Many people suffer from allergies, either seasonally or all year round. But did you know that dogs can get allergies too? If you’re someone who deals with allergies, then you understand how taking allergy medication can be a lifesaver. This goes for dogs as well!
If you want to learn more about giving your dog antihistamines, like fexofenadine for dogs, then this article is for you. Keep reading to learn more about fexofenadine and other antihistamines for your treating your dog’s allergies!
What Medicines Can I Treat My Dogs Allergies With?
Allergies can present themselves in many ways when it comes to dogs. The most common of which is skin irritation, so you’ll notice that your dog is itching all over their body or chewing/licking their feet often. You can alleviate their discomfort by giving them a baking soda or oatmeal bath in lukewarm water. You can also try mineral oil; pour the mineral oil onto a cotton ball and wipe it on the affected areas.
Hot spots can also be common during allergy season. These appear as raw, red, and inflamed patches on your dog’s body. These can ooze fluid or bleed, but they’re nearly impossible to treat at home. If you think that your dog is dealing with a hot spot, you should get them to the vet to be prescribed an oral steroid or steroid cream to prevent the hot spot from becoming infected.
There is also a wide selection of over-the-counter antihistamines that have been proven to be safe to use for your dog’s allergies as well. Benadryl, diphenhydramine, is the most commonly recommended medicine prescribed by vets. Benadryl is great for minor allergies, treating motion sickness, and small reactions caused by insect bites. However, avoid liquid Benadryl because it contains a small amount of alcohol.
Chlor Trimeton, Chlorpheniramine, is another antihistamine that is prescribed for a dog. If you can find it, make sure to read the label because many of them have acetaminophen as an added ingredient. Zyrtec (cetirizine) is also effective for dogs with allergies.
The one antihistamine that we’re going to be focusing on in this article is fexofenadine (Allegra) for dogs.
What is Fexofenadine?
Allegra (fexofenadine) is an H1 receptor antagonist that prevents your dog’s body from creating histamines. These can cause itchy skin, a stuffy nose, and sneezing. Fexofenadine for dogs is also very useful in treating canine allergic rhinitis. However, it’s more unpredictable and less effective at treating skin allergies, so it may not be a first choice for treating pruritus in dogs.
Is Fexofenadine Safe?
Fexofenadine for dogs is often prescribed to treat allergies. However, you should never give it to your dog unless your vet has told you it’s okay. But it is very safe for dogs. Just make sure that you’re talking with your vet if you want to use fexofenadine for dogs.
How Much Fexofenadine Can My Dog Have?
Fexofenadine is safe for dogs, and there have been research studies done that show that it would take an extremely high dosage of fexofenadine to be toxic. However, the recommended dosage of fexofenadine for dogs is 2 milligrams per kilogram.
If your dog is 50 pounds or 22.7 kilograms, you could give your dog 45.4 milligrams of fexofenadine. Now, this might seem like a lot compared to what humans would take. But you have to remember that antihistamines aren’t as effective in dogs, so they need a higher dosage.
These large dosages are safe, but make sure to don’t give them more than the recommended dose every eight hours, unless your vet has given you different instructions.
Precautions and Side Effects
Fexofenadine for dogs can cause sedation in high doses. If your dog is nursing or pregnant, make sure to talk with your vet before giving your dog any fexofenadine. Make sure to let your vet know if your dog is taking any other medications because fexofenadine can interact negatively with antacids containing magnesium and aluminum, ketoconazole, and erythromycin.
It’s also very important that you understand that Allegra-D is something completely different than regular Allegra (fexofenadine). Allegra-D contains pseudoephedrine, which is a decongestant that is not safe for dogs to consume. Make sure that you aren’t purchasing this type of medication because it can cause serious side effects if your dog ingests it.
How Often Should I Give Fexofenadine to My Dog?
The recommended dosage of fexofenadine for dogs is for every 12 hours, no more than 30 milligrams per kilogram.
As we’ve stated earlier in this article, it’s hard to cause an overdose in dogs with antihistamines. Studies have been done that showed there was no evidence of toxicity when dogs got 300 times the maximum recommended daily dose. This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be extremely cautious when giving your dog antihistamines like fexofenadine. “Too much” doesn’t necessarily mean “deadly,” but it can still cause harm to your dog.
If you’re purchasing over-the-counter medicine for your dog, make sure to read the label. Many antihistamines contain ingredients such as alcohol, ibuprofen, and acetaminophen, all of which are extremely dangerous for your dog to consume. Also, avoid any antihistamines that end with “D” (such as Allegra-D or Claritin-D). The “D” means that they have a decongestant that has a stimulant effect on your dog, which can be deadly.
Remember to always consult your vet before giving your dog any antihistamines to make sure that you’re giving the right dosage and that the medication is safe for your dog.
Fexofenadine for dogs can be safe if it’s given in the correct dosage with the approval of your vet. This goes with all antihistamines that are safe for dogs. Make sure always to read the label of the medication that you’re going to give your dog to make sure that it doesn’t have any unsafe ingredients in it.