Educational Articles

Small Mammals + Medications

  • Aluminum hydroxide is commonly used off label to treat high phosphate levels in pets with kidney disease. It is given by mouth, with meals, in the form of a liquid gel, powder, or a compounded capsule. The most common side effect is constipation, and therefore should be used in caution with pets with a gastrointestinal obstruction or pets prone to constipation. If a negative reaction occurs, please call your veterinary office.

  • Atenolol is used off label and given by mouth to treat certain heart conditions in dogs, cats, and ferrets. Common side effects include tiredness and stomach upset. Contraindications include hypersensitivity to beta-blockers, heart failure, heart block, low heart rate, or certain lung disease. If a negative reaction occurs, please call your veterinary office.

  • Azathioprine is an immune suppressing medication given by mouth or as an injection and is mainly used off label to treat immune-mediated diseases in dogs. Common side effects include gastrointestinal upset and bone marrow suppression. This medication should not be used in pets that are allergic to azathioprine or are pregnant. It should be used with caution in pets with liver or kidney disease. If a negative reaction occurs, please call your veterinary office.

  • Diazoxide is used to treat certain tumors (insulinomas) in ferrets and to treat low blood sugar secondary to excessive insulin secretion in dogs.

  • Doxycycline is an antibiotic given by mouth in the form of a tablet, capsule, or liquid, used off label to treat certain infections. Common side effects include stomach upset, sun sensitivity, and increases in liver enzymes. Serious side effects include liver failure, seizures, and trouble swallowing. Do not use in pregnant pets, and use cautiously in pets with liver disease or in young pets. If a negative reaction occurs, please call your veterinary office.

  • Enrofloxacin is an antibiotic given by mouth or in the muscle commonly used to treat bacterial infections in cats, dogs, and off label in small mammals, birds, and reptiles. Common side effects include vomiting, diarrhea, and lack of appetite. It should not be used in growing or dehydrated pets, or in cats with kidney disease. Use cautiously in pets with seizures, liver, or kidney disease. If a negative reaction occurs, please call your veterinary office.

  • Fluconazole is an antifungal medication used off label in cats, dogs, and small mammals to treat fungal infections, especially those in the brain and spinal cord. It is given by mouth in the form of a tablet or liquid suspension, and is also available as an injection for hospital use. Common side effects include gastrointestinal upset such as decreased appetite, vomiting, and diarrhea but liver toxicity can also occur. It should be used with caution in pets with liver or kidney disease, or pregnant or lactating pets. If a negative reaction occurs, call your veterinary office.

  • Itraconazole is given by mouth in the form of a capsule, tablet, or liquid to treat fungal infections in cats and for off label treatment in dogs and small mammals. The most common side effects are anorexia, vomiting, liver toxicity, skin lesions, or limb and vessel swelling. It should not be used in pets with liver disease or low stomach acid production, and used with caution in pregnant, lactating, or pets with heart disease. If a negative reaction occurs, call your veterinary office.

  • Ketoconazole is an antifungal given by mouth in the form of a tablet, used off label to treat fungal infections in dogs, cats, small mammals, and reptiles. The most common side effects are vomiting, diarrhea, lack of appetite, and weight loss. Do not use in pets that are allergic to it, and use severe caution when using in cats or pregnant pets. If a negative reaction occurs, please call your veterinary office.

  • Meclizine is used off label and given by mouth in the form of a tablet to treat and prevent motion sickness and vomiting in dogs, cats, and small mammals. The most common side effect is sedation and sleepiness. Do not use in pets that are allergic to it. It should be used with caution in pets with concurrent prostate enlargement, bladder obstruction, heart failure, certain types glaucoma, or certain gastrointestinal obstructions. If a negative reaction occurs, please call your veterinary office.