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Pain Relief for Dogs

Gabapentin is used to treat chronic pain in dogs. It has been shown to be effective for reducing hypersensitivity associated with neuropathic pain and treating chronic arthritic pain. Gabapentin seems to work best when combined with other types of pain relievers, such as NSAIDs (Rimadyl®), permitting the use of lower doses, and is often used because it has relatively few drug interactions and mild side effects. It is suggested to start therapy at the lower end of the dosage range and/or once daily dosing and titrate up in order to prevent over-sedation of the dog. Gabapentin is not commercially available as a veterinary formulation, but rather in capsules and as a suspension for humans. However, the commercially available suspension contains xylitol, which is safe in humans but causes profound insulin release in dogs and can lead to life-threatening hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). The good news is that our compounding pharmacists can prepare a xylitol-free oral gabapentin suspension for dogs. We can also compound other dog-friendly dosage flavored dosage forms such as medicated chewable treats. Bring us your medication problems!

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