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Sucralfate for Dogs: Info, Uses, & Dosage

Published on
September 14, 2023
Sucralfate for Dogs - Medication Bottle
Written By:
The Otis O
The Pet Experts
Reviewed By:
Dr. Ellen Russell
Dr. Ellen Russell DVM, MPH
Licensed Veterinarian
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As pet parents, we all want what's best for our furry friends, especially when it comes to their health and well-being. Just like humans, dogs can suffer from a variety of gastrointestinal issues, including different types of ulcers. A veterinarian may choose to prescribe Sucralfate to treat these ulcers. It is important to seek medical advice from a licensed veterinarian before giving any medication to your dog, as they will be able to consider the animal’s full medical status and avoid potential drug complications.

Sucralfate is produced by a number of different pharmaceutical companies and may go by different names such as Carafate. This medication is also used in human medicine. If you have been given Sucralfate for human use, it can be dangerous to give this to your pet. Proper diagnosis and prescribing by a licensed vet is essential.

What is Sucralfate Used for in Dogs?

Sucralfate is primarily used to treat and prevent different kinds of gastrointestinal ulcers in dogs, including ulcers in the mouth, esophagus, stomach, or small intestine.  A veterinarian may suspect that your dog is suffering from ulcers if they are vomiting or have diarrhea. If you notice either of these symptoms, particularly if blood is present, you should seek veterinary medical attention immediately.

What Does Sucralfate Do for Dogs?

When Sucralfate comes into contact with the gastric acid in your dog’s stomach, it forms a viscous liquid that coats ulcers and other erosive lesions providing a protective barrier and allowing them to heal. In addition to providing a physical barrier, the medication also increases mucus production and stimulates the gastrointestinal cells to repair the ulcer.  Over time, your dog should experience relief from some symptoms as healing occurs.

The effects of Sucralfate typically last about 6 hours, so it is common for vets to provide instructions that the medication is given multiple times per day.

How to Give Sucralfate for Dogs

If your veterinarian prescribes Sucralfate for your dog, it is important to give the medication on an empty stomach, and timed properly with meals. This is typically done either an hour before a meal or 2 hours after. The presence of food in your dog’s stomach impacts the ability for the medication to come in contact with the stomach lining, potentially harming its efficacy. If you have trouble getting your dog to consume a whole pill, it may be helpful to create a slurry of Sucralfate and water.

How to Make Sucralfate Slurry for Dogs

Many dogs don’t like to eat pills, particularly if they’re not accompanied with food. One solution to this is forming a slurry that can be administered via a syringe in your dog’s mouth. Your veterinarian will tell you if this is appropriate for your pet.

  1. Crush the appropriate dose of Sucralfate as prescribed by your veterinarian
  2. Mix the crush pill with water to form a chalky solution
  3. Load the solution into a syringe
  4. Squirt the liquid into your dog’s mouth

Side Effects and Precautions

Sucralfate is generally considered a very safe medication since it isn’t absorbed through a dog’s intestines. However, there are a number of side effects that should be considered and discussed with your vet. There is potential for this medication to cause gastrointestinal distress such as constipation, vomiting, or diarrhea. With excessive or long term use, there is also the possibility that Sucralfate disrupts digestion and your dog’s ability to absorb nutrients from their food. There are some medications that should not be given at the same time as Sucralfate, such as antacids. If your dog is on multiple medications,  your veterinarian will instruct you on when each medication should be given.

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