Saturday, December 3, 2022

What Does Gabapentin Do For Cats

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This is a powerful medication that affects neurological functions. Missing a dose or quitting abruptly will likely result in the return of pain or seizures and possibly other adverse effects.

If a cat is to be removed from Gabapentin, it is best to ween it off gradually. Lower or less frequent doses are the safest way to do so.

The veterinarian who prescribed the Gabapentin is familiar with the medical history and the first person to consult.

Why Controlling Excitability Helps Anxious Cats

Imagine you cant think straight, and you are so terrified, you just want to run, or are prepping to fight for your life.

Does that sound healthy? Enjoyable? Obviously not. Thats why I think its so important to give extremely anxious cats some relief with gabapentin. By preventing excitability from reaching high levels, theyre able to think more clearly. The goal is that when they are calm, I can teach them that Im not scary. The environment is safe. And we can even play and have fun. They can watch birds outside or take a nap. Slowing down things in the brain helps them relax.

After working with them, they can often be weaned off the gabapentin however, if their case is severe, like Miss Lucys, daily gabapentin is likely her medicine for life.

Are there visible differences? Yes. When Lucy or Sunshine take gabapentin, their dilated pupils disappear. They curl up into balls to take naps and show their bellies. They are calmer and happier but they still have their personalities. If I accidentally do something that triggers them, the growls, swats, and hisses return, but are on a much more manageable scale. It also makes it easier to recognize what triggers each cat, because everything is slowed down. Their excitement more quickly dissipates and returns to normal, where as without gabapentin, anxious periods last longer.

Are Lucy & Sunshine Really Happier

Yes, Lucy and Sunshine are happier since being treated with gabapentin. Ive taught Lucy how to walk on a cat wheel and how to walk with a harness in the park. They both play, have fun and escape anxiety by chasing and batting around toys, and being cats. Another thing they love to do is sit at the window and watch the birds. They even purr when Im petting them, whereas initially, they could barely be touched.

  • Im unimpressed with this article. Lucy
  • Dat birdie looks yummy. Liz, can I haz it?

Lucy and Sunshines progress isnt because of the gabapentin, but gabapentin provided the space for progress. Thats how I would like people to look at it. Its an option when a cats anxiety appears excessive. Its a way to calm the cat down so you can interact with them or help them relax for a vet visit. It doesnt cure anxiety, but it helps manage it when nothing else seems to work.

Whether you decide to use it as a one-off or want it for longer-term use, please consult a vet and/or certified cat behaviorist. Good luck!

Did you miss my article on how to work with shy and scared cats? Check it out here.

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Potential Side Effects And Risks Of Gabapentin For Cats

It is possible for cats to have side effects when taking Gabapentin. The good news is that the development of such adverse reactions can be minimized by gradually increasing the Gabapentin doses.

The common side effects of Gabapentin for cats include:

  • Sleepiness
  • Incoordination or ataxia

In cats with chronic kidney disease, Gabapentin is more likely to cause sedation instead of simple sleepiness. Gabapentin may also trigger false-positive results on urinary protein tests.

Gabapentin should be used with precautions in cats with kidney and liver problems as well as pregnant and nursing cats. On the other hand, it should not be used at all in felines sensitive to the active ingredient.

Why Gabapentin Is Used After Cancer Surgery For Cats

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This medication is a popular choice for veterinary specialists performing cancer surgery for cats because it can treat both the pain and anxiety associated with veterinary surgery. Additionally, it is often widely available and relatively inexpensive. Although gabapentin is typically well-tolerated, many veterinary professionals use caution when prescribing it for cats with kidney disease. Because it is not a narcotic or NSAID, gabapentin may be prescribed along with narcotic pain relievers or NSAIDs to manage pain after cancer surgery for cats.

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How Long Does It Take For Sedation To Wear Off In Cats

How long will it take my cat to recover from anesthesia? With todays anesthetics, many of which are reversible, your pet should be almost completely normal by the time of discharge, although many pets will sleep more or be more tired after returning home for twelve to twenty-four hours after anesthesia.

