Using Maalox to Treat Your Dog
Can I give my dog Maalox for upset stomach? What is Maalox? Is it safe for my pet? These are just the common questions of many dog owners who are concerned about the health of their dogs.
Maalox is an antacid, also known as Milk of Magnesia. It is approved by the Food and Drug Administration for use in the treatment of large animals. Although it is an over-the-counter drug, it is recommended that its use should be under the direct guidance of the veterinarian. Maalox is usually prescribed for dogs having stomach upset or indigestion, heartburn and stomach ulcers. It also utilized in dogs with kidney failure who present with elevated phosphorous in the blood. In such cases, it is given to reduce the dog's blood phosphorous levels.
Consulting a veterinarian before administering Maalox to a dog is of paramount importance to determine if the dog is not experiencing any other conditions apart from an upset stomach. A history of kidney and heart diseases are often obtained before giving Maalox, as it may cause complications in the dog suffering from the said conditions. Vets can then determine if Maalox, or any other drug, is safe for the dog, and prescribe how much, when and for how long the medicine should be given to the pet.
Possible Side Effects and Contraindications
When Maalox is given to a dog, certain side effects may occur like diarrhea, lack of appetite and constipation. Since Maalox also contains aluminum, sodium and potassium, some dogs may manifest with electrolyte imbalance. The problem with electrolyte imbalance is that it can lead to arrhythmias, or irregularity in heartbeat, as well as in weakness of the pet.
Giving this drug to pregnant and nursing dogs is not recommended. Dogs with kidney failure should also not be given Maalox. It is often recommended to use Maalox with caution in dogs with stomach obstruction. Long term use of this drug can lead to kidney problems. Bone thinning and weakness of the muscles are also associated with chronic use of medications, like Maalox, which contain aluminum.
Maalox may likewise reduce the effects or absorption of other drugs being taken by the pet. These include medicines like captopril, digoxin, iron salts, ketoconazole, ranitidine, and valproic acid. Absorption of Tetracycline antibiotics may also be affected. When given with aspirin and ephedrine, Maalox can increase their absorption in the body.
So when someone asks, “Can I give my dog Maalox for upset stomach?”, the safest answer would be to ask the veterinarian. Veterinarians have been trained to evaluate pets, and other animals, and are qualified to prescribe medications that are intented to benefit the well-being of pets. And they can also assess if the pet is only suffering from upset stomach, or from something else which needs further management.