Having a dog that takes daily medication can be both expensive and frustrating, especially if your dog is reluctant to take their medication or if the medication has detrimental side effects.
If your dog’s daily medications are frustrating you and your pet, it might be time to consider weaning them off the medication. One drug that dog owners find their dogs taking for long periods of time is Gabapentin, a drug that is both a pain reliever and an anticonvulsant.
Gabapentin is a common medication given to dogs to help with seizures and pain, but for some dogs, this medication is only temporary.
In this case, it’s important to cease giving your dog their medication in the correct way to minimize risk. Taking your dog off of chronic pain medication can be disastrous for both you and your four-legged friend if done wrong, so always do so with the utmost caution.
Dogs need to be weaned off Gabapentin, and if you’ve never done so before, you can read on to learn how to wean a dog off Gabapentin!
When you wean your dog off Gabapentin, you are slowly stopping the medication until your dog is no longer taking it, but the process isn’t as simple as giving your dog a smaller amount of medicine each time.
]Weaning a dog off of any medication, Gabapentin included, is a delicate process that must be done carefully and under the advisory of a veterinarian.
How To Wean A Dog Off Gabapentin!
A dog must be weaned off of Gabapentin slowly by lessening the dose over a period of 2 to 3 weeks.
Since Gabapentin dosages are given by weight, not all dogs will follow the same weaning schedule. Contact your vet for a more comprehensive schedule for weaning your dog off of Gabapentin.
Gabapentin is most commonly used for chronic pain in dogs, so if a dog is taken off of Gabapentin abruptly, it can cause a rebound of the pain or even seizures.
These side effects can be severe and last multiple days, which is why it’s so important to wean your dog off this medication instead of stopping immediately.
The pain experienced by your dog during Gabapentin withdrawal can be even more intense than the initial pain that the Gabapentin was used for, so watch them closely to make sure they’re comfortable while being weaned off this medication.
The goal is to wean your dog off of Gabapentin slowly until there is no trace of the medication left in their system.
For dogs that take a large dose of Gabapentin daily, the weaning process can seem long and frustrating, but it’s important to have patience and not try to finish weaning your dog off the medication too quickly.
It’s a good idea to be very familiar with the signs and symptoms of Gabapentin withdrawal, so if your dog starts to experience this unfortunate process, you can act right away.
Can Dogs Have Withdrawal From Gabapentin?
Yes, dogs can have withdrawal from Gabapentin. Some of the symptoms of withdrawal are restlessness, increased sensitivity to pain, ataxia, nausea, and seizures.
The severity of these withdrawal symptoms is why slow, veterinary-led weaning is so important. Seizures especially are difficult on your dog, and extended seizures can cause irreversible neurological problems if not treated right away.
Gabapentin is a wonderful drug for dogs that suffer pain chronically, but there’s a good reason why it can only be obtained by prescription. Dosing and weaning a dog off this drug are very tedious processes that are best done by a professional.
Keep a keen out for withdrawal symptoms and seek medical help right away if you notice any of them, because the symptoms of withdrawal can be easily mistaken for other medical maladies.
If you believe your dog is suffering from withdrawal from Gabapentin, even though you are weaning them off of it and not quitting abruptly, you may be weaning them off the drug too quickly.
It may seem better to wean your dog quickly by lessening the dosage by large amounts every day, but this is dangerous. Always go slowly and use caution when weaning your dog off any drug.
How Long Does Gabapentin Withdrawal Last For Dogs?
Gabapentin withdrawal in dogs can last between 5 to 7 days. This isn’t to say that weaning your dog off of Gabapentin will only take this long, though.Weaning a dog off of Gabapentin can take up to 3 weeks, because safety is key, not speed.
Withdrawal is a miserable and often painful process for dogs and humans alike and should be avoided if at all possible.
Dogs are good at hiding their pain and sicknesses, which is why it’s imperative to keep a close eye on your dog to make sure they aren’t experiencing any symptoms of withdrawal during the whole weaning process, not just the first 7 days. Some side effects are severe enough to cause permanent damage.
The length of the withdrawal is also linked to how high of a dose of Gabapentin your dog was taking. The more medication in their systems, the longer it can take to clear out naturally.
The goal of weaning your dog off of Gabapentin slowly is to avoid any and all withdrawal symptoms and make it as easy on your dog’s system as possible.
Abruptly quitting a medication, also known as going cold turkey, is a shock to your dog’s system, which has become dependent on Gabapentin.
Learning how to wean a dog off of Gabapentin may seem overwhelming, but with the help of a veterinarian, you can successfully wean your dog off of this chronic pain medication with no adverse side effects. Dogs can experience withdrawal from Gabapentin, and some of the side effects of this withdrawal, like seizures, are intense enough to cause irreversible damage, which is why slowly weaning your dog off of Gabapentin is so important. If your dog is experiencing Gabapentin withdrawal, which can last between 5 and 7 days, contact your veterinarian right away for proper treatment.