Have you read an account of a dog parent who claims that Cerenia has caused the death of their dog? A consequence that every dog owner who hears these stories faces is that they imagine themselves in these stories. And without fail, it’s always a bone-chilling experience to picture yourself and your cute fur buddy in their place. But worrying alone never solves any problems, so let’s address the controversy around Cerenia and see whether it can really cause the death of your dog.
What is Cerenia?
Maropitant Citrate, or Cerenia, is an FDA-approved drug for dogs or cats suffering from motion sickness. It has been proven to treat or prevent vomiting effectively. It can also act as a mild pain control medication.
Veterinarians usually prescribe Cerenia and it is administered in two forms: tablets or injections. When given in a tablet form to prevent nausea caused by motion sickness, it is advised to feed your pet a small meal three hours before traveling, one hour later (two hours before traveling), and administer Cerenia. This medication takes 1-2 hours before showing an improvement in the condition.
Side Effects of Cerenia
Like any medication Cerenia, too, has adverse side effects. Some of the most common side effects include vomiting and hypersalivation. In addition, dogs are known to suffer from diarrhea, lethargy, excessive drooling, bloody stools, endotoxic shock, lack of appetite, hematuria, excoriation, and otitis or inflammation in the ear.
Furthermore, dogs afflicted with liver or heart disease manifest more symptoms of the previously mentioned side effects. Pregnant or nursing dogs need to use this drug cautiously as it’s not considered entirely safe for them.
If your dog is on chloramphenicol, phenobarbital, erythromycin, ketoconazole, itraconazole, or NSAIDs, they’re at a higher risk of suffering from adverse side effects.
Can Cerenia Kill Dogs?
Now, let’s address the real question. Cerenia is approved medication and does not cause death…at least directly. A study on Cerenia administration reported that 4.9% of dogs using Cerenia tablets or injections died. It is also reported that 25% of dogs suffer from vomiting after taking the medication.
So, what can we make of this? Pet parents who lost their dogs soon after administering this medication have a clear answer. However, it is claimed that Cerenia does not cause death directly. That death in dogs using Cerenia medication was caused by the vomiting and not the drug itself.
What we know for sure is that Cerenia only suppresses the symptoms of vomiting, thereby preventing or reducing motion sickness. Hence, it is likely that dogs who suffered an unfortunate death may have died due to vomiting. But before we pass a verdict, let’s learn a little about how Cerenia actually works.
How Does Cerenia Kill a Dog?
In the leaflet provided with Cerenia tablets, one of the side effects mentioned that we haven’t discussed is death. A dog’s death due to Cerenia can be caused by an allergic reaction to the drug or an underlying disease that went undiagnosed.
In addition, Cerenia can also cause the death of dogs when owners fail to detect the actual cause of vomiting. Vomiting is the body’s reflex reaction to eject harmful toxins, bacteria, and viruses. Therefore, when Cerenia is administered to dogs, it can suppress vomiting leading to the accumulation of toxins.
Due to the suppression of nausea and related symptoms, owners may delay diagnostics and fail to address and treat the underlying cause of vomiting. For this reason, it is essential to run standard tests to identify any allergies or hidden causes that may cause complications later.
What to Do if Cerenia Killed Your Dog?
If you believe your dog died after using the Cerenia drug. In that case, it is essential to get an autopsy report to learn whether Cerenia caused the death of your dog or if any underlying diseases caused it.
The Cerenia medicine manufacturer can foot the bill for the autopsy to determine whether an adverse outcome was likely. This would be the case only if your dog had test work performed to rule out any possible underlying diseases before receiving Cerenia.
If the autopsy report indicates that your dog died due to this prescription medication, you can contact Zoetis Inc. and report the adverse side effects of the Cerenia drug. Your dog’s medical history should also be ready, and a copy must be obtained. Then, you will be questioned about your dog and all the circumstances surrounding the dog’s demise.
After receiving your complaint, the drug manufacturer must inform the Food and Drug Administration about your dog’s situation.
Some Alternatives to Cerenia
To avoid the whole controversy and keep your dog safe and healthy, the best course of action is to look for alternatives to Cerenia. Below are some safe medications and practices you can try out to help your dog with motion sickness and consequent vomiting.
Cannabidiol or CBD
Cannabidiol, or CBD for short, is derived from hemp plants. It is considered relatively safe for dogs as it has all the beneficial properties that help your furry friend with vomiting. In addition, CBD oil has anti-nausea and anti-inflammatory effects, and since it’s a natural remedy, it has zero side effects. This oil has also been known to reduce anxiety in dogs. However, consulting your vet is necessary before administering CBD.
Benadryl and Dramamine
Benadryl and Dramamine are both over-the-counter antihistamine drugs. These drugs reduce the amount of stomach acid, inflammation, and nausea. However, these medications are sedatives and may cause your dog to be sluggish and tired. Be sure to consult your veterinarian before administering these drugs, as these drugs may upset your dog’s stomach and decrease appetite.
Try Reducing Food Intake
Planning your dog’s meal quantities and meal times before and during the trip will significantly reduce the likelihood that your dog will vomit while you are traveling long distances.
Reduce the amount of food you give your dog before a trip. Similarly, never feed your dog while driving because it can make them queasy. Additionally, ensure that they have access to fresh water.
Train Your Dog to Travel Long Distances
If your dog isn’t used to traveling by car or long distances, then stress may also be an important cause of vomiting. Additionally, your dog’s delicate stomach may produce more acid and experience more significant inflammation due to the car’s movement, making it feel ill and queasy.
Therefore, driving them around your neighborhood is a good idea before bringing them on a long trip. It also helps them get familiar with the car’s movement and environment. Lastly, it is essential to see a veterinarian before deciding what is best for your dog.
The stories around Cerenia usage are scary; however, there is no direct evidence proving Cerenia is causing the death of dogs. However, to be on the safe side and help your dog live its best life, consult your veterinarian before administering any medications. We also recommend our readers go through all the required lab tests to rule out any underlying diseases.