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Health & Wellness

Sucralfate antacid: Can it help your dog's stomach?

Always check with your vet before giving your dog medication.

A select few human-specific medications can actually help dogs — just as long as the inflicted pet's vet approves the drug and serving size. Take sucralfate, an antacid for people that can also help with some dogs' stomach or intestinal issues.

There are caveats to giving your dog sucralfate, so keep reading for our on-staff vet's full review of the medication and how it can impact your pup.

What’s sucralfate used for in dogs?

What started as a human antacid used to treat and prevent the return of intestinal ulcers has been adopted by veterinarians as a safe and effective off-label medication for dogs, Dr. Emily Singler, VMD, Fetch's on-staff veterinarian, says.

This medication is usually prescribed to dogs with stomach or intestinal ulcers, Dr. Singler explains. Tip-offs, like vomiting blood, a decreased appetite and abdominal pain, are all signs that your pup could benefit from sucralfate. (With your vet's permission, of course!)

"Sucralfate is a drug used to treat or protect the lining of the stomach and intestines from ulceration," Dr. Singler adds. "It can also treat or prevent gastritis, which is stomach lining irritation."

What are the side effects of sucralfate for dogs?

Because sucralfate isn’t absorbed into the bloodstream, side effects are minimal, Dr. Singler says. Most of the time, dogs seem to react well to it. However, pets taking this medication may sometimes experience mild, temporary constipation.

RELATED: How to spot metabolic diseases in dogs

Is it safe for my dog to take sucralfate? 

If your veterinarian recommended sucralfate for your pup, they’ll likely be OK. But, if you’re concerned about your pet’s reaction to the medication, reach back out to your dog’s doctor. 

Dogs with a history of allergic reactions to sucralfate shouldn’t be prescribed the drug. Certain medications might negatively interact with sucralfate, so having a conversation with your vet about your dog’s current medication regimen (before serving it) is helpful.

Sucralfate dosage for dogs

Veterinarians will share the proper serving size and dosage for your dog if they prescribe sucralfate. The medication is administered as a tablet; however, Dr. Singler has some tips for serving it to your pup.

Crush the sucralfate tablet, mix it with water to form a chalky solution or slurry and syringe it into your dog's mouth. Don't mix this medication with food, as it's helping to alleviate the symptoms of your pup's stomach or intestinal condition.

"Sucralfate needs to be given 1 hour before a meal or 2 hours after a meal, and it shouldn't be given at the same time as other oral medications as it can prevent them from being absorbed," Dr. Singler says.

The length of the sucralfate treatment depends on the severity of your dog's condition, so consult your veterinarian about the appropriate amount of time to give it to your dog.

The Dig, Fetch's expert-backed editorial, answers all of the questions you forget to ask your vet or are too embarrassed to ask at the dog park. We help make sure you and your best friend have more good days, but we’re there on bad days, too.

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