Gabapentin is a medication for dogs and cats for the treatment of seizures. It is also used to help with chronic pain. Although Gabapentin is not FDA-approved for use in veterinary medicine, it is a commonly accepted practice for veterinarians to prescribe this medication. Gabapentin requires a prescription from your veterinarian, and is sold per capsule.
For: Dogs and Cats
Helps manage chronic pain often associated with cancer or arthritis
How it works:
Gabapentin stabilizes electrical activity in the brain which prevents seizures caused by excessive electrical activity. Gabapentin mimics the activity of GABA (a neurotransmitter) which helps to calm the nerve activity in the brain.
Unless the benefits outweigh the risk do not use Gabapentin in pregnant or nursing animals.
Brand Name Neurontin
Generic Name gabapentin
What is the most important information I should know about gabapentin: Gabapentin is a prescription medication not FDA approved for veterinary use; however, it is a commonly accepted practice for veterinarians to use this medication in dogs and cats. Gabapentin is available as 100 mg and 300 mg capsules. The usual dose to treat seizures in dogs is 4.5 to 13.5 mg per lb every 8 to 12 hours. For cats, the usual dose to treat seizures is 2.3 mg per lb 3 times a day. For dogs and cats as an aid in chronic pain treatment or cancer pain, the usual dose is 1.4 mg per lb once a day.
What is Gabapentin: Gabapentin is used as an anticonvulsant. It is also used to treat chronic pain. Gabapentin may also be used for purposes other than those listed in this guide.
What should I discuss with my veterinarian before giving gabapentin to my pet: Tell your veterinarian if your pet has kidney disease. The dose of gabapentin may need to be adjusted. Unless the benefit outweighs the risks do not use gabapentin in pregnant or nursing animals.
How should this medication be given: Give this medication exactly as directed by your veterinarian. If you do not understand the directions ask the pharmacist or veterinarian to explain them to you. Do not give antacids within 2 hours of giving gabapentin. Antacids can affect gabapentin blood levels. Drug interactions may occur when giving any narcotics such as hydrocodone or morphine Do not suddenly stop the use of gabapentin. Store gabapentin at room temperature away from moisture and heat. Keep this medication away from children and pets.
What happens if I miss giving a dose: Give the missed dose as soon as you remember during the same day. However, if you donŅt remember until the next day, skip the dose you missed and give only the next regularly scheduled dose. Do not give a double dose of the medication.
What happens if I overdose the pet: Seek emergency veterinary medical treatment. Symptoms of gabapentin overdose include reduced activity, excessive sleepiness, loss of balance, and depression
What should I avoid while giving Gabapentin to my pet: Gabapentin should not be used in animals allergic to it. Do not use in pregnant or nursing animals. Use with caution in animals with kidney disease. Do not give antacids within 2 hours of giving gabapentin. Consult your veterinarian before giving any narcotic such as hydrocodone or morphine since drug interactions can occur.
What are the possible side effects of Gabapentin: For dogs and cats, if any of the following serious side effects occur, stop giving gabapentin and seek emergency veterinary medical attention; an allergic reaction (difficulty breathing; swelling of the lips; tongue or face; hives). Side effects that can occur in dogs and cats may include drowsiness, loss of balance, swelling of the limbs, and vomiting or diarrhea. Talk to your veterinarian about any side effect that seems unusual or bothersome to the animal.
What other drugs will affect Gabapentin: Tell your veterinarian if your pet is being given antacids or narcotics for pain. Drugs other than those listed may also interact with gabapentin. Talk to your veterinarian or pharmacist before giving any prescription or over the counter medicines including vitamins, and supplements.
Where can I get more information: Your pharmacist has additional information about Gabapentin written for health professionals that you may read.
Call your veterinarian for medical advice about any side effects to your pet. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
Please refer to the chart below for proper dosage.
Tip: Do not give antacids within 2 hours of giving this medication.