What Is Gabapentin For Dogs

Gabapentin is an anticonvulsant and analgesic drug that is commonly prescribed by veterinarians to treat seizures, pain, and anxiety in dogs.

It is a human medication, and its use in veterinary medicine is off-label, meaning it is not FDA-approved for pets.

How gabapentin works is not completely understood however, it is thought to inhibit the release of excitatory neurotransmitters.

Gabapentin can be prescribed to help with seizures, pain, and anxiety in dogs.

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Known Drug Interactions With Gabapentin

Notify your veterinarian if your pet is taking any other medications, vitamins, herbal therapies, or supplements, as well as the dosages and administration schedules, to help avoid any potential risk of interaction with gabapentin.

Drugs known to have interactions with gabapentin include hydrocodone and morphine. Antacids can also affect gabapentins effects, so if your pet is on both gabapentin and antacids, you should separate the administration of the two medicines by at least two hours.

Side Effects And Contraindications

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Usually well tolerated by cats, gabapentin does have potential side effects that include lethargy and odd movements or loss of coordination, especially while walking. Some cats might experience diarrhea. It shouldn’t be prescribed for pregnant or lactating cats, or for those with kidney or liver disease. If your cat also receives antacids while on the medication, they can reduce gabapentin’s efficacy. Give these different medications to your cat at least two hours apart. If your cat receives other potent painkillers, such as morphine, that might increase the drug’s punch but also make side effects more likely. Cats should be weaned off the medication, not stopped abruptly.

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Gabapentin Dosage For Cats

The dosage for gabapentin may vary depending on a cats size, as well as whether its being used as a pain medication, adjunctive anticonvulsant, or as a sedative before vet visits or travel.

From a safety perspective, a gabapentin dosage for cats will typically not exceed 50-100mg per cat to address pain or when being used as a sedative.

As a sedative, it is often given a couple of hours prior to an examination at the vet clinic or before getting in the car or on a plane.

Many vets feel that the sedative effect is better when an additional dose is given 24 hours prior . As a pain medication, it is most often given every 12 hours to start, but may be increased to every 8 hours if needed.

These are just general guidelines, and it is very important to follow your veterinarians recommendations very specifically for the most effective and safe use of this medication.

Gabapentin Is Effective In Managing Symptoms Of Neurological Conditions

Most types of neurological disorders have no cure, but there are some effective treatments, like Gabapentin. As mentioned, certain medications are safe for human and animal consumption. Gabapentin, also known as Neurontin, is one of them.

This anticonvulsant alters the abnormal chemical and nerve activities that cause pain or seizures. In cats, neurological disorders can come in many forms. The most common is epilepsy, a blanket term for disorders that cause recurring seizures.

These conditions develop from trauma to the brain, abnormal genetic factors, developmental issues, or disease.

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Trust Maryland Veterinary Surgical Services With Your Companions Health

Your companions health is important, and the team at MVSS is ready to provide the best care possible for your furry family. We are dedicated to combining comprehensive exams and assessments with informative and honest discussions of your companions care. Once we have worked with you to decide on the best course of action for your dog, our professionals will use their surgical expertise to work towards the goal of giving your companion an active and pain-free life. We are proud to serve loyal companions in Catonsville and Baltimore. To learn more about our services, give us a call at 410-788-4088 or visit us online. For more information and tips for pet health, follow us on and .

Can I Give My Cat Gabapentin

Can You Give A Cat Gabapentin

Yes, you can give your cat Gabapentin but only when the medication is prescribed by the vet. In veterinary medicine, Gabapentin is used extra-label, but when given correctly with the right dose and frequency, it is both safe and efficient for cats.

Before giving your cat Gabapentin, check with your vet about the medication form. The liquid form contains xylitol an artificial sweetener that is toxic to pets, while the Gabapentin tablets are way too strong for cats and need proper adjustments.

