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Ask Dr. Kara Your Own Question
Dr. Kara
Dr. Kara, Board Certified Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 16311
Experience:  Over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian.
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cinnarizine for travel sickness in dogs: safe? what dose per

Resolved Question:

cinnarizine for travel sickness in dogs: safe? what dose per kg?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Vet
Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 3 years ago.
Hello, I'm Dr. Kara. I have over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian and I'd like to help with your concerns about Melyn and his carsickness.
Cinnarizine is an antihistamine, calcium channel blocker. It is not a drug that we use routinely in dogs, and as such there isn't a published, recommended dose

Dogs are prone to car sickness as their sense of balance is much better than ours and as such they are easily affected by the motion of cars or boats. Some dogs do outgrow it, and he may given a little more time.
Try to keep trips short and as positive as possible. Some dogs get stressed if the only places they go are negative, such as a veterinary clinic. By making the destination enjoyable he may feel less stressed so less likely to get sick.

You can give Gravol also known as Dramamine (dimenhydranate) for carsickness. The dose is 2mg to 4mg per kilogram of body weight. Give it an hour two before travel. It will last about 8 hours. Side effects are mild sleepiness and dry mouth.

Or you can try Benadryl (diphenhydramine) at 0.5mg to 1mg per kilogram of body weight orally. Side effects are sedation and dry mouth as well. It should be given an hour or two before travel.

I do recommend that he not eat for 8 hours before travel if the car-ride will be long. Ice cubes can help to quell nausea too and keep him hydrated.
I also recommend keeping a window cracked as fresh air seems to help too.
Some dogs do better if they cannot see out of the car, the moving landscape seems to make them dizzier and thus more nauseous. Try and get him to lay down in the car, or use a carrier and put it on the floor of the car.

If these things don't work discuss a medication called Cerenia (maropitant) with your veterinarian. It works very well and lasts at least 8 to 12 hours.

If you believe this is at all anxiety related you can try products such as Bach's Rescue Remedy. See this link for further information: http://www.bachflower.com/Pets.htm
If that isn't enough your veterinarian can prescribe anti-anxiety medications for him that may work better.
Please let me know if you have any further questions.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.


Many thanks for your advice. Ice cubes is certainly a new, easy, Rx if that helps. Professionally I am a "two leg vet", and for us cinnarizine is excellent, but I take on board your comments. Thank you.

Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 3 years ago.
You are very welcome.
I appreciate that you asked before trying cinnarizine because as you know there are some things animals can take that people cannot, or they simply don't work for people. I had an 80 pound greyhound that got very car sick and found Reglan (metoclopramide) or Cerenia (maropitant) the best for severe car sickness if the over the counter things aren't enough. I hope that your fellow isn't that bad.

Good luck with those two legged beasts! I shadowed an ER doc in undergrad before I went to vet school just to see the other side and was amazed at all of the ridiculous things people did to themselves that landed them in the emergency room.
Take care and let me know if you have any further questions.
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