Imodium for Dogs (Complete Guide)

As a dog parent, it is natural for you to feel concerned if your furry baby experiences a stomach problem like Diarrhoea. During such times, it is not unusual for you to hunt through different available options to reduce your pup’s discomfort. One of such options may be contemplating giving some medicines like Imodium to your dog.

However, we all know that Imodium is a human drug. So, it is not strange to wonder whether such a drug is suitable for your furry friend or not. You never know when something wrong happens. After all, dangers do not come with a warning sign. You may give this human drug to your pup for the reduction of its discomfort, and precisely the opposite happens.

Therefore, it is better to get a bit educated regarding this drug and its suitability for your dog before you venture to make your pup have it.

About the Imodium Drug

Imodium is a synthetic opioid, and its generic name is Loperamide. Like all opioids, say oxycodone, morphine and so on, Loperamide is remarkable for its constipation side effects. This particular side effect is precisely the reason behind so many people taking this drug as a remedy for diarrhoea. However, unfortunately, this drug is not that effective when it comes to reducing pain, especially when taken at prescribed levels. Consequently, it is used mainly as an indirect rather than a direct drug for diarrhoea.

Having understood the actual usage of this drug, your next question should be concerned with this drug’s suitability for your pup.

Should I give my dog Imodium?

Truth to be told; generally, human drugs are not prescribed to animals. The reason is evident that our entire bodily mechanisms differ from them. Therefore, we will advise you to consult your vet first before experimenting with your dog’s body. 

Even though Loperamide has the potential to slow the process of digestion, it has side effects as well. And these side effects are supposed to differ in humans and animals. While you may be aware of its side effects in humans, your knowledge about your dog’s bodily mechanisms is almost zero unless you are a vet.

So, apart from consulting your veterinarian, doing a little bit of research yourself won’t do any harm.

Nonetheless, the answer to this query is not no. You can give your pup Imodium. But then there are exceptions to this answer as well. To know those exceptions, you have to grasp how Imodium reacts in your dog’s body. And the first step in this direction is to understand whether this drug will ease your puppy’s stomach problem or not.

Effectiveness of Imodium in Dogs

So far, Imodium’s effectiveness in treating dogs’ stomach issues is concerned; there have been no far-reaching studies. However, some studies on animals, in general, have been done to understand its reactions in animal bodies. Consequently, giving a definite response on whether Lomeramide is useful for treating dogs or not is not possible. 

Nonetheless, the available studies can give you some idea about this drug’s effectiveness in dogs. So, let us look at some of these studies to figure out Imodium’s effects in dogs.

Studies on Imodium Effects on Dogs and their results

Even though there have been limited studies on Imodium’s reactions, the results are encouraging. That is to say, you can expect this drug to almost assuredly to work on your pup’s digestive problems.

One of such scientific inquiries showed that Imodium has the potential to restore gastrointestinal motility in canines. Gastrointestinal motility is concerned with the passage of food from the point of ingestion (mouth) to the end of excretion (anus). To put it more simply, the drug can cure diarrhoea by restoring the natural pace of your pup’s GI or digestive system.

Another inquiry was made to reflect upon this drug’s effect on a vast range of animals, including canines. The study expounded that Imodium can prove to be an excellent drug for animals whose digestive systems comprise of a particular type of microflora. 

Fortunately, dogs tend to have this specific variety of community of bacteria in their GI (Gastrointestinal) system.

Is it innoxious to give your dog Imodium?

The answer is both yes and no.

Yes, because the drug has some really beneficial effects on your dog’s digestive system, especially when it is suffering from diarrhoea. And no, because the medicine can cause serious harm when given under particular circumstances. These harmful effects include sedation (often severe), bloat, constipation and pancreatitis.

To ascertain that your pup doesn’t fall prey to this drug’s adverse reactions, you must know the circumstances or symptoms under which you must not give Imodium to your dog.

Multi-Drug Resistance 1 Gene Mutation

If your dog belongs to a herding breed, forget about Imodium. These dogs tend to carry the ABCB1-1Δ (MDR1) gene’s mutant form that often restricts their ability to digest certain kinds of drugs, and these drugs include Imodium. To ascertain whether your dog is carrying the mutant form of the MDR1 (Multi-drug resistance 1) gene or not, you can think about conducting a test. However, unless you are sure about your dog’s genetic history, we will recommend you to abide by the veterinary maxim, “White feet, do not treat.”

Without knowing the exact reason behind Diarrhoea

Your dog can suffer from diarrhoea because of a variety of reasons. Some of them include infections caused by “Clostridium perfringens” bacteria and other kinds of toxins like that exist on mushrooms. If your pup has developed one of these conditions, you must not give it Imodium as that will restrict the rapid flushing out of these toxins from your dog’s body. You can consider diarrhoea in these situations a boon for your dog.

