Dogs with allergies may occasionally be administered Allegra (fexofenadine), but you shouldn’t give medication to your dog until your veterinarian has given the all-clear. Numerous antihistamines also work well for a number of other conditions, including motion sickness and sleeplessness. An antihistamine is being used “off label” if you’re utilizing it for a purpose other than its intended application (allergic reactions). Your veterinarian should constantly keep an eye on and advise against off-label use. Without a doctor’s supervision, you shouldn’t be dispensing drugs off-label as a proprietor.
Can my dog take Allegra?
Although Allegra is typically thought to be a fairly safe medication for dogs, it’s crucial that you only get the basic version of the medication. Giving your dog Allegra D or other versions that contain decongestants like pseudoephedrine can be very hazardous to dogs, so avoid doing so.
The medication’s oral suspension forms should also be avoided because they frequently include xylitol, which can be extremely harmful to your pet.
Allegra is typically not administered in situations where a dog is breastfeeding, pregnant, or has kidney difficulties since it may cause problems. Pets with cardiac issues may not be the best candidates for Allegra since excessive doses of the medication have been shown to impair heart function.
In addition, dogs who consume a lot of fruit or fruit juice (perhaps in the form of frozen treats) may have trouble efficiently absorbing Allegra.
Although Allegra’s adverse effects in dogs have not been thoroughly studied, they are probably comparable to those in humans. These consist of:
- digestive upset
- Drowsiness (rare)
Contact your veterinarian right away and follow their recommendations if you think your dog may be experiencing any of these conditions.
What happens if Allegra is eaten by a dog?
In both human and veterinary medicine, antihistamines are frequently prescribed for conditions like allergies, hay fever, skin conditions, etc. Antihistamine poisoning can cause clinical indications of extreme agitation, lethargy, drowsiness, aggression, abnormal blood pressure, irregular heart rate, vomiting, diarrhea, inappetance, seizures, respiratory depression, and even death in dogs and cats who unintentionally consume them.
What dosage of Allegra should I give my 70-pound dog?
Note: Never administer Allegra to your dog without first getting your veterinarian’s consent, and always go by their recommendations.
The dosage for dogs is 12.5 mg/lb when using the simple Allegra formulation, which has fexofenadine as the only active component (see the back of the box for a list of active ingredients). Depending on your vet’s preference, this may be administered once or twice daily.
Dog’s Pound Weight:Mg Dosage:
Fexofenadine is a common ingredient in Allegra medications, and each pill can range in dosage from 60 mg to 180 mg. Since it is simpler to split tablets if necessary, it is frequently a good idea to use tablets rather than gelcaps.
The following formulas should not be given to your dog:
Children’s Oral Suspension (Liquid): Since it includes xylitol, avoid using it.
The meltable tablets may also be ineffective because they were created to function for people, but your veterinarian can advise you on this.
As an illustration, a 60 mg Allegra tablet once or twice daily, or 2 mg/pound, might be administered to a 30 lb dog.
What dose of Allegra can a dog handle?
Allergra is quite safe for dogs, and studies have revealed that it would take a very large dose of the drug to be regarded as hazardous. It is advised to give dogs 2 milligrams per kilogram of weight. A typical antihistamine dose is just one milligram per pound of body weight per eight hours, such as diphenhydramine (Benadryl). You could safely administer 80 milligrams of Allegra to an 80-pound dog. This seems excessive compared to how much you individually take antihistamines, but dogs need higher dosages since they have lower antihistamine efficacy.
Although these big quantities are totally safe, you should never administer more than the advised dose every eight hours unless your veterinarian has specifically advised you to do so. These incidents are exceedingly uncommon and often only happen after your dog has had a very bad allergic reaction.
How much Allegra can my dog take in one dose?
- Never provide medication without first talking to your veterinarian. The oral solution of this medication may contain xylitol, a known canine poison, and it has not been extensively researched in dogs.
- Fexofenadine is dosed in dogs at a rate of 1 to 2.5 milligrams per pound of body weight (2 to 5 milligrams per kilogram) every 12 to 24 hours. According to one study, some dogs responded well to greater amounts administered once daily (9 mg per pound). Yet another way
The whole dose of fexofenadine is administered to dogs. Doses are frequently rounded to the closest tablet size due to the sizes of the pills. For instance, the typical dosage for small dogs is 15 mg, whereas the typical dosage for large dogs is 30 mg.
