However hard you try to keep your pets healthy, they are likely to suffer from diseases and health problems at times. One of the most common problems in cats is vomiting. Your felines can experience digestive issues, nausea and vomiting due to a variety of causes including food and medications. Ondansetron is a common drug used to treat these problems in pets. However, a lot of cat owners are concerned about its use, safety and implications.
In this post, we discuss all you should know about giving ondansetron to your cat. We talk about the usage, dosage, effects and complications associated with ondansetron for cats so that you can take better care of your pet’s health and safety when addressing these problems.
Ondansetron For Cats – UPDATED 2021
Known commonly by the brand name Zofran, ondansetron is a medication used to treat a wide variety of conditions in cats and dogs. The most common use of this drug is the treatment of severe vomiting and nausea. It is one of the off-label drugs prescribed for veterinary use. This means pet owners should be careful with the usage and follow the vet’s directions strictly as they can differ from those on the label.
Ondansetron is generally helpful in treating nausea and vomiting caused as side effects of other medications. It is a fast-acting drug and can make your pet feel better in as less as 15 minutes. It is often well-tolerated in most pets though it should be used cautiously in animals with liver or kidney problems. It is not approved by the FDA for use in animals but veterinarians prescribe it legally as an extra-label drug.
Zofran For Cats – What You Should Know?
Zofran is a brand name for the drug ondansetron and is used to treat nausea and vomiting in cats and other animals. It is also used for the treatment of some other conditions including itching and sleep-apnea in some pets. It selectively inhibits serotonin receptors on the brain region and in the GI tract to relieve the symptoms of severe vomiting. It also works as an antiemetic to prevent nausea and vomiting associated with radiotherapy and chemotherapy in cats with cancer.
Zofran gets well-absorbed when given orally to cats in the right dosage and starts showing effects within 1-2 hours, improving the symptoms. It is a prescription drug that should be given to the cat under veterinary advice in the right dosage. If a dose is missed, it should be skipped and given at the next scheduled time. Zofran is not known to cause any adverse effects though rare effects include head shaking, sleepiness and constipation.
This medication should not be given to cats that are allergic or hypersensitive to ondansetron. It should also be used with caution in pets with abnormal heart rates, gastrointestinal blockages or liver diseases. It should also be given with caution to pregnant and lactating pets. If you see any signs of adverse reaction or overdose to the medication, you should consult the vet immediately.
Ondansetron Vs Cerenia
Both ondansetron and cerenia are used as antiemetics and work to cure nausea and vomiting in cats and other pets. While ondansetron works on the central nervous system of the pet to relieve symptoms of nausea, cerenia possesses some anti-inflammatory properties and combats nausea by treating the GI tract and intestinal problems. Cerenia should be used when vomiting is a problem in itself and not caused by some other issue or condition. Ondansetron, on the other hand, works on nausea and vomiting induced by other treatments or medications.
While Ondansetron is not FDA-approved and prescribed as an extra-label drug, cerenia is the only FDA-approved drug for the treatment of vomiting in pets. Cerenia can also be given to your cat as a preventative measure in a situation that can trigger motion sickness. As both these drugs work differently, they can be given together to the pet in case of severe motion sickness or vomiting for faster relief.
How To Give Ondansetron For Cats?
Ondansetron is generally given to cats by mouth in a liquid or tablet form, with or without food. When given on an empty stomach, if vomiting or nausea is noticed, you should give the future doses with snacks or meals. Some pills are dissolvable so you should ensure dry hands before handling the tablets. If giving ondansetron in liquid form, care should be taken to measure it accurately for the right dose.
Ondansetron can interact with other medications and cause adverse reactions. You should consult your vet to make sure it doesn’t interact with other drugs your cat is receiving. It is important to be cautious when giving cisplatin, apomorphine, serotonergic and other heart-related medications. Injectable ondansetron should only be mixed with solutions that it is known to comply with. It should never be used in a mix with an alkaline solution.
Ondansetron Dosage By Weight
Ondansetron is available as 4mg, 8mg and 24mg tablets. It also comes as an oral solution in a concentration of 4mg/5ml and even in injectable form. The dosage of ondansetron for cats and dogs can vary on the basis of the reason for the prescription. The administration duration also varies depending on the condition to be treated, the response and any side effects noted.
The recommended dosage of ondansetron is generally in the range of 0.05 to 0.5mg per pound of the body weight of the pet every 12 to 24 hours for dogs. For cats, the general recommended dose is 0.11 mg per pound of the body weight every 8 to 12 hours. It is advisable to consult the veterinarian before giving ondansetron to pets to avoid any risks of adverse effects or overdosing.