Side Effects of Cerenia for Dogs

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For many, dogs are like another member of the family and rarely are left behind regardless of the destination. However, long road trips, airplane travel, or other modes of transportation may cause your pet to get motion sickness, which then leads to vomiting. Rather than leave your dog at home when you hit the road, Cerenia may be prescribed by your veterinarian to help avoid this problem.

Common Side Effects of Cerenia for Dogs

Side effects of Cerenia may include drowsiness, lethargy, lack of appetite, and diarrhea. If you’re introducing your pet to the medication for the first time, it’s wise to set out on a “test” drive before hitting the road for the real trip. This way you can monitor how well your dog is responding to the medication and if it’s a suitable option long-term.

Cerenia is not recommended for use in dogs less than 16 weeks old. And, you want to take extra precautions if your dog has liver problems. Also, your pet may have a serious allergic reaction if he’s never taken Cerenia before. These symptoms may include hives, swelling of the facial area, and/or difficulty breathing. If this should occur, it will require emergency veterinary attention, which is an important to consider wherever you are traveling. You’ll want to make sure there is adequate assistance nearby.

If your pet has accidentally overdosed on Cerenia, side effects may be similar, including loss of appetite, bloody stool, and diarrhea. Make sure to keep any medication well out of reach of your pet and ensure the medication schedule is followed per the prescription of the veterinarian. In addition to external symptoms that occur, there may also be internal side effects happening as well.

Not all dogs are automatically good candidates for Cerenia. It depends on other medications, age, breed, general health, and other physical concerns or risks your veterinarian detects. Talk with your pet’s doctor about any medications or nutritional supplements your pet is currently receiving. He or she will determine if Cerenia is a good option for your pet or decide what alternatives there might be.

Cerenia for Motion Sickness in Dogs

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We might not think of dogs getting woozy in the car but it is the case in many pets. Fortunately, Cerenia helps prevent acute vomiting by blocking substance P (which triggers vomiting) in the brain. The medication is prescribed for use only once per day, typically to be administered before the actual start of the trip. Don’t feed your dog up to one hour before giving him Cerenia and plan to give it to him approximately two hours before disembarking.

Cerenia is given orally. Although tempting, it’s not recommended to hide it in food like hot dogs or cheese because it may affect the absorption and effectiveness rate. The medication needs a change to become fully absorbed and start working before your dog gets into a moving vehicle. If your pet has a hard time taking medication, discuss options with your veterinarian to ensure maximum effectiveness of the medicine.

It’s also important to follow the recommended dosage amount of the prescription for your pet. Cerenia is typically prescribed for only a few days. If you have concerns due to a longer, upcoming trip, ask your veterinarian what options you have to prevent motion sickness vomiting.

Tips to Prevent Motion Sickness in Dogs

Cerenia is available in different tablet sizes depending on the size of your dog and generally is prescribed with minimal risk. However, there are other ways your pet may have a more comfortable ride when traveling as well.

Make sure there is good ventilation for your pet, as this can help him feel better when in the car. Double check that there’s enough space in his crate and enough air getting to him while riding.

Don’t let your pet travel on a full stomach or bladder. Take your dog for a walk and let him get out his energy prior to traveling, especially if you’re going to be on a long flight or on a tight schedule when driving. Also, while it’s good to pack snacks and plenty of water for your pet, allocate these in the appropriate amounts. Overeating plus continued movement can lead to an upset stomach for your dog. Also, dehydration can lead to other side effects that can make for one long ride for both you and your pet.

Try to keep your pet’s diet as all-natural as possible. While it might be tempting to share your snacks when on the road, it might not be the healthiest for your pet, especially if his stomach is more sensitive when traveling. Hemp-based treats are good options when traveling because they don’t affect other foods or medications you may be giving your dog. They’re easy on the digestive system and can also potentially help with other disorders like anxiety in dogs.

Make your dog as comfortable as possible during the trip. This may involve packing a special blanket or toy or rubbing a bit of aromatherapy oil on his paws for relaxation. For those who travel frequently with their pets, you most likely already have a routine down. But if you’re new to taking your pet with you on trips, it can be a bit of trial and error. Take into account what makes your dog comfortable at home and translate that as much as possible when on the road.

Finally, take as many breaks as you can. It gives everyone a chance to get out of the car and get relief. If motion sickness plagues your dog, then any extra, non-moving moments are most likely much appreciated.

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Cerenia for Acute Vomiting in Dogs

From time to time, your pup may vomit when at home, too. This could be due to a temporary illness, separation anxiety, or simply because he ate something he shouldn’t have. Do some investigating to determine the cause of the vomiting. This will help you determine if it’s an ongoing problem or a one-time event. Acute vomiting in dogs is more extreme and often requires the care of a veterinarian for effective treatment.