- Fexofenadine has not been researched in cats, and no dosing recommendations have been published. According to some publications, cats should receive a TOTAL dosage of 10 to 15 mg once daily orally.
- either with or without meals. You can give Fexofenadine to pets who have digestive issues together with meals.
- The ailment being treated, how the patient reacts to the medication, and if any side effects manifest themselves all influence how long the administration will last. It is typically advised to give fexofenadine to a pet for a least of two weeks before making a decision.
- Except as recommended by your veterinarian, make sure to finish the prescription. To avoid relapse, the entire treatment regimen should be followed, even if your pet feels better.
Antihistamines like Benadryl and Zyrtec
In order to relieve allergy symptoms, people frequently use antihistamines such diphenhydramine (Benadryl), certirizine (Zyrtec), and hydroxyzine. These medications can also be given to dogs. These drugs function by blocking histamine from attaching to cells and acting on them.
Antihistamines have the advantages of being affordable and maybe assisting dogs with moderate environmental allergies. The drawback is that they frequently perform poorly when treating dogs with more severe environmental allergies. As a result, they frequently need to be taken in addition to other drugs in order to control symptoms.
Read Benadryl for Dogs: How it Works, When it Works, Why it Works for the whole story on possible side effects and contraindications for using Benadryl in dogs.
VERDICT Antihistamines are generally quite safe but ineffective as an allergy treatment for dogs.
Oclacitinib (Apoquel): a newer allergy medication for dogs
A relatively new drug called oclacitinib (Apoquel) is used to treat dog allergies. (It received FDA approval in 2013). The way that Apoquel functions is by preventing the JAK1 and JAK3 molecules from transmitting the “itch and inflammation signal” produced in response to an allergen. Your allergic dog will have reduced itching and inflammation as a result.
Most allergy patients respond to Apoquel extremely rapidly, just like the dog in the before and after pictures below. It works wonders to stop the itching and to deal with allergies permanently.
The medicine is initially administered twice daily for two weeks, then is decreased to once daily for maintenance. When switching from a twice-daily dose to a once-daily dose, some dogs exhibit an increase in symptoms. Ask your veterinarian for advice on what to do if you discover that your dog’s itching is increasing once more.
Possible side effects of Apoquel
There is a chance of adverse effects, just like with any drug. When compared to other treatments, the quantity of dogs who suffered adverse effects (such vomiting and diarrhea) was quite low.
High doses of Apoquel run the danger of lowering the immune system because it does block a chemical signal in the immune system. However, there is a comparably lesser risk of immunosuppression because Apoquel has a more focused target than drugs like cyclosporine or steroids.
Apoquel: full disclosure
In the interest of full disclosure, there was some worry that Apoquel’s ability to alter the immune system might be associated with the occurrence of cancer in dogs.
In a recently released study, the incidence of skin growths and cancer in allergic dogs treated with Apoquel was compared to allergic dogs of the same age and breed not treated with Apoquel. It is comforting to know that this study found no significant difference between the groups in the incidence of cancer and skin masses or in the average age at death.
However, the Apoquel product insert still states that it should be used with caution in canines that have a history of cancer since it may exacerbate (make worse) malignant situations.
Personally, I believe it to be a valuable medication that has significantly raised the quality of life for many allergic pets. Although the results do not suggest that Apoquel raises the chance of cancer, I still prefer to be safe and use other allergy medicines in dogs who already have cancer or who are at high risk for developing it.
By the way, if you’re interested in learning more about canine cancer, I encourage you to listen to my audio interview with Dr. SueCancer Vet, a friend and professional colleague of mine, titled “The Myths and Misconceptions of Cancer in Dogs.”
Finally, Apoquel cannot be used on puppies who have allergies because it is only approved for the treatment of allergies in dogs over the age of one year.
The bottom line on Apoquel for dogs
VERDICT Apoquel is a popular among veterinarians since it quickly and successfully manages allergies with few side effects. A new study suggests that it does not raise a dog’s risk of developing cancer, yet it should still be taken with caution in cancer-bearing canines.
