharmacy

In this case, you’ll need a veterinarian prescription before you can purchase gabapentin online.  Ask the veterinarian for ethical, legit online pharmacies. You can also check with the National Association Boards of Pharmacy  to find out if a particular pharmacy is licensed. Click on the link above to find the Board of Pharmacy for your state.

Before your veterinarian ph0nes or writes in the prescription, make sure you understand the instructions first.  The gabapentin dosage for dogs will follow the standard 10 mg/kg of dog weight, but the veterinarian might have specific times during the day (or night) he wants you to give the medication. He/she may also have a better reason for suggesting another dosage.

 

IN CANADA, it’s illegal to buy prescription medications online. It’s happening because US officials are allowing it to happen, but it’s still illegal.

 

  • Veterinarian Clinic

Veterinarian clinics and animal hospitals tend to keep the most commonly prescribed medications in stock.  If this is the case, you can buy gabapentin right there. From what I understand, gabapentin is prescribed per capsule and a capsule costs approximately .30 cents/ea.   Capsules for dogs come in 100 mg and 300 mg.

 

  • Veterinarian Phone-In

Instead of presenting the pharmacist with a written prescription, your veterinarian can phone a local pharmacy known to have gabapentin in stock.

 

Gabapentin Dosage for Dogs

As I mentioned above, the standard gabapentin dosage for dogs is 10 mg/kg. The veterinarian will prescribe capsules because they do not contain xylitol, an artificial sweetener that is highly toxic and deadly for dogs.

For this reason, if you happen to have the liquid form of gabapentin in your medicine cabinet, do not give it to your dog. It contains xylitol.

 

How Fast Does a Gabapentin Dose for Dogs Take to Work?

I’ve read two different things, from two different reliable sources. One suggests it could take 2 or 3 hours to take effect, and another suggests peak levels happen within an hour of ingesting.

 

Minimal Side Effects

Gabapentin, like any medication, does have a few side-effects including:

  • dizziness
  • sleepiness
  • a bit wobbly

Once your dog adjusts to the medication, the mild side-effects should go away.

Gabapentin dosages for dogs, as recommended by your veterinarian, is excreted through the kidneys, which means it’s not suitable for dogs with underlying kidney damage or disease.

Side effects are rare, but if gabapentin does make your pet drowsy, the veterinarian might suggest a trial of giving the drug in the evening before bed. Once your dog adjusts to the medication, the drowsiness should go away.

More Severe But Rare Side-Effects:

Contact your veterinarian right away if you notice any of the following side-effects:

  • extra-sleepy
  • throwing up
  • diarrhea
  • loss of coordination (more than just being a little bit wobbly)
  • shows signs of depression

 

 

Xylitol Kills Dogs & is an Ingredient in Some Gabapentin Formulations.

The formulation used for dogs is the 100 mg capsule. Since the drug is required by prescription only, you don’t have to worry…your veterinarian will know which one to administer.

However, in the interest of saving money, you might be tempted to accept a borrowed medicine from your friends’ medicine cabinet, or your own. Don’t do this.  The formulation prescribed for people is not the same.

When the Medication Doesn’t Seem to be Working

If you think your dog is still in pain, check with your veterinarian before giving an increased dose of gabapentin. Veterinarians treat dogs on a case-by-case basis, and he/she might want to see your dog in the clinic to check for:

  • worsening of the underlying condition
  • side-effects
  • check for weight gain or loss as this may affect gabapentin dosage for dogs
  • review of all other medications the dog is currently on.

If your dog is on any other medications that he/she doesn’t know about, it’s important to share that information.  Some drugs and herbal or natural supplements can interact with gabapentin in a way that reduces its effectiveness.

Tapering Gabapentin for Dogs

Gabapentin has a history of causing rebound pain if stopped abruptly. For that reason, it’s important to maintain the prescribed treatment until the veterinarian gives you clearance to start weaning.

I wrote an article recently about weaning dogs off of Prozac, and I would say the process is fairly similar. However, you should always follow your veterinarian’s recommendations for weaning properly.  By slowly reducing the amount of gabapentin your dog is taking, you will reduce (if not eliminate) the possibility of unwanted withdrawal.

Dangers of a Quick Withdrawal of Gabapentin

If gabapentin is stopped suddenly, especially after taking a higher dose for a period of time, it could cause rebound pain and/or seizures.

At the end of the day, the most important thing is to safely eliminate any pain your dog has. Gabapentin can do that (sometimes to amplify the effects of a prescribed narcotic).  Follow the prescription instructions carefully, and always contact your veterinarian with questions if there is any confusion.

Now that you’ve read about gabapentin, I hope you’ll stick around.  Read 11 Ways to Reclaim Your Dog’s Health in 2018.

 

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This entry was posted in Dog Medication on by .

About Lisa Theriault

Lisa Theriault wants you to know right up front that she is not a veterinarian. None of the articles/posts on this website are meant to take the place of veterinarian care. That said, Lisa has had a lifetime of experience dealing with dogs and plans on further education on dog anatomy and canine massage. In the meantime, Lisa's posts are all professionally researched and carefully crafted. The last thing she wants is to do or say anything that would hurt your dog. Stay tuned for more updates to Lisa's bio.

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