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Overviewof Gabapentin For Canines And Felines

  • Gabapentin, a common human drug known as Neurontin®, is a drug commonly used in veterinary medicine to treat chronic pain and complex seizures disorders in dogs and cats. A seizure is a convulsion or physical manifestation of abnormal brain electrical activity. A partial seizure involves only a portion of the body whereas a generalized seizure involves the entire body. Dogs that are affected by chronic seizures often require treatment to control these events. Gabapentin is typically not given as the primary method of seizure control but administered with other drugs. It is commonly used in dogs that have cluster seizures .
  • This drug works by inhibiting calcium channels, thus preventing the calcium influx to cells that can cause seizures. The mechanism of action for pain control is not completely understood, however.Gabapentin is quickly absorbed and reaches peak effect in approximately 2 hours.
  • This drug is a prescription drug and can only be obtained from a veterinarian or by prescription from a veterinarian.Gabapentin is not currently approved for use in animals by the Food and Drug Administration but it is prescribed legally by veterinarians as an extra-label drug.

How Gabapentin Helps Anxious Cats

How does gabapentin help with excitement in the brain? To my surprise nobody knows. The best hypothesis is that gabapentin blocks calcium in what would typically signal the release of excitatory transmitters, telling the calcium You shall not pass!

Gabapentin was originally used to control seizures in humans, and then neuropathic pain. Although not labeled for anxiety, the benefits cannot be ignored. A recent study in cats showed that administering gabapentin before an annual vet visit allowed cats,that normally couldnt be examined to get examined and receive vaccinations. This decreases the stress for the cat obviously, but also the owner, vet, and vet staff. All really good things.

Side note: The study gave cats the 100 mg gabapentin 90 minutes before the event. I recommend giving it 120 minutes before. The dosage may be different for your cat. Please consult your vet.

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When To Use Gabapentin For Cats

Gabapentin is an anticonvulsant and analgesic medicine. It is particularly efficient in managing neuropathic pain and can be used in conjunction with other anti-pain medication like opioids and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.

In terms of pharmacology, Gabapentin is a structural analog of the inhibitory neurotransmitter GABA . Or, simply put, it mimics GABAs effects blocks the brains voltage-gated calcium channels, thus reducing calcium currents in the central nervous system.

As a result, there is a decrease in the release of excitatory neurotransmitters and efficient control of pain, seizures, and anxiety. Therefore, as you can see, Gabapentin does not affect the pain directly. Instead, it quiets the CNSs sensitivity to pain.

Dosing Information Of Gabapentinfor Dogs And Cats

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  • Medication should never be administered without first consulting your veterinarian.
  • For treatment for seizures in dogs, gabapentin is started at 5 to 10 mg per pound every 6, 8, or 12 hours. In dogs with cluster seizures, the drug is often used at 10 mg/kg every 8 hours for 3 days.
  • For pain control in dogs, Gabapentin doses range from 1.5 to 5 mg per pound every 24 hours.
  • For treatment for seizures in cats, gabapentin is started at 2.5 to 5 mg per pound every 8 to 12 hours. Does up to 10 mg per pound every 6 hours has been used in some cats.
  • For pain control in cats, doses range from 1.5 to 5 mg per pound every 12 hours. Higher doses are recommended by some vets.
  • Therapeutic blood monitoring is not routinely recommended. When performed, the suggested therapeutic range is 4-16 µg/mL based on limited data.
  • The duration of administration depends on the condition being treated, response to the medication, and the development of any adverse effects. Be certain to have your pet complete the prescription unless specifically directed otherwise by your veterinarian.

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Study: Gabapentin Reduces Stress In Cats Before Veterinary Visits

Cats can suffer from severe fear and stress when being transported to the veterinarian or while being examined once there. New research indicates that use of the medication gabapentin can significantly reduce signs of stress and increase compliance with the veterinary exam.

