Pet Medications

This webpage is designed to help pet owners gain a better understanding of  the commonly prescribed medications they are given by their veterinarians.  This is not an all inclusive list. 

All medications, no matter whether they are prescription, herbal supplements, or "Over the Counter"  need to be given under the guidance and direction of your vet.  Always consult your vet before giving your pet any kind of medication.

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A SPECIAL Thank You to Dr. Browning and Dr. Reichman for taking the time out of their busy schedule's to look our list over for us!


Acepromazine - Acepromazine is one of the most commonly used tranquilizers in veterinary medicine. It is a phenothiazine compound. Its mode of action is only partially understood but it involves blockage of dopamine nerve receptors in the brain. It causes tranquilization and also has an anti-emetic effect. This makes it especially useful for treating car sickness, since that is often a combination of fear and motion sickness in dogs.

Albon- (sulfadimethoxine) is used for the treatment of susceptible bacterial infections/bowel problems.   Albon is used more often for coccidia rather than as an antibiotic.  Many vets have replaced the use of Albon with a drug called Ponazuril.  It is important for the pet to drink a lot of water on this medication. This medication should not be used in pregnant or
nursing animals and should not be used in animals with liver or kidney disease

Albuterol inhaler - Albuterol relaxes the smooth muscle in the airways and provides relief from obstructive airway diseases, such as asthma. Albuterol belongs to a class of drugs called bronchodilators.

Aminophylline - is a bronchodilator.  Aminophylline works in several ways:  it relaxes muscles in your lungs and chest to allow more air in, decreases the sensitivity of your lungs to allergens and other substances that cause inflammation, and increases the contractions of your diaphragm to draw more air into the lungs.

Amoxi-drops/Amoxicillin- Amoxi Drops is a liquid form of Amoxicillin, is a semi-synthetic penicillin commonly used in cats and dogs for treating a wide range of diseases like respiratory infections, wounds, skin infections, tooth abscesses etc. It is a broad spectrum antibiotic.  Amoxicillin is a broad-spectrum penicillin antibiotic used to treat various infections caused by susceptible strains of bacteria.  It fights bacteria in the body.  The duration of treatment depends on the cause of the disease and the response to treatment. When water is added to reconstitute the drops, the product should be stored in the refrigerator and any unused portion should be discarded after 14 days. 

Atopica - is a used for dogs suffering from atopic dermatitis (skin allergies). This drug targets the source of the allergy and keeps your dog in a control zone of comfort.  Side effects commonly seen by your veterinarian are gastrointestinal problems.  Gingival hyperplasia is not commonly seen by your veterinarian buy may occur with use of this drug.  Atopica is a very expensive drug, but useful in cases that other drugs are causing extreme or life altering side effects.

Benedryl - Children's benedryl is an antihistamine used to treat allergic reactions, atopic dermatits, and it also has some anti-anxiety and anti-vertigo effects.  The primary side effect is drowsiness.

Buprenex - Buprenex/Buprenorphine.  Buprenex is a pure opioid agonist that provides the best pain relief, like morphine, but also has the most side effects.  Buprenorphine is a partial opioid agnoist, it is very safe, but has a ceiling effect so it isn't good for severe pain.   This drug is best used for mild to moderate pain.  Buprenorphine is removed from the body via the liver. Patients with liver disease will have prolonged effects from this drug.

Butorphanol - Butorphanol belongs to a general class of drugs known as opiate agonist/antagonist.   It is the only true agonist/antagonist of the opioid group commonly used by veterinarians.  Butorphanol is not a partial agonist like buprenorphine which is why it is so safe, but can really  not work well for pain control.  Generally used in cases of very mild pain and not for significant pain situations.  In addition to pain control and sedation, butorphanol will alleviate coughing which is it's primary use.

