Pros: calms down hyper dogs, helps some with allergic itching
Cons: lowered seizure threshold for our dog and we had to stop the medication
My dog had been taking Hydroxyzine Pamoate in 25 mg capsules for a few years. He was taking them for allergies, with no problems until two weeks ago when he had a seizure. After taking him to the emergency vet and watching him, we were able to bring him home. I did not find out about the possibility of the Hydroxyzine being associated with the seizure until we called our regular vet a few days later to discuss follow up. He looked over his meds and asked me if I felt that the hydroxyzine was really necessary. I didn't because we had him relatively under control and he was only taking one a day. Our dog is pretty high strung and they sometimes also give this medication to calm a dog down somewhat, so we kept with the once a day dosing. His original dose was 25 mg three times a day. He is a 25lb Cairn Terrier who is not over weight for his size.
What is Hydroxyzine Pamoate Prescribed for in Dogs
My dog was given this medication as part of an allergy regimen. He started out at 3 times a day, but since he was on some supplements and other meds that seemed to have him under control we had reduced it to one time a day.
This medication can also be prescribed for animals with anxiety issues as a mild sedative.
For dogs the usual dosing is 1mg per pound every 6-8hrs.
Where to buy
Hydroxyzine Pamoate is a drug that requires that you have a prescription. We saved a little money over the years by getting it at our regular pharmacy (Walgreens) Some medications for pets are also used for people and you can really save money by contacting your regular pharmacy. If you do not have insurance for your pet (we don't) inquire if the drug store has a prescription savings program. Walgreens has such a program so we were able to save some money by paying a small yearly fee. We have other older pets and they are all on a few things so this was the least expensive and most convenient way to get this medication.
Of course you can also get this medication from your vet or an online pet meds website. I still found it was the cheapest at the local pharmacy with our savings program.
How well it worked for Allergies for our dog
I am not sure how much it actually did to reduce the itching in our dog. The theory was that this medication would reduce the amount of prednisone that our dog needed which would be good for him since prednisone was hard on the dogs liver. We also added some supplements for the same reason and eventually tried stopping the prednisone but the itching came back. We did cut down the hydroxyzine to once a day but decided to leave that since he seemed to be doing well. Interestingly since stopping the medication over a week ago, our dog has not experienced any increased itching.
What we did notice when stopping the medication was that we had a more alert dog who slept less. He has not had any more seizures so far. Let me be clear that hydroxyzine only increases seizures in dogs who are prone to them already. We are in the process of trying to find out why he had the seizure. He did have some abnormal blood work and we are taking him to our regular vet to repeat that. I was so glad that the vet told us about this side effect so we could stop this medication.
Hydroxyzine causes drowsiness, and sleepiness in some dogs. It is often given to calm a dog down so this is often a desired side effect. Dogs who are allergic to hydroxyzine might get hives or breathing issues. Obviously if you notice anything unusual about your pet on this medication call your vet immediately.
We found out that if you have a dog who is prone to seizures that he/she should probably avoid this medication or any tranquilizers.
While this did not do much for our dogs allergies, it sure did calm him down. Before the seizure incident I would have said this was a safe drug and it probably is for most pets. I think this is still a viable option even though our dog had to stop taking it, just be aware of the possible things to look for. Make sure to ask your vet or pharmacist of any possible complications.
Thanks for reading my review
If you have questions or comments please feel free to leave them in the comments section
PS if you would like to see a picture of my dog Riley, click on my profile and scroll down. There is a picture of Riley and also one of our cat Tinkerbelle.