Imodium for Dogs – Dog Diarrhea, Safety, Dosage & FAQ

imodium for dogs

You can safely stop your search for diarrhea medications, as Imodium for dogs works wonders. Simply put, Imodium is the safest, quickest, and most effective treatment for diarrhea.

Do you have tons of questions related to your dog’s Imodium intake? Luckily, this article is all about Imodium for dogs! Be it information related to the dosage of the drug or Imodium overdose on dogs, it’s all covered. You can keep your pup safe and quickly determine the usage of Imodium using our extensive guide.

Moving along, let’s take a look at some of the most important questions that you might have.

What is Imodium?

Imodium is an over-the-counter antidiarrheal medication, used for the treatment of diarrhea in humans and also used with dogs. It’s actually the brand name of a molecule called Loperamide. Though this medicine is easily available, you should always consult your dog’s veterinarian before using it.

This drug quickly dissolves in the blood and shows improvement by reducing diarrhea. When a puppy has loose stools, it’s the motility of the food that’s affected. So, most diarrhea medications, Imodium alike, slow down the food in your puppy’s guts.

This way, the intestines absorb all water from the food. It also helps your dog’s body to produce firm stools. What does that mean? Farewell, runny poo! As good as it sounds, there are certain negatives to using loperamide or Imodium as well.

Unfortunately, it is quite easy for dogs to overdose on loperamide. This is especially risky for dogs that weigh under 20 pounds. Keeping this in mind, you should always consult your dog’s vet before giving any medicine.

The purpose of discussing these side effects isn’t to stop you from using the meds. Before we hop on to our actual discussion on side-effects, let’s take a look at some of the most important benefits of using Imodium for dogs.

Benefits of Imodium for Dogs

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Imodium might just be “the” medicine to stop a dog’s diarrhea. But the benefits of this miraculous medicine don’t end there. Ignoring the risks, there are several other benefits of Imodium.

Here’s a list of all the benefits of Imodium for dogs.

Treat Diarrhea

Imodium’s primary purpose is to stop diarrhea in dogs. Simply put, it goes out of its way to ensure your doggo’s body behaves properly and absorbs the food. If the food’s going too fast or your dog’s body doesn’t properly absorb it, your doggo’s guts need medicine.

Imodium for dogs can be your doggo’s go-to diarrhea medication for this purpose. Hopefully, this clears out answers for several questions like “Can you give Imodium to a dog with an upset stomach?”; definitely, you can.

Firm Stools

Slow motility, less water, more absorption. This summarizes the entire working of Imodium in your dog’s body. It slows down the food and helps the body extract the water or electrolytes. This basically puts the food in rest, allowing your dog’s body to process it better. As a result, the stools are firm and only waste is passed through, not your doggo’s food.

dog stools consistency
A chart to help you define your dog’s stool consistency.

Treat other Gastrointestinal Conditions

Imodium’s advantages don’t just end with Diarrhea. The medicine is also helpful against a number of gastrointestinal conditions like:

  • Colitis
  • Malabsorption
  • Maldigestion, and
  • Irritable bowel syndrome

Simply put, Imodium or loperamide works effectively against several gastro conditions. Keep in mind that you should always discontinue using the medicine after 5 days and consult the vet if the symptoms persist. Imodium is the perfect medicine to provide relief and comfort to your dog.

Reduce Fluid Loss

Diarrhea and other medical conditions will drain your puppy’s body quickly. Imodium helps keep these functions in check and allows your doggo’s body to extract all necessary nutrients from the food. All electrolytes are absorbed by the intestines and thus the body regains its fluids.

This brings an end to our long list of benefits of dog’s Imodium. Next, let’s explore how you can properly administer Imodium in dogs so your puppy can recover quickly and become healthy again.

Proper Administration of Imodium

Imodium’s administration is fairly simple. The medicine is available in two modes; liquid Imodium or EZ chews. Dogs can be quite stubborn and resistant to chews. If your dog doesn’t love the taste or avoids them, then you can go for the liquid solution.

For the liquid solution, you can pour it over your dog’s food. Normally, vets suggest providing bland foods to dogs when they’re dealing with diarrhea. Most vets also suggest seeking help if the medicine doesn’t show improvement in 48 hours. It should also be completely shut if you’ve been using it for 5 consecutive days but your puppy doesn’t get healthier.

Dosage

The dosage of any medication, Imodium included, is what makes a difference. Give too little and you will notice no resolution. Give too much and you may literally lead your dog to further sickness or even death.

It is better to go for Imodium chews or tablets if you own a larger breed since larger dogs will be requiring a large amount of liquid Imodium, the liquid’s taste might turn them away.

Always speak to your veterinarian to know what is the right amount to give to your specific dog.

Liquid Imodium

Considering liquid Imodium, over 7.5 mL of the liquid contains 1 mg of loperamide. You can give up to 0.5 mL of Imodium for every pound of your dog’s weight twice or thrice a day.

Imodium Tablets

If you’re going for chews, you might want to opt for a 2 mg chew, tablet or caplet. If you’re thinking, how much is Imodium required for a 40 lbs dog, the answer would be a 2 mg chew or roughly 20 mL of liquid Imodium.

You can give one chew of 2 mg to your dog for every 30-50 pounds of weight, twice or thrice a day.

Example

Consider an example, how much Imodium for 15lb dog (small dog)?

By the discussions we’ve just had, you can multiply 0.6 mL by 15 pounds. The result will be the amount of liquid Imodium you’re going to give your puppy which is 9 mL.

