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Cerenia For Pets 101 : Understanding Side Effects

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Cerenia For Pets 101 : Understanding Side Effects

Animals may experience vomiting and nausea just like a human being. A pet can feel just as miserable as their owner does when feeling ill. Having uncomfortable stomach pains, nausea, and vomiting and not knowing why can be painful for people as well as our beloved pets.

Vets and chemists recognized that cats and dogs should not have to suffer through vomiting and have come up with a drug called Cerenia. Cerenia is also known as Maropitant Citrate.

We will go over everything that we can find out about this medication and ensure that your pet will be able to return to their normal healthy selves. There will also be discussions about possible side effects that may be encountered and viable alternatives.

Cerenia For Dogs | Innovet Pet

What Exactly is Cerenia? (Maropitant Citrate)

The drug Cerenia is the first and the only FDA-approved medication for veterinarians to offer cats and dogs to prevent acute vomiting and nausea as a prescription. It can also be prescribed to prevent and treat vomiting in dogs that may happen with pets prone to motion sickness.

As a first step, we will go over the ways that Cerenia (Maropitant Citrate) can benefit your dog and then go over how they may help your cats. We will first discuss all of the ways that Cerenia may help your dog and then move on to how your feline may also benefit from Cerenia.

While Cerenia is prescribed for vomiting in cats and dogs, there are vital differences that a pet owner should take note of and understand as well as possible before making any decisions.

How Does Cerenia Benefit Canines?

Cerenia can benefit your canine friend in a variety of circumstances that include stopping nausea and effectively treat acute vomiting after it has begun and even prevent it from ever starting in the first place.

Motion Sickness Treated with Cerenia

Traveling with our pets is something many dog owners enjoy doing. As a matter of fact, here at Innovetpet, we understand more than most just how much people love to bring their furry friends along on flights or car rides as we have done so ourselves.

The sad truth is that there are some pets that just do not enjoy traveling one bit. As a matter of fact, studies have demonstrated that an estimated one in five dogs suffers from motion sickness.

If your pet gets motion sickness, your veterinarian may prescribe Cerenia tablets to alleviate vomiting due to motion or even to prevent it from starting in the first place.

Symptoms of Motion Sickness | Innovet Pet

Symptoms of Motion Sickness in Dogs

We know that dogs aren't able to tell us if they are sick with words. Most pet owners only suspect that their dogs are afflicted with motion sickness after they have thrown up in the vehicle.

However, there are some signs and symptoms to look for when traveling with your pet that may help you in figuring out if there is motion sickness involved.

Excessive Drooling

If you notice that your dog is suffering from excessive drooling on a trip, then it is likely they are experiencing this due to motion sickness. However, some dogs can begin the drooling before the vehicle or plane starts moving.

This is because they may sense that they are about to travel and know what is happening.

Of course, the most obvious symptom of motion sickness is vomiting. Many pet owners feel that if they withhold food before a car ride, they can eliminate the possibility of this motion sickness symptom.

However, vomiting can even occur on an empty stomach.

Furthermore, vomiting suddenly is certainly not the only sign of motion sickness.


The most noticeable symptom of motion sickness in dogs is vomiting. One big mistake that dog owners make is withholding food before a trip to ensure that their pet doesn't vomit.

Cerenia maropitant citrate  | Innovet Pet

However, this doesn't safely prevent vomiting as dogs can vomit even on an empty stomach with no contents to purge. If they regurgitate regularly on car rides or plane trips, then they may likely be suffering from canine motion sickness.

Canine Dry Heaves

Dogs may begin dry heaving or feel sick as a symptom. It can also happen before even leaving the driveway, just like vomiting does, if they equate long trips with feeling sick.

General Uneasiness or Anxiousness

A lot of dogs show anxiety or uneasiness due to motion sickness if they equate a car or plane with feeling sick.

Some symptoms of a dog showing anxiety or agitation are whimpering and pacing around, and this may indicate that your dog is unfortunately affected by the common affliction of canine motion sickness.

Are Certain Dogs Affected by Motion Sickness?

It is an affliction that can affect any dog. Some dogs are immune to motion sickness, but some breeds may be more susceptible than others. For example, many bulldogs suffer from the condition because of their short noses and long muzzles - a shape that does not allow air to enter as easily which in turn means they cannot cool down quickly enough when hot or warm environments cause them distress.

Dogs react differently based on breed type with different physical traits; for instance, certain dog breeds have shorter snouts while other types also don't fare well traveling by car due to being heavy-set and having higher centers of gravity (such as Newfoundlands). But how do you know if your pup is suffering? One telltale sign can be via upset stomachs after riding along.

The good news is that Cerenia has been shown to be very effective at alleviating as well as to prevent car sickness in dogs.

