Famotidine is a drug intended for humans -- better known as Pepcid -- that can be prescribed by vets. Its purpose is to prevent acid from forming in Socks' stomach. Although you can purchase it over the counter, consult your vet before giving it to your kitty.
How Famotidine Works
Famotidine doesn't neutralize acids in a cat's stomach, but instead keeps them from developing. Because it reduces the amount of acid being produced in Socks' stomach, it reduces the pH of her digestive system, creating a better environment for it to recover from whatever is stressing it.
When Famotidine is Used
If Socks has a stomach ulcer, famotidine will help her stomach stabilize and make her more comfortable while she heals. Vets often turn to famotidine when a cat has other conditions, such as chronic renal failure or cancer, that can leave her with an upset stomach. Although the drug isn't an appetite stimulant, it can help increase your cat's appetite because it inhibits one of the culprits making her feel sick -- excess acid.
Possible Side Effects
Even though famotidine is considered safe for cats, it does have some potential side effects to be aware of. These include increased thirst, diarrhea, vomiting, lethargy and a change in appetite. If you notice any of these side effects, you should inform your vet; they could be signs of an allergic reaction. Famotidine can also aggravate problems from kidney or liver damage.
Proper Use of Famotidine
Even though famotidine is considered safe for cats and is available over the counter, never administer it to Socks without consulting your vet. The drug could interact with other medication she is taking. The vet must also calculate the proper dose for Socks, based on her weight, age and condition.
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