CCNU - Used in the treatment of dogs with GME.  (Lomustine) is a very effective addition to or replacement for prednisone immune suppression in prednisone resistant cases that relapse off of prednisone or when prednisone adverse effects are too severe.  Lomustine is a nitrosourea compound used in the treatment of certain neoplasic diseases and is a potent immune suppressor primarily due to its toxic effect on lymphocytes.  It alkylates DNA and RNA but is not cross resistant with other alkylating agents such as Cytoxan.  Since the drug has high lipid solubility and it is not ionized at physiological pH, it crosses the blood-brain barrier very well reaching 50 percent of greater fhanplasma levels.  Lomustine is most commonly used to treat brain tumors and lymphosarcoma.

Cerenia -  prevents vomiting caused by motion sickness.  Cerenia is quickly becoming the primary drug for vomiting of any cause by veterinarians.  The most common side effects seen with CERENIA are excessive drooling, lethargy, lack of appetite, vomiting and diarrhea. If these signs are observed, stop CERENIA and call your veterinarian

Cimetidine - is an over the counter medication used for the treatment and/or prophylaxis of gastric, and duodenal ulcers, uremic gastritis, stress-related or drug-induced erosive gastritis, esophagitis, duodenal gastric reflux and esophageal reflux.

Clavamox - Clavamox is a penicillin with Clavulonic acid attached.  Clavulonic acid potentiates the penicilline and makes it useful particularly in some bacteria that were previously resistant to a plain penicillin antibiotic that fights bacteria in teh body.  Clavamox is a prescription medication that comes in tablets or liquid form.  Clavamox can be used to treat many different types of bacterial infections such as respiratoru, ear, urinary tract and skin infections.  Clavamox may also be used for purposes other than those listed.

Clindamycin - is an antibiotic.  Clindamycin inhibits bacteria by suppressing protein synthesis and growth.  It  is effective against a narrow range of bacteria. It is effective against bacteria that infect the skin, oral cavity, bone and respiratory tract.  This drug may intract with other medications.  Side effect may cause vomiting, diarrhea, and decreased appetite.

Cyclosporine - Used in treatment of dogs with GME.  Modified by Microemulsion-Neoral


Cytarabine - Used in the treatment of dogs with GME.  (Cytosine Arabinoside) is an antineoplasitc agent mostly used to treat lymphosarcoma of dogs. It has been shown to cross the blood-brain barrier of normal dogs.

Demacarium Bromide - is used for dogs with glaucoma.  This medication keeps the pupils small and helps with the prevention of glaucoma. 

Deramaxx -  DERAMAXX is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) that is proven safe and effective in controlling the pain and inflammation of osteoarthritis. Targeted Pain Control for  24 Hour Effectiveness  As with all drugs in this class, side effects involving the digestive system, kidneys or liver may occur. These are normally mild, but may be serious. Pet owners should discontinue therapy and contact their veterinarian immediately if side effects occur. Evaluation for preexisting conditions and regular monitoring are recommended for pets on any medication, including Deramaxx.  Use with other NSAIDs or corticosteroids should be avoided.  Do not give medication if dehydrated or vomiting/diarrhea occur.

Diazepam(Valium)  - .is an anti-anxiety drug and used or the treatment of many behavioral problems including some stereotypic behaviors.   It is a fast acting, powerful anticonvulsant, that is extremely effective at stopping cluster seizures or status epilepticus.  Diazepam has a very short half life and when given as a daily medication, dogs can develop a tolerance to it's anti-seizure activity.  Some dogs have an abnormal reaction to valium and rather than sedating them, valium will make them extremely agitated.These behaviors include separation anxiety, fear of loud noises or thunderstorms, territorial or social aggression between animals, urine marking or spraying, and hair loss due to excessive licking or grooming. Diazepam can be used to treat aggressive dogs in order to make them more manageable.  A potential and very important side effect of this drug is that occasional individuals can have a contradictory reaction and become more aggressive.  If Diazepam is used in a potentially aggressive animal, it is important to be aware of this possibility, warn the animal's handler, and take appropriate precautions. Diazepam alone is less likely to be effective as a sedative when used in an animal that is already excited.   The biggest use of Diazepam in veterinary medicine is as an injection to stop seizures and to induce anesthesia when combined with ketamine.