Severe and Acute Vomiting

Veterinarians can prescribe Cerenia to alleviate acute and severe vomiting in dogs. Dogs experiencing acute vomiting can happen for several reasons that will be gone over in more detail in this article. The number one reason why veterinarians prescribe Cerenia is to try and put an immediate end to the vomiting so that they can then work and diagnose the reason it is occurring.

Severe and constant vomiting can lead to worrying dehydration and gastrointestinal problems that could worsen without relief. Cerenia is able to help with these upsetting symptoms and even prevent some others from developing if given quickly enough.

There are many reasons that your pet could be experiencing persistent and severe vomiting. Some of the most common reasons will be discussed below. Showing a list of causes or concerns to a veterinarian can assist them in diagnosing and treating your dog.

Poisons And Environmental Toxins

One of the most common reasons a dog has for sudden vomiting is being exposed to environmental toxins or poisons. Dogs can be very precocious and get into things that they don't realize they shouldn't be getting into.

Some dogs are also very interested in eating anything that looks even remotely like food. Vomiting acutely is a sign that your dog may have gotten into poison or ingested toxins in the environment that can make them very sick.

Cerenia can help reduce the vomiting that your pet experiences, however, if toxins or poisons have been introduced into their systems it will most likely require additional treatment from a veterinarian or animal healthcare professional.

Interaction With Drugs  | Innovet Pet

Interaction With Drugs

If your dog has been prescribed a new medication, your dog may suffer from vomiting as their body tries to adjust to the other medications or as a reaction that is adverse.

It is essential to notify your pet's veterinarian if sudden vomiting occurs after a new medication has been prescribed so that they can monitor your pet and figure out if it is an allergic reaction or an adverse reaction that requires immediate care.

Canine Diseases

There are a wide variety of diseases that canines can acquire. Acute vomiting is a symptom of many different types of diseases. It is vital to let your veterinarian know if your dog suddenly starts vomiting for unknown reasons.

If it is due to an underlying health issue or canine disease, then your veterinarian will likely have to see your pet in the office to diagnose and test for possible diseases that could cause persistent or sudden severe vomiting.

Dietary Changes

Some dogs are very picky when it comes to their food and others may require a special diet. If this is the case, it is important to implement dietary changes slowly. Sudden dietary changes can contribute to acute vomiting in dogs and is why pet owners should be careful when changing their dog's food so that their body and digestive system can adjust appropriately.

Intestinal Parasites

Dogs can suffer vomiting if they have intestinal parasites. It is not something that a pet owner can tell by looking at their dog. Dog Cerenia tablets can help to prevent vomiting while the veterinarian tries to diagnose the underlying issue.

Separation Anxiety

Some pets can experience separation anxiety just like we do. When their owners are gone, some pets can begin having separation anxiety that culminates in various symptoms. Some dogs show their anxiety by vomiting along with other concerning symptoms like excessive barking, whining, or even a panic attack. The good news is, the prescription medication Cerenia for dogs can prevent vomiting from anxiousness.

Other Symptoms  | Innovet Pet

Other Symptoms To Watch Out For

Watching out for other symptoms is helpful so that you can arm yourself with knowledge and let your veterinarian know when they observe your pet.

If your pet has been experiencing acute vomiting, it is important to look out for these other symptoms to report on:

  • Diarrhea that may or may not contain blood
  • Vomiting with blood
  • Dehydration
  • Lethargy that is excessive
  • Weakness in muscles
  • Changes in behavior
  • Lessening appetite
  • Noticeable changes in urine or stool

Prevent Vomiting Before Surgical Appointments

The prescription medication Cerenia is also prescribed for vomit prevention prior to surgeries where opioids are a part of the anesthesia. It is given to a patient prior to surgery to prevent the vomiting that can occur from opioids or anesthesia reactions.

Cerenia's Side Effects  | Innovet Pet

What Are Cerenia's Side Effects in Dogs?

Similar to prescribed drugs that are out today, Cerenia also has side effects in dogs that pet owners should look out for if they administer it to their dog after having it prescribed.

Studies show that while most dogs react normally to the drug, the following side of effects of Cerenia has been reported over the years:

  • Excessive drooling
  • Diarrhea
  • Loss or lack of appetite
  • Lethargy or tiredness
  • Pain at the injection site (for injectable Cerenia)

It is highly recommended that pet owners give their dogs a short trial of a few days with the medication. You want to make sure that Cerenia for dogs does not cause uncomfortable or painful side effects in your pet that outweigh the benefits of using it. Following the instructions on the prescription is of utmost importance.

It is important to note that Cerenia should absolutely NOT be given to puppies under 16 weeks old or dogs that have known liver conditions. In addition, the medication should be used with caution in pets that have heart or liver disease.

