Gabapentin is a medication that is used for treating chronic and neuropathic pain but can also be used as an anti-anxiety medication. Typically used in cat’s, it can be given as a single dose before an appointment to help reduce anxiety and stress. It can also be used daily for pain relief in both dogs and cats. Gabapentin is a safe medication to use in pets with kidney issues when other medications are not a safe option.
This medication should be stored at room temperature in a tightly sealed container. The container should be protected from direct light and stored in a dark place. Be sure to keep in a safe place away from any pets or children who may accidentally ingest it.
Gabapentin is a very safe medication, so there are very few adverse side effects related to it. Most commonly seen is sedation and stumbling. Starting at a lower dose and then gradually increasing may help reduce this effect.
Gabapentin is a very safe medication with a wide dose range. If the low dose of medication is not enough to help with your cat’s anxiety during appointments, speak with your veterinarian about whether or not we can increase it. We want to help keep you and your pet happy and relaxed so don’t be afraid to talk to us about your pet’s dose. Gabapentin typically comes in a capsule form, but for pickier patients, it can be ordered in a flavoured liquid or chew. The liquid and chew form of the medication is ordered through a special compounding company, so it takes 3-4 business days to come in.
Because Gabapentin is such a safe medication blood work is not required as often as some other medications that we send home. However, if it is being used daily as a maintenance medication for pain relief, wellness blood work should be done twice a year, ideally at the time of your pet’s annual exam and vaccines as well as at the 6-month health exam.
If at any time you feel that the dose your cat or dog is taking is no longer effective, please contact us at the office, and we can re-evaluate their dose.
Written By: Kelsey Hewgill, RVT