Doxycycline - is a member of the tetracycline antibiotics group and is commonly used to treat a variety of infections.  Doxycycline is a semi-synthetic tetracycline.  It is a bacteriostatic antibiotic used for the treatment of infections such as Lyme disease, Chlamydia, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and bacterial infections cause by susceptible organisms.  It has a broad spectrum with lots of potential uses.

Enalapril - Enalapril is used to treat mild, moderate or severe heart failure and high blood pressue and is usually used in combination with other medications.  It also is used in cases of protein losing kidney diseases.  It is most important to monitor blood values (BUN/Creat, Blood pressure in cases of hypertension and urine protein:  creatinine ratios in cases of protein losing kidney diseases.)

Hydrocodone - Hydrocodone represents a narcotic developed to accentuate the cough suppression effect.  It is somewhat more effective in this regard than codeine (another famous narcotic with strong cough suppression effects). Cough suppression by narcotics is effected by direct action on the cough centers of the brain. This drug is used for kennel cough, dogs with collapsing trachea, bronchitis, and heart enlargement.  Side effects are drowsiness, drying of respiratory secretions, constipation and upset stomach.

Hydromet cough syrup - Hydromet Syrup is an anticholinergic and narcotic cough suppressant combination. The anticholinergic works by drying up secretions and the narcotic depresses the cough reflex in the brain.

Imodium - This is an anti-diarrhea medication .  It seems to work better with small intestinal diarrhea, and is available in both tablet and liquid form. Your veterinarian may strongly discourage the use of this drug, particularly if your pet is in the toy dog breed.

Insulin - Insulin is the injectable medication you will be using to control your diabetic pet’s blood sugar. The goal is once or twice a day dosing (usually twice), maintaining blood sugar levels in an acceptable range over the course of the day. Keeping the sugars in the proper range will control the excessive urination and appetite that your pet suffers from and it will require some trial and error experimentation to get the correct dose (veterinarians direction). Insulin is a very simple molecule but it does differ slightly between species (i.e., cat insulin is different from dog insulin which is different from human insulin). There are presently four insulins commonly in use for pets: Vetsulin (also marketed as “Caninsulin®” in other countries), PZI insulin (presently out of production but still available on a limited basis, Lantus® insulin (also called Glargine insulin), and Humulin (genetically engineered human insulin available in several formulations with different duration of action).

Kaloin - Kaolin and pectin are used to treat diarrhea. They may also be used to relieve the symptoms of an upset stomach and nausea. Occasionally this medication may be used as an adsorbent if the pet has ingested certain toxins.

Ketoconazole - Ketoconazole is an antifungal medication used to treat fungal infections in  dogs. There may be other conditions for which your veterinarian may prescribe this medication.

Lactulose - is used to reduce ammonia blood levels in the prevention ad treatment of hepatic encephalopathy.  It is also used as a laxative.  Side effects are difficulty breathing, swelling of the lips, tongue or face, hives, flatulence, abdominal cramps, diarrhea, nausea, or vomiting.

Lasix (furosemide) -   is a diuretic used in the treatment of congestive heart failure, pulmonary edema, kidney disease, high blood pressure and edema. Side effects of lasix may include nausea, vomiting, weakness, loss of appetite, increased urination, electrolyte imbalance, diabetes, itching and rash.

 Leflunomide -  is used for treament in dogs with GME.  It is an immunomodulatory drug that has been shown in to be effective in treating several autoimmune diseases of dogs

Lysodren (mitotane) - is used in veterinary medicine to treat dogs with Cushing's disease. Side effects that may occur when using Lysodren include loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea.

Marin - The combination of silybin, vitamin E, and zinc in Marin for Dogs provides a multi-faceted approach to liver support and improves liver enzymes.   Silymarin/silypin has been shown to have beneficial effects on liver function. Vitamin E, a membrane-associated antioxidant, helps protect the liver against oxidant injury.

Metacam (Meloxicam) -  Meloxicam is generally given to control arthritis pain in dogs though can be given for many other painful conditions such as injuries, cancer, surgery, dental infections, and metacam is not use in animals with heart, kidney or liver disease.  Side effects are stomach ulceration, loss of kidney function, and inappropriate bleeding.  Metacam is a once a day NSAID.  Do not give this drug if dehydrated or vomiting/diarrehea occurs as Metacam will block intrinsic Cox-3 receptors that protect the kidney and gut from damage in times of dehydration.