Adverse medical conditions other than Diarrhoea

If your dog is suffering from kidney or liver problems, Addison’s disease, breathing problems, head injury or hypothyroidism, do not even think about giving your pup Imodium. The drug will definitely exacerbate these problems.

Body Weakness

Finally, if your dog is suffering from stomach ache, is continuously vomiting, is very young or old or weak because of some other health conditions, making your dog have Imodium is strictly prohibited.

Even if your puppy does not suffer from any of the conditions mentioned above, we will advise you to consult your vet first. It is because only your veterinarian knows the correct dosage of Imodium for your pup. They will examine your dog’s height, weight, breed and other health conditions and then only prescribe to go for this drug.

In short, Imodium is safe for your dog only under your veterinarian’s prescription.

Amount of Imodium Prescribed for your Dog

The amount of Imodium your dog is supposed to take at a time depends on a lot of factors. Weight, general well-being, age, current medications and the seriousness of your pup’s stomach problem are some of those factors. That is why you must consult your veterinarian first before administering this drug to your pooch.
Nonetheless, for general knowledge, you must know that the prescribed dosage of Imodium is one 2 mg powered capsule for each dog of 50 pounds. If your dog is less than that, say 25 pounds or less, you have to either break the medicine into half or opt for liquid Imodium.
The latter is a better option as you will be then able to administer the exact dose, i.e., 0.1 mg for every 2.2 pounds two times a day.

What if my dog missed any of the dosses?

Your dog is supposed to take Imodium for not more than five days. During these five days, you have to ascertain that your dog doesn’t miss any of its medicines. However, because you may have a busy schedule, it is very much likely for you to forget some dosses.
For such situations, we will advise you to give your pup its medicines as soon as your memory strikes. In case, you remember your pup’s drugs when the time for the next dose is near; it is salutary to continue with the routine schedule. By no means, you should subject your dog to a double dose of this human drug.

How does Imodium help in treating Diarrhoea in Dogs?

By now, you must have discerned that Imodium is mainly a human drug and its primary purpose is to treat Diarrhoea. On the issue of whether it is beneficial in case of dogs or not, the answer is yes, sometimes.

About Diarrhoea

For those who don’t know what exactly Diarrhoea is, it mainly entails having loose stools. Such a problem can occur due to a vast range of reasons. However, the most common reason for having loose stools is a food allergy or poisoning.
If your dog is going through this stomach issue for more than a day, you must consult your vet. On their prescription, you can administer Imodium to your dog. If your dog doesn’t have any particular health problem, your pooch will stop having loose faeces quickly.

What If Imodium doesn’t work on my dog?

If your dog’s condition doesn’t improve, infer that it has an underlying health problem. Contact your veterinarian immediately. Follow what they prescribe you to do. Getting some tests done will probably clear many of your doubts and help your vet to decide their next line of treatment.
It is important to note that when you intend to make your dog take Imodium, it must be in capsule form. You may wish to crush the pill to help your small pooch to have it. However, that is strictly not permissible. Crushing the capsule may diminish the medicine’s effectiveness and prove fatal for your dog’s health.

Imodium Medicine’s Side Effects on Dogs

Like all medicines, Imodium too has its share of side effects. So far, your dog is concerned; this drug may give birth to the following reactions:

  1. Soft stools (not diarrhoea but not completely solid stool as well).
  2. Constipation (if Imodium taken is more than the prescribed level).
  3. Weight Loss
  4. Vomiting
  5. Gas
  6. Lethargy
  7. Bloating

The symptoms mentioned above are not that serious. However, they can turn out to be serious if your dog experiences these reactions for more than two days. In that case, you must talk to your vet without any delay. Besides that, there are some severe side effects of Imodium as well. These include:

  1. Pancreatitis
  2. Intestinal Paralysis
  3. Bloody Stool
  4. Toxic Megacolon
  5. CNS Depression

If you find your dog going through any of the symptoms mentioned above, stop giving the drug to your dog without wasting a single moment. Call your veterinarian and follow his prescriptions. 

Imodium Drug Substitutes for Dogs

If your veterinarian feels that Imodium is not suitable for your pup, there are other medications that your vet may prescribe to prevent your dog from having loose stools. These drugs include:

  1. Famotidine
  2. Pepto-Bismol

Both of these medicines mainly treat diarrhoea in human beings. However, they are useful for dogs as well. But just like Imodium, you cannot administer these drugs to your dog without the veterinarian’s prescription and supervision.

Conclusion: Whether Immodium is Beneficial for Dogs or not?

So far, humans are concerned; Imodium is considered a safe drug. However, when it comes to administering this drug to your dog, veterinarian supervision is highly recommended.

The medicine has the potential to cause adverse reactions in your dog’s body if it has any genetic mutations or other serious health issues. So, if you love your pooch and value its life, avoid experimenting with its body by making it take Imodium without the vet’s prescription.