Canine Atopic Dermatologic Immunotherapeutic (Cytopoint)
The creation of Cytopoint, an immune system molecule that binds to the itch-inducing chemical signal IL-31, is an even more recent advancement in the treatment of allergies in dogs. Your dog will feel better once Cytopoint has been binded to IL-31 because it prevents the development of new itch signals. It is administered as an injection at your veterinarian’s clinic every one to two months rather than as a tablet. This is fantastic news for dog owners whose pets refuse to take medicines.
The before and after pictures show the dramatic improvement that Cytopoint may produce. It was taken on November 25, 2020, in the picture on the left. On May 14, 2021, the picture on the right was captured.
Within one to two days of the injection, Cytopoint begins to act, and it continues to benefit the dog for one to two months. It can be taken safely with other drugs because it targets a very particular immune system signal and carries a low risk of suppressing the immune system.
Unfortunately, this medication is not as effective as steroids or Apoquel in reducing allergy-related inflammation symptoms like red and irritated skin or swelling of the ear canals because it targets the chemical signal associated with the itching “feeling rather than altering the action of cells in the immune system.
The bottom line on Cytopoint for dogs
VERDICT: This is the “most advanced and effective allergy treatment for dogs. For dogs who already have a medical issue, it might be superior to other existing treatments. When it comes to lowering inflammation, it falls short. It can be a quick and efficient way to treat allergies because one injection lasts for four to eight weeks.
Dog steroids for allergies
Prednisone, dexamethasone, and triamcinolone are just a few of the steroids that can be found in a range of oral liquids, oral tablets, topical medications/shampoos, and injectable forms.
They effectively reduce inflammation and irritation by blocking particular immune system cells and chemical signals. In reality, steroids frequently relieve itchy dogs like magic. (Listen to my podcast, Prednisone 101, for additional details about prednisone.)
Benefits of steroids as an allergy medication for dogs
Steroid advantages include:
- Steroids have a quick onset of action, strong effects, and are reasonably priced.
- Dogs’ ear infections can benefit greatly from the use of steroids. Why? Because it can frequently be challenging to get the antibiotics down into the ear canal due to the ear canal’s extreme swelling. Steroids are one of the few kinds of allergy drugs that can expand the ear canal and better treat the underlying ear infection because they lessen inflammation.
One, and this is a huge but, steroids do have adverse effects. Steroid side effects are relatively widespread and alarming when compared to those of the other drugs covered in this page.
Which is better for allergies in pets, Allegra or Zyrtec?
A study compared Zyrtec 10 mg daily for two weeks to Allegra 180 mg daily in 495 people with seasonal allergies. Allegra was found to have a lower drowsiness threshold than Zyrtec, and both medications were similarly efficient at treating allergy symptoms.
Another study revealed that Allegra and Zyrtec had comparable side effects and that Zyrtec was more effective.
However, some people prefer one over the other, so it could take some trial and error to find the medication that works best for you. Additionally, your doctor can assist you in deciding which medication could be most suitable for you.
Which canine antihistamine is the most potent?
When a dog has mild-to-moderate allergies, Benadryl is a fantastic drug to utilize. Most of the time, Benadryl works to treat allergies such as seasonal allergies, food allergies, environmental allergies, and allergic reactions to snake and bug bites. Benadryl is frequently used to alleviate itching in dogs brought on by skin allergies, and it also lessens many other allergy symptoms, such as:
- Angiogenesis and inflammation
- runny eyes and a nose
- allergic response
Drowsiness, one of Benadryl’s adverse effects, aids in calming agitated dogs. According to the Merck Veterinary Manual, diphenhydramine may help pets who are experiencing mild-to-moderate travel-related anxiety symptoms. Additionally, it might lessen motion sickness. It’s best to consult your veterinarian or an animal behaviorist to identify and treat the cause of the anxiety, even if Benadryl may occasionally help.
Dogs with mast cell tumors are given Benadryl by veterinarians to lessen the symptoms of the significant histamine release brought on by mast cell degranulation. Diphenhydramine is occasionally prescribed by veterinarians for use during heartworm treatments because it lowers the possibility of an adverse reaction to the medication. A great addition to your pet’s first aid kit is Benadryl.
Can I administer human antihistamine to my dog?
For a number of reasons, it is always preferable to consult your veterinarian before giving your dog any over-the-counter drugs.