Metronidazole/Flaygl - Metronidazole is used by veterinarians to treat various conditions such as inflammatory bowel disease, nonspecific diarrheal disorders, infections caused by Giardia and periodontal disease. 

Milk Thistle/Hepato Support - is a natural remedy for liver health.  Milk thistle is the most widely recognized natural remedy for liver health. It has been shown in scientific studies to not only protect liver cells, but also to help regenerate healthy ones.

Mucinex mini-melts - This is an effective, easy to administer over the counter medicine that can be given to dogs for relief of congestion.   These medication is for children and comes in different flavors.

Neurontin (Gabapentin) - The dosing is very different depending on if gabapentin is being used for seizure control or for pain management. For seizure control gabapentin is typically used three times daily while for pain control it is usually used once a day. Further, anti-seizure doses are three to ten times higher than analgesic doses which means that in seizure control expense is likely to become an issue.  Sedation is the chief side effect of concern. Diarrhea has also been reported

Novox (Carprofen) - is a generic form of Rimaydl. Carprofen is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID). It is designed to treat arthritis in dogs. It provides relief of pain and inflammation due to canine arthritis, orthopedic and soft tissue surgery.

Oral Neomycin - Neomycin is an antibiotic.  It inhibits bacteria by suppressing protein synthesis and growth. Through this mechanism, neomycin kills bacteria rapidly.  Neomycin belongs to a general class of drugs known as aminoglycosides. Other related drugs in this class include amikacin, tobramycin and kanamycin.  Neomycin is not used in dogs and cats for serious systemic infections such as pneumonia, blood stream infections or bone infections.

Otamax (Gentamicin Sulfate Veterinary) -  Otomax is an antimicrobial, corticosteroid and antifungal combination used on dogs for the treatment of acute and chronic otitis externa associated with yeast and/or bacteria susceptible to gentamicin. Otomax may also be used for purposes other than those listed. Side effects associated with this medication are related to the individual ingredients. Gentamicin, while absorbed poorly from the skin, when applied topically to large wounds, burns, or denuded skin for prolonged periods of time has a potential for reversible or irreversible ear and kidney toxicity. Following the use of injected or oral corticosteroids, side effects such as weight loss, loss of appetite, increased thirst and urination and vomiting and diarrhea may occur. Betamethasone is a corticosteroid but is applied topically. In humans, clotrimazole has been observed to occasionally cause redness of the skin, stinging, blistering, peeling, fluid retention, itching, hives and general irritation of the ski.

Oto-Acetic/Miconazole/Dex ear drops

Pepcid - is an over the counter human medication that is used by vets to decrease the acid secretion in the stomach, therefore alleviating associated discomfort and nausea.

Pepto Bismol - Treatment of diarrhea, vomiting, and indigestion in dogs.  Tongue and stool may darken temporarily. If the vomiting and/or diarrhea persists for more than 48 hours; the pet has a fever, is depressed or shows abdominal pain; or the pet does not continue to be active and alert, contact your veterinarian.

Phenobarbitol - is a medication used for treating seizures in dogs and for dogs with epilepsy. It is a barbiturate and a nonselective central nervous system depressant.   

Procarbazine -  is used in the treatment of dogs with GME.  It is another antineoplastic alkylating agent used to primarily treat lymphosarcoma. It is lipid-soluble and crosses the blood-brain barrier. It is  myelosupressivecausing thrombocytopenia and leukopenia.

Potassium Bromide - Used to control epilepsy and seizures in dogs.  Not FDA  approved for use in dogs and cats, but it is a common and accepted practice to use potassium bromide in dogs.  Useful in dogs whose seizures are not controlled with or who cannot take phenobarbital. The bromide is the element with the anti-seizure properties of inhibiting excitability of nerve cells in the brain. May take months for the full effect of a dosage change to occur.  Side effects may include transient sedation (occurs when used with phenobarbital and may last several weeks), loss of appetite, vomiting, constipation, or  pancreatitis  if potassium bromide is given in combination with phenobarbital or primidone.

