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Cerenia use in dogs and cats

Cerenia (maropitant citrate) is a drug that I use quite often in my practice. Its main use is in dogs and cats that are nauseous as it is a good drug to help stop vomiting. It comes in the form of either an injection or pills. If I have a patient who is nauseous I'll often give an injection of cerenia and then send the animal home with the pill form.

Some facts about Cerenia

  • A single dose lasts for 24 hours to help stop vomiting.
  • It is a relatively new anti-vomiting drug. In my practice it is the drug that I find works the best to help stop vomiting in dogs and cats.
  • Until recently, use in cats has been considered "off label" but it is now labelled for safe use in cats.
  • It is not a good idea to use this drug in dogs or cats with severe liver disease.
  • The dose that we prescribe for car sickness (8 mg/kg) is 8 times higher than the dose that is recommended for regular nausea (1 mg/kg)!
  • For car sickness, the medication works best if you can give a small meal followed by the tablet one hour later, and then wait two more hours before travelling.
  • No side effects are expected. It does not cause sedation.
  • It is a very safe drug. One study showed that dogs who took 3x the car sickness dose (i.e. 24mg/kg) for 3x longer than recommended, had no adverse effects.

Your thoughts?

Has your pet been on this medication? If so, how well did it work? Did you see any side effects? I'd love for you to leave a comment below.

Post written by Dr. Marie of Ask A Vet Question.

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Dr. MarieDr. Marie is a veterinarian who practices in a busy animal hospital in Ottawa, Ontario. She created Ask A Vet Question as a resource for good, accurate veterinary advice online. Dr. Marie treats dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, and rats. She has been a vet since 1999.

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