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Loratadine for pets

Updated July 19, 2017

Loratadine is an antihistamine sold over the counter for human use. Like other antihistamines that have been used for years with pets, loratadine can be utilised to combat allergic reactions in dogs and cats.

Indications

Loratadine can be used in dogs and cats for snake bites, vaccination reactions, bee stings, insect bites, blood transfusion reactions, and itchy skin. Never give your pet loratadine if unsure of the symptoms or if symptoms are severe; consult your veterinarian. If you do give loratadine and symptoms persist, contact your veterinarian.

Compare to Other Antihistamines

A common antihistamine that has been used for years in veterinary medicine is diphenhydramine. This medication is available in oral and injectable forms and often causes drowsiness. Loratadine does not cross the blood-brain barrier, so it does not cause drowsiness---this often makes it the drug of choice for oral administration.

Dosage

For a specific dosage for your pet, always consult your veterinarian. Loratadine is available over the counter in 10 mg tablets. For dogs, the approximate dosage is 0.5 mg per 0.998kg.; dogs 22.7kg. and over can receive one 10 mg tablet. A typical cat should take 1/4-tablet (2.5 mg), but no more than 1/2-tablet. In all animals, only give once daily.

Caution

Make sure you use loratadine only, not a loratadine-pseudoephedrine combination. Pseudoephedrine can be dangerous to animals.

Side Effects

Side effects in animals are not well-documented, but when humans overdose on loratadine, side effects can include headaches, drowsiness and rapid heart rate. If any of these symptoms occur, whether or not an overdose is suspected, contact your veterinarian immediately.

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About the Author

Rachael Garrison is a registered veterinary technician with a Bachelor of Science in animal physiology and neuroscience from UC San Diego. She has written and edited articles for various online publications, including The Unseen Eye, and currently contributes to My Hawaii Honeymoon.