Pred Acetate Eye Drops  - is a suspension eye drop and is absorbed into the eye.  it is used mainly for cataracts.

Prednisone - Prednisone is used to treat various conditions such as Addison's disease, inflammation from arthritis, allergies and certain autoimmune diseases.  Long term prednisone use may result in liver damage, diabetes mellitus, or iatrogenic cushings.  Prednisone comes in tablet and has several different milligram tablets available.

Pred-Phosphate 1% eye drops - is a water soluable solution and is used for the treatment of the outer eye.  It will not penetrate the eye, so it only works on the top of the eye.

Rimadyl -  is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) that is administered once a day. It provides safe and effective relief of pain and inflammation due to canine arthritis, orthopedic and soft tissue surgery. Rimadyl is safe and effective, like all the NSAIDs, if they are used correctly.  Do not give medication if dehydrated or vomiting/diarrhea occur.

Spironolactone  - Spironolactone is a potassium sparing diuretic used in the treatment of congestive heart failure, usually at end stage of heart failure.  It is a potassium-sparing diuretic (water pill). Spironolactone is used to reduce the amount of fluid in the body without also causing a loss of potassium. Spironolactone is used in the treatment of edema and high blood pressure (hypertension). Spironolactone is also used to treat potassium deficiency and hyperaldosteronism. Side effects are allergic reaction (difficulty breathing; swelling of the lips; tongue or face; hives); an irregular heartbeat, shortness of breath, fatigue, confusion, weakness, numbness, or decreased urination.

Springtime Fresh Factor tablets - are a natural food supplement that Promotes strong joints and bones, helps dry up and heal hot spots and prevents new ones, promotes healthy joints in growing dogs, helps give all dogs a luxurious coat and itch-free skin and enhances digestion/reduces stool size, cleanup.


Springtime Joint Health tablets - are a natural food supplement that target hip and joint health issues with the popular ingredients glucosamine HCL and chondroitin sulfate.

Sulcralfate (Carafate) - Stomach ulcers and erosions are relatively common complications of kidney failure, bloat (of the stomach), treatment with steroids, administration of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs  (NSAIDs) and primary diseases of the stomach. Frequently, drug therapy is necessary to heal ulcers and prevent further problems.  Do not give medication if dehydrated or vomiting/diarrhea occur.

Theophylline -  Theophylline is a bronchodilator which relaxes muscles in the lungs and chest. It is used in the treatment of heart failure, asthma, bronchitis, and pulmonary edema. Theophylline may also be used for purposes other than those listed in this medication guide.  Side effects are seizures; severe nausea and vomiting, and restlessness; coughing up  blood or vomit that looks like coffee grounds; urinating more than normal.

Torbutrol - See butorphanol.

Tramadol (Ultram) - Tramadol is not an opiate, but does bind the opiate receptor to provide pain relief in both dogs and cats.  Tramadol works much better if combined with a NSAID, so most veterinarians commonly use Tramadol in this way.   

TriOptic Eye Ointment - is used for treatment of superficial bacterial infections of the eyelid and conjuctiva in dogs, due to organisms susceptible to the antibiotics contained in the ointment.

Tussigon - is an opiate agonist used to suppress coughing in dogs. It is primarily used in conditions such as collapsing trachea, bronchitis, or upper respiratory disease. It can have a drying effect on respiratory mucosa and increase viscosity of respiratory secretions. Therefore, it is generally reserved for harsh, dry, non-productive coughs.

Valium - See Diazepam.

Baby Tylenol (liquid) - Many veterinarians do not feel that baby tylenol should be used in veterinary medicine. Other veterinarians may prescribe this medication under certain circumstances.  NEVER use baby tylenol for your pet without your vet's approval and guidance.

Zentonil - This is an over the counter medication that is used as a therapeutic tool for the relief of hepatic distress.  It is pure, stablized salt of S-Adenosylmethionine (SAMe).



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