For seizures: 4.5 mg-13.5 mg per pound every 8-12 hours
For pain: 1.4 mg per pound once a day
For seizures: 2.3 mg per pound 3 times a day
For pain: 1.4 mg per pound once a day
Storage: Should be stored at room temperature, away from moisture and light.
Gabapentin 100 mg:
Gabapentin 300 mg:
Awesome for seizures/anxiety/pain
My 12 year old dog started having episodes of "fly biting" and apparent visual disturbances that would lead to excessive anxiety, panic, panting that would make me nervous watching it and I felt helpless. Knowing the effectiveness of Gapabentin (having used it myself) I insisted on this anti-seizure med to be tried first (once my vet determined seizures were likely the problem). My dog is 50lbs and the vet rx'd 200 mg 3x's per day - WAY TOO MUCH to start. This medication must be increased very slowly, starting w/100mg once per day until you notice the next dose needs to be started. It worked so well and immediately that 100mg worked well for a few weeks, when she showed signs of symptoms, I added the 2nd dose and so on. Now that she is on a therapeutic dose (over a couple months of slowly increasing the dose) about 400mg per day it has helped relax her and works great. It has helped everything including pain in her hips and knee to a degree that is noticeable. I give her the small capsule in a small clump of Gerber or beechnut baby meats - she doesn't even know it is in there and swallows it whole without chewing. I recommend trying this medication before any other anti-seizure medication that has the potential (that gabapentin does NOT) to change personality in a dog, make them aggressive,etc. Try this first! Worked well for me and my dog too, without any personality changes as I knew it would! This medicaiton is under used in pets and not well known, I hope more vets realize what a great medication this is.
My 13year old schnauzer has Cushing's disease , hip dysplasia and an under active thyroid.About 4 months ago I noticed she had problems lying down and she regularly wanted breakfast in bed! Hip dysplasia was diagnosed. She was on symmetrel for a time but it made her vomit. She was put on gabapentin and it immediately made a difference. She has also had tramadol for bad days, changing to metacam or previcox after seeing specialist, but she rarely needs them. The gabapentin is very helpful to her and she can happily continue her hour long walks.
Positive Quality of Life Benefits
Jack is my aging 9 year old greyhound rescue. I adopted Jack when he was 2 years old. He is now showing signs of arthritis and possible canine dementia. It's been a year of veterinary care, specialists, and emergency room visits. Jack would not settle down at night, he was loosing weight, he would pant from pain and seemed anxious. Understand that all of his physiological tests results were normal. These tests included: ultra sounds, blood, urine and X-rays. Even vet specialists were stumped by Jack's symptoms. Rimadyl was the best we could come up with as an answer to Jack's pain. It just didn't help him at night with his sleeplessness and anxiety. Jack's vet and I decided to try Gabapentin to help Jack sleep and aid in his pain relief. The very first time Jack took his Gabapentin he calmed down at night and slept through the night. Jack was up and alert the next morning. We are continuing the Rimadyl along with the Gabapentin. Perhaps more vets should look at Gabapentin for the relief of some of the symptoms of canine dementia and arthritis due to aging. This drug has been life altering in a positive way for my precious 9 year old greyhound, Jack.
My jack Russell terrier has been on Gabapentin 26 mg by mouth twice daily for arthritic pain. This was dispensed by a compounding pharmacy. The cost is too much! Could I take the 100 mg capsule and withdraw 1/4 of the liquid with a syringe?
This information sheet is for educational purposes only and is intended to be a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise and professional judgment of your veterinarian. The information is NOT to be used for diagnosis or treatment of your pet. You should always consult your own veterinarian for specific advice concerning the treatment of your pet. The information is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, allergic reactions, drug interactions or adverse effects, nor should it be construed to indicate that use of a particular drug is safe, appropriate or effective for your pet. It is not a substitute for a veterinary exam, and it does not replace the need for services provided by your veterinarian. Note: Any trademarks are the property of their respective companies.