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New drug keeps Fido from vomiting

March 1, 2007

BY JIM RITTER Health Reporter

Good news, dog owners: There's a new drug to keep Fido from vomiting all over your living room or car.

On Wednesday, the Food and Drug Administration approved the drug, Cerenia, to treat or prevent vomiting resulting from motion sickness and other causes.

Cerenia will be available this summer and will require a prescription from a veterinarian.

"This potentially could be a wonderful drug," said Palos Park veterinarian Jay Whittle. "We're going to have a tool that will more effectively control vomiting and get dogs better faster."

Each year, about 2.8 million dogs get sick and vomit, while another 1.2 million vomit from motion sickness, according to Pfizer Animal Health, which makes Cerenia.

Dogs throw up for various reasons, including upset stomach, kidney problems, viral infections and even chemotherapy.

Severe vomiting can be life threatening and require intravenous fluids and hospitalization.

Follows drug for fat dogs

Whittle recommends seeing a vet if your dog throws up four or five times within a two-hour period.

Some dogs get motion sickness after just five minutes in the car. "And they don't vomit in a little bag," Whittle observed. "They vomit all over you and the car."

A Cerenia pill can prevent motion sickness if given before a trip. Cerenia begins to work within one hour of administration.

Vets now treat dog vomiting with human drugs. But these drugs don't work as well as Cerenia and must be given two to four times a day, Pfizer said. Cerenia is given only once a day.

Cerenia's side effects include excessive salivation and muscle tremors. It's recommended for dogs at least 16 weeks old and should not be taken by humans.

Last month, Pfizer won approval for the first diet drug for fat dogs. The FDA approved Slentrol for the 5 percent of dogs that weigh at least 20 percent more than their ideal weights.

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