If a pet has ingested a toxin or has a gastrointestinal obstruction, this medication should not be used. Your veterinarian should be given all the information about a pet's age and known health issues so that they can prescribe the proper medications.

How to Administer Cerenia for Dogs

Cerenia for dogs is administered in two distinctly different ways: injectable form or tablet form.

Cerenia Tablet Administration For Motion Sickness

Although cats cannot take these tablets for motion sickness, dogs can take Cerenia tablets to prevent the dreaded side effects of motion sickness. It is recommended to give dogs Cerenia about two hours ahead of any trips.

Experts also recommend that a dog is given the tablet with food so that they don't have stomach upset from taking it on an empty stomach. The suggested dosage is one Cerenia tablet a day for as many as two days in a row to alleviate symptoms and vomiting due to motion sickness. Of course, it is essential to always refer to your veterinarian's instructions and prescribed dosages that are specific to your pet.

In some people, topical exposure of Cerenia might cause localized allergic skin reactions, and repeated or prolonged exposure may lead to skin sensitization. After administering the drug, wash your hands with soap and water.

Injectable Cerenia For Dogs

Cerenia is available in an injectable form for both dogs and cats. It is used to prevent or alleviate symptoms such as vomiting. It works by blocking the action of histamine, which helps to treat vomiting. Cerenia should only be injected by animal healthcare professional in an office setting, as they are trained to do so safely. Localized allergic skin reactions may occur at the injection site.

Can Cats Have Cerenia? | Innovet Pet

Can Cats Have Cerenia?

Now, it's time to discuss Cerenia for cats. Though it can treat severe vomiting, it cannot be used in the same ways for cats as it can for dogs.

It is the one and only FDA approved treatment for acute vomiting in cats.

Like dogs, cats can get acute vomiting for a wide variety of reasons. Looking for the underlying cause along with a veterinarian is important. Similar to dogs, cats can suddenly start acutely vomiting due to toxicity, dietary changes, poisons, and more.

Speaking to your cat's veterinarian right away is crucial if your feline friend has begun violently vomiting out of seemingly nowhere. Make sure to report any other health changes that you have observed in your cat as well so that your vet is fully informed.

Cerenia Administration For Cats

Cerenia Injectables For Cats

Cats can only have Cerenia in its injectable form. Those that have both dogs and cats CANNOT give their cats the tablets they give their dog. Tablets of Cerenia can hurt your cat. Injectable Cerenia for cats should be given in a veterinary office by a professional technician or the vet themselves.

No Cerenia Tablets For Cats!

Cats cannot have Cerenia tablets under any condition or for any reason. It could cause harm to your otherwise healthy cat and is never an option.

Cerenia Side Effects In Cats

Cats have the same types of side effects as dogs. However, because cats can only have injectable Cerenia, the most common side effect that felines experience is injection-site pain or discomfort.

What Are Alternative Treatment Options For Dogs and Cats?

Although Cerenia is an effective choice for cats and dogs, it is not the only option for pet owners that want to keep their minds open to alternatives. There are alternative treatment options that can work for cats and dogs.

CBD Dog Treats for motion sickness | Innovet Pet

CBD For Anxiety

Earlier in the article, we discussed that some dogs experience acute vomiting due to anxiety and stress. They are just like humans in their ability to suffer from anxiety and the damaging health effects that it can cause.

Thankfully, CBD has shown itself to be very helpful in managing anxiety and its symptoms in pets and humans. Dog owners can even provide their furry friends with specially-formulated hemp treats.

It is a good idea to provide your pet with a calming treat or CBD oil before going into a situation that you know could cause them anxiety.

Cerenia Does NOT Cure Acute Vomiting

While Cerenia for dogs is helpful in alleviating the symptoms of acute vomiting, it does not cure it. It is essential to work with your veterinarian to find the underlying issue that is causing your pet to suffer from bouts of acute vomiting.

Treating the symptom is not treating the disease. So, Cerenia is an effective band-aid until the underlying reason for the vomiting can be found and treated properly for a possible cure.

Pet Parents and Cerenia

Pet parents should be open to learning about all of their treatment options. Here at Innovetpet, we understand just how special our dogs and cats are to us.

Pets are a part of our family and we want to do everything that we can to alleviate any pain or discomfort they are feeling.

Cerenia is a good option for some pet parents to consider if they feel that it will be beneficial to their pets. It is imperative to be well-informed and why Innovetpet recommends researching everything that our furry pals may be exposed to as fully as possible and always referring to a veterinarian for professional advice.


Motion Sickness in Dogs

Help With Your Pet's Vomiting

Treat and Prevent Vomiting With Once-Daily CERENIA

Comparison of NK-1 Receptor Antagonist (Maropitant) to Morphine

CBD Oil For Dogs

Hemp For Pets

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