If you’re still unsure about whether or not the dosage is right, you can quickly ask for help from your vet. Based on your dog’s weight and health, your vet will guide you properly.

Loperamide Overdose in Dogs

There’s also an issue of overdosage of loperamide in dogs. The answer to a burning question, “Can Imodium kill a dog?”, is “maybe”.

Some dogs can’t digest the medicine while others can’t take a large dose of it. In both cases, you’re required to act sensibly and avoid crossing the suggested dosages. Also, as with all types of medicines, don’t use them without consulting your vet.

Side-effects of Imodium on Dogs

Imodium’s benefits make it a go-to drug in case of diarrhea. However, just like every other medication, Imodium has its side effects too. Here’s a list of side-effects you might notice in your puppy:

Though diarrhea might’ve already been on your watchlist, look out for these symptoms. Your puppy will surely show signs of weakness or that there’s something wrong. Look for such odd behaviors and do a follow-up with your vet if it continues for a day or two.

Imodium for dogs is available easily. However, the medicine should always be administered with caution. It’s fairly important to follow vet guidelines related to the dosage. Usually, a dog’s Imodium intake is limited to five days or less.

Loperamide toxicity in dogs is just as common as in humans. It is also important to take notice of overdose in dogs. If you’re using the medicine to help your puppy, make sure to follow the doses we’ve discussed in the previous section.

It’s recommended to stop your dog’s Imodium intake after the recommended days have passed. If your puppy is already on medication, it’s better to consult your vet before using Imodium. Barbiturates and antihistamines top the list of drugs that don’t sit well with Imodium.

If the symptoms still persist, you should consult the veterinarian again. Make sure to inform the vet about previous medications, illnesses, and other conditions. It might help the vet properly assess the situation and heal your furry friend’s tummy.

Video explaining how to treat diarrhea in puppies.

Canine Imodium FAQ

Do you still have a few questions related to Imodium? Hopefully, this section clears all of them for you. Without further ado, here are a few questions about Imodium for dogs that are asked most frequently:

Is Imodium safe for dogs?

Imodium is generally safe for dogs. However, it can be unsafe in certain situations. Diarrhea is the body’s way of releasing toxic substances, bacteria, or other foreign irritants. Since Imodium stops diarrhea, it can cause harm to the body by retaining toxins and bacteria. Whether or not your dog’s case suits Imodium can only be decided by your vet.

So, Imodium might not be the best option if diarrhea is in fact needed for your dog. As mentioned, you can be sure about whether you’re right or not by consulting your veterinarian. A vet will conduct proper tests and check if Imodium is safe for your pup or not.

Generally speaking, Imodium is unsafe for consumption by dogs in the following conditions:

  • Genetics – some herding breeds like Collies, Australian Shepherds, and Sheepdogs are unable to consume Imodium properly. Since they can’t break the drug down, several harmful side effects are possible. An MDR1 gene mutation is also a reason for avoiding loperamide for treating diarrhea in these dog breeds.
  • Allergies
  • Pregnancy
  • Medical conditions

Now, what to do if your dog accidentally ate Imodium? You shouldn’t worry if your breed doesn’t have the MDR1 gene or there’s an overdose. Imodium might result in constipation if there are no signs of diarrhea, to begin with. If you feel your dog isn’t behaving properly, consult your vet at the earliest to avoid any troubles.

Does Imodium work fast on dogs with diarrhea?

Imodium works fast at treating your dog’s diarrhea. It helps the intestines suck in the water and allows the food to be processed slowly. Since loperamide’s lifetime is only a few hours, the medicine can perform wonders in a short span of time.

Often, diarrhea is because of the consumption of a toxic substance or foreign body (e.g. wood). Basically, it’s your dog’s body’s way of saying “Get this out!”. In such cases, treating diarrhea with Imodium or opting for faster solutions isn’t a great choice.

Nonetheless, you can quickly chat up with your vet about Imodium if you’re worried about your dog’s diarrhea. The medicine is easily available and works fast so you’re never in the “worry-zone” for too long.

Can Imodium cause pancreatic problems in dogs?

Yes, Imodium can potentially cause pancreatic problems in dogs. Although Imodium has its benefits, it has several side-effects too. One of which is pancreatitis. Pancreatitis is a condition where your dog’s pancreas inflames. This organ helps in digesting food and controlling blood sugar.

Imodium typically works by slowing the motility of food through the intestines. In this way, the necessary vitamins and minerals are digested and then passed off. The drug, loperamide, is actually great at constipation. It’s simply used for its ability to stop diarrhea this way. However, it can also lead to abdominal pain. In some cases, digesting the medicine is hard for doggies too.

It’s always recommended to take your pup to the vet if the symptoms persist. If it’s a reaction to the drug, the vet will help you with better medication.

How long should I wait before the Imodium works on my dog?

Usually, you won’t have to wait long before the Imodium works on your dog. Loperamide, the drug behind Imodium, shows quick progress in treating diarrhea. It’s short-lived in the body and quickly adds in with the blood to treat your dog’s stomach. Usually, you will notice improvement within an hour or two.

If you’re giving Imodium to your dog without consulting your vet, don’t continue the medication for more than 2 days. Normally, vets will discontinue using Imodium to treat diarrhea after five days. However, this is for more severe cases of diarrhea.

Rest assured, if Imodium doesn’t work within an hour, it doesn’t mean there’s no improvement. Healthy changes will take time and your dog’s health will gradually recover. If you feel the diarrhea is being caused by something else, you should never hesitate to get in touch with a vet.

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