Acute vomiting symptoms include continuous vomiting, blood in the vomit or stool, pain, and weakness. If your dog is suffering from acute vomiting, it may not always happen indoors, which means you may not always be privy to it right away. Watch for other signs of illness in your pet and changes in appearance or behavior.

Acute vomiting may be the result of a change in diet, allergic reactions to food, inflammation, parasites, tumors, liver disease, adrenal gland disease, or heat stroke. If it is the result of your dog’s diet, discuss alternatives with your veterinarian to introduce or eliminate foods as needed. Find out which foods your pet is allergic to and what works best.

Hemp nutrition is one alternative pet owners are turning to as part of implementing an all-natural diet. It does not interfere with medications or other dietary choices and may help allergies, inflammation, and digestive issues, among other benefits.

If the vomiting continues, your veterinarian may recommend Cerenia to control it from occurring. However, a full assessment will help determine what other treatment plans will be most beneficial to your pet. It could be symptomatic of a larger problem, which may create its own larger action plan of care.

FAQs for Cerenia for Dogs

If one of my dogs already uses Cerenia, can I give it to my other dog for motion sickness, too?

Even if you have one dog that uses Cerenia for vomiting due to motion sickness, consult with your veterinarian first before using it for another pet. There are other factors involved with prescription medication. It’s not wise to introduce new medicines to your dog’s routine without the guidance of a veterinarian.

Will my dog have to take Cerenia for the rest of his life?

It’s possible your dog will always need to take medication for motion sickness. But your veterinarian will determine if it continues to be the best route of care for your pet. Over time, your dog may become used to traveling and not require Cerenia or there could be a change in other medications that would not make your dog a good candidate for it anymore. Track the traveling successes you’ve had with your dog and if Cerenia was necessary to prevent vomiting.

How can I tell if my dog is allergic to Cerenia?

Within the first few hours of taking Cerenia, your pet most likely will develop a reaction that may include itching, hives, or swollen parts of the face, if allergic. If any of these symptoms occur, stop using Cerenia and consult your veterinarian right away. If you are already en route, call an emergency veterinary clinic nearby.

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Does Cerenia work for people too?

No. Cerenia is only prescribed for dogs to prevent vomiting due to motion sickness. If you or one of your travel companions also get motion sickness, talk to your doctor about potential remedies. Also, keep well out of reach of children who may be curious about the “treats” you’re giving to the dog.

Can I get Cerenia over the counter?

No. Cerenia is only available through a veterinarian’s prescription. It’s not available for over-the-counter purchase. When prescribed, your dog’s doctor will review all the side effects and potential risks to look out for. If this is the first time your dog is taking the medication, it’s important to be extra aware of any changes in behavior or appearance. It’s up to you to weigh the pros and cons of side effects and determine how you want to progress with use.

What should I do if my pet continues to have acute vomiting?

If your dog has been prescribed Cerenia for acute vomiting and continues to vomit or is unable to take the medication because of it, then call your veterinarian right away. Vomiting is a side effect of something else. When in the car, it’s most likely due to motion sickness. But when at home, it could be indicative of a variety of things. Continuous vomiting is an alert that there is something yet uncovered that is making your pet ill. An emergency visit to the veterinary clinic likely will be necessary.

Knowing What Makes Your Pet Happy and Healthy

Pets love spending as much time with their owners as possible and vice-versa. Travel is no exception. To make the trips enjoyable for all, find out what your dog needs to have a safe and comfortable ride. By taking the proper steps leading up to a trip, it can be one of the best experiences you have with your dog.

The more you get to know your pet and what he does or does not respond favorably to, the easier it becomes to provide the right kind of care to maintain his health over time. Once you identify allergies, motion sickness, and other pertinent medical information, it should then be shared with anyone who cares for your pet. From his dog training facility to kennels to neighbors who look after your pet from time to time, give them the medical history they may need when caring for your pet.

There are certain conditions your dog may grow out of as years go on and conversely, there are conditions that may affect him worse as he gets older. Track all medical history, medications, and dietary changes in your pet to find what works. Think about implementing other wellness practices that can help promote overall comfort as well. This may include massage therapy, acupuncture, aromatherapy, or a change in diet and exercise. These work hand-in-hand with other treatment options to help you pet be pain-free and happy.



  1. “Cerenia – FDA Prescribing Information, Side Effects and Uses.”, Accessed 17 Nov. 2017.
  2. “Maropitant Citrate.” PetMD, Accessed 17 Nov. 2017.
  3. Meggitt, Jane. “Side Effects for Cerenia in Dogs.” Cuteness, 9 Feb. 2017, Accessed 17 Nov. 2017.
  4. “Frequently Asked Questions.” Cerenia, Accessed 17 Nov. 2017.
  5. “Treat and Prevent Vomiting With Once-Daily CERENIA.” Vetstreet, Accessed 17 Nov. 2017.

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