Gabapentin is an inexpensive medication originally developed to control seizures in humans. It is also used to control neuropathic pain in humans, dogs, and cats. While it is not labeled for use for anxiety, it is increasingly used for that purpose in human and veterinary medicine. It does not have a strong taste and is usually well accepted by cats when given in liquid form or with treats.

Despite its increasing use in animal practice, research into its efficacy in cats has been recent and limited. In this study, published in the Nov. 15. 2017 issue of Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, 20 healthy pet cats, ranging in age from 1 to 16 years and with a history of signs of stress when at the vet, were brought by their owners for two veterinary visits one week apart.

The cats were randomly assigned to receive 100 mg of gabapentin or a placebo capsule containing lactose powder before the first visit. The capsules were given 90 minutes before they left for the vet. The treatment was reversed for each cat prior to the second visit.

Findings included:

In their discussion of the study results, the authors concluded:

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Can My Pets Overdose On Gabapentin

As with any medication, your pet can take too large a dosage of gabapentin. An overdose may be indicated by pale or dark gums, depression, more staggering than usual, and vomiting or diarrhea. If you suspect an overdose, call your veterinarian immediately for emergency care. You can also talk to them about reducing the dose in the future.

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How Do I Give My Pet Gabapentin

Common gabapentin doses include gabapentin 100 mg, gabapentin 300 mg and gabapentin 800 mg. Doses are most often given in capsule or tablet form. You can administer the medication with or without food. If your dog or cat becomes nauseous after taking this pill, you may want to try hiding it inside a tasty pill pocket.

An oral solution is available, but its typically recommended for people only since it often includes xylitol, which is toxic to dogs. The sweetener can also be toxic to cats.. Do not give your excess liquid gabapentin to your pet as it may be unsafe.

Gabapentin Is Becoming Known For Its Potentially Harmful Toxicity

Gabapentin for Cats

Gabapentin is an agent that although deemed non-toxic can cause Chronic Toxicity when used in an unregulated fashion. This comes from long-term exposure to the medication that causes unfavorable results.

Toxicity can be sublethal and lethal at its worst, resulting in lasting reproductive, developmental, or behavioral damage or death.

If initial observations of reactions to the medication are concerning, it is best to seek medical advice to decide if the cat is showing casual side effects or if it is suffering from toxicity.

What are the signs of toxicity?

Toxicity comes as subacute, acute, subchronic, and chronic depending on the length, amount, and adverse effects of exposure to the agent. Humans tend to notice subtle changes that animals do not display.

The most noticeable signs of toxicity in a cat would be in physical behavior and mood. They can be signs of:

  • irritability
  • withdrawal or laziness
  • anxiety

The list may continue and the cat could begin to display symptoms of neurological damage as before being prescribed the Gabapentin. However, this is an unlikely possibility because the medication is not self-delivered.

The only way chronic toxicity could occur in an animal is if the care provider did not notice all other symptoms leading up to the extremes.

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It Must Be Magic: How Gabapentin Can Change Your Cats Vet Visit

For most cats, a visit to the veterinarian can be an overwhelming experience. Even though you and your vet team do everything possible to make their visit stress free, it can still be too much for some cats. Being removed from their familiar comfortable environment, a trip in the car, new smells and sounds at the vet any one of these things can be stressful, but combine them and its no wonder some kitties need a little extra help when they visit us.

In the past few years, feline veterinarians have discovered that Gabapentin can aide in examining some kitties that have previously had to be sedated. Its been used for chronic pain safely for several years, but has only recently been recognized for its effectiveness as a great short term anxiety medication for cats. It takes the edge off without having to use an oral tranquilizer medication or anesthesia. Other than drowsiness it has very little risk for side effects, and a lot of kitties will eat the capsule contents sprinkled in/on their food making it easy to give at home or at the vet. Occasionally owners report more increased drowsiness which can make them a little wobbly on their feet but it generally resolves within 12 hours.

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