Can I Give my Dog Pepto Bismol?

Many diseases manifest themselves in the same way in both humans and animals. However, we must be careful when administering any type of medication, as we must first have the recommendation of an expert.
Can I Give my Dog Pepto Bismol?

Last update: 22 June, 2022

We know how important a pet is to its owner, and we know how worrying it is to see your dog or cat sick. However, despite the recommendations you’ll find in this article about Pepto Bismol, it’s important to remember to consult your veterinarian before making any decision.

Pepto Bismol is an over-the-counter drug, indicated mainly for gastrointestinal diseases in humans. Its components have demonstrated effectiveness in cases of vomiting and diarrhea. Likewise, there haven’t been many complications or side effects in people who take it.

Below you’ll find information about this drug, as well as recommendations and the cases in which Pepto Bismol can be administered to our canine friends.

What is Pepto Bismol?

Pepto Bismol is a drug whose main component is bismuth subsalicylate. When ingested, subsalicylate and bismuth are split in the body, acting separately, thus performing a dual function.

On the one hand, bismuth coats the lining of the stomach and intestines to create a buffer against the effect of gastric acids. Likewise, this compound binds diarrhea-causing toxins, helping to stop diarrhea.

On the other hand, subsalicylate helps to slow down the secretion of intestinal fluid and excessive motions that can lead to more diarrhea. Both compounds also have anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial functions.

Because of its qualities, this medicine is indicated in people mainly to treat vomiting and diarrhea of infectious origin or indigestion. Generally, we can find it in chewable tablets, capsules, pastes, or in oral suspension.

Can my dog take Pepto Bismol?

Faced with this question, we could affirm that it is possible to give Pepto Bismol to our canine. Although it must be under the strict recommendation and supervision of a veterinary medical professional.

As in humans, its formulation in dogs is recommended in cases of diarrhea or mild vomiting. Its use can be in alimentary disorders or indigestion, overfeeding or gastrointestinal conditions of infectious origin.

According to an article published in the Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences, subsalicylate proved to work very well in the control of vomiting and diarrhea in dogs. Similarly, it works well in reducing nausea in both humans and animals.

It should be noted that when Pepto Bismol is administered, our pet’s feces may acquire a dark or greenish color, a situation that is caused by the components of the product. However, this coloration must be differentiated in cases in which the dog has a history of defecation with blood, since the causes of the disease can be confused.

Pepto Bismol.

How to give it to your dog

It’s advisable to give the product in liquid form, as you can fill it in a syringe and thus correctly dose the recommended amount for the weight of your pet. According to this, it’s recommended to give a dose of 1 centimeter (0.4 inches) for each kilogram (2.2 pounds) of weight of your dog.

The variation of the doses should be between every 6 to 8 hours, and the duration of the treatment shouldn’t be longer than 5 days, unless your veterinarian tells you so, as complications may occur. Remember that the doses and frequency should be consulted first with your veterinarian.

Contraindications

A tired dog.

You should keep in mind that if diarrhea persists for more than 24 hours despite having been given Pepto Bismol, you should take your dog to the nearest veterinary clinic. Acute vomiting and diarrhea can trigger a process of dehydration and severe malnutrition, putting your pet’s health at risk.

It’s important to bear in mind that it shouldn’t be given to pregnant dogs, since the components can cause malformations in puppies during gestation. Likewise, in animals with gastric ulcers, Pepto Bismol can aggravate them.

Likewise, it’s not recommended in dogs with anticoagulant treatments, hemorrhages, or with a history of cardiac or vascular diseases, as subsalicylate can dilute the blood even more. For this reason, if your dog is taking any type of medication, you should first check that there’s no negative interaction with Pepto Bismol.

Finally, its use in cats is totally contraindicated, since these animals are very sensitive to salicylate toxicity. If you give this drug to your feline pet, it can cause anemia, stomach ulcers, kidney and liver failure, and even death.

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    1. Montgomerie SA, Van Metre RM, Gross WR, Britt TJ. What is your diagnosis? Obstructive intestinal foreign body. Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association. 2015;246(5):505-6.
    2. Leib MS, Duncan RB, Ward DL. Triple antimicrobial therapy and acid suppression in dogs with chronic vomiting and gastric Helicobacter spp. Journal of veterinary internal medicine. 2007;21(6):1185-92.
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