You must first determine the proper dose to deliver because there are differences between the doses for humans and canines. In order to prevent any negative outcomes, your veterinarian should check your dog’s medical history. Drug combinations can be harmful. Third, many over-the-counter (OTC) drugs should not be used on canines. Making the assumption that a medicine is safe for your dog simply because you can buy it over-the-counter might have harmful implications.
Antihistamines. Common antihistamines include diphenhydramine (Benadryl), cetirizine (Zyrtec), and loratadine (Claritin), which reduce allergy symptoms or prevent allergic responses. Antihistamines are mostly safe, however some dogs may become drowsy or hyperactive when taking them. OTC antihistamine medications could also have unsuitable components for dogs, including decongestants. Verify that the product solely includes antihistamine by carefully reading the label. Make sure the antihistamine you have is appropriate for your dog by consulting the medical staff at your local animal hospital.
Antidiarrheals/Antinauseants. For stomach problems, bismuth subsalicylate (Pepto-Bismol) is frequently stored in medicine cabinets and can be given to your dog. Consult your veterinarian healthcare team before administering if your dog has never taken it before. To treat both diarrhea and vomiting, a dose of 1 teaspoon for every 5 to 10 pounds of body weight may be used. However, contact your veterinarian if your dog throws up the Pepto-Bismol. Another anti-diarrheal that calms unsettled stomachs and is normally harmless is kaopectate. A large dog, however, requires a lot of Kaopectate at a dose of 1 ml per pound. You can get a dog-specific medicine from your vet.
Loperamide (Imodium). If given to your dog at a dose of 1 mg per 20 pounds of body weight, it should be safe to treat diarrhea in an emergency. Give just one dosage. Contact your veterinarian if the diarrhea does not stop. The condition can only be effectively treated if the cause of the diarrhea is correctly identified.
Cimetidine plus famotidine (Pepcid AC) (Tagamet). These drugs can be used to treat or prevent heartburn in humans, and they also function in canines. These drugs can improve a dog’s condition by reducing the generation of stomach acids. For dietary transgressions, it is acceptable to use them sometimes; nevertheless, if your dog continues to experience gastrointestinal problems, consult your veterinarian to identify the underlying cause.
creams, gels, and sprays containing steroids OTC steroid formulations are often quite safe and have a lower percentage of active components than prescription steroids. They have the advantage of making hot areas and bug bites less itchy. Steroids have the drawback of delaying healing, particularly if the incision is infected. Have your dog’s wound examined by your veterinarian if it still doesn’t appear to be healing after a few applications.
antibacterial topical cream. A typical topical antibiotic used on minor wounds and scrapes is neosporin. Every first aid kit should contain this ointment because it is generally safe for dogs. Check to be sure the cream only contains antibiotics and not steroids, which can actually slow healing. Before administering the antibiotic ointment, make sure your dog’s wound is clean. Cover the wound to prevent your dog from licking the lotion off.
Sprays, gels, and creams that are anti-fungal. The majority of fungal infections are too complex to be effectively treated with over-the-counter medications, but you can use them while you wait to take your dog to the vet. It’s crucial to rapidly and successfully treat these diseases since some fungal infections can spread from pets to people.
Peroxygenated water. If your dog consumes something he shouldn’t have, hydrogen peroxide can be administered orally to cause vomiting in addition to being applied topically to wipe out a superficial flesh lesion (i.e., your medications, rodenticides, toxic plants). However, vomiting can do more harm than good, so speak with your veterinarian or an emergency veterinary hospital PRIOR to giving your dog an oral dose of hydrogen peroxide to find out how much to give.
a mineral oil There are several applications for this generally safe liquid. To prevent soap stinging your dog’s eyes, put a few drops in his eyes before bathing him.
synthetic tears Your dog may have dry eyes or may have some dust or debris in his eyes if he blinks or squints too much. The smallest speck in your eye or dry eyes can irritate you. Sometimes all that is required to clean junk out is a tiny amount of lubricating eye drops. Take your dog to the vet straight soon, though, if he continues to blink or squint. He might need to have a foreign body removed, have a scratch on his cornea, or have an eye infection. Contact your veterinarian right away if you observe a discharge or if your dog’s eyes appear red or inflamed. A prompt treatment helps ease your dog’s discomfort and could perhaps save permanent visual loss.