Sadly, cancer strikes dogs as commonly as humans. When the devastating illness appears, it's often the symptoms that cause more agony for dog and owner alike. Some drugs offer an improvement against these symptoms, and Tagamet is one of them.
Tagamet is the commercial name for cimetidine, an antacid that reduces the amount of stomach acid produced by blocking the histamine H-2. With less acid in the stomach, a better pH balance results. It's particularly useful in the treatment of ulcers, acid reflux and esophagitis--the inflammation of the esophagus.
After a dog is diagnosed with cancer, treatment can begin. Veterinarians will evaluate the best course of action to take. Unfortunately, some cancers are too advanced, treatments are too aggressive, or other complications exist that result in supportive cares becoming the best option. Cimetidine is a useful drug because by reducing the amount of acid produced by the stomach, additional comfort can be provided to dogs that develop ulcers from vomiting.
Cimetidine should only be used with a veterinarian's prescription. Cimetidine can limit the effectiveness of other drugs, especially certain antacids, metoclopramide, sucralfate, digoxin and diazepam. Cimetidine use is not advised for dogs with liver or kidney disease.
Cimetidine comes in tablets of 100 mg, 150 mg, 200 mg and 300 mg that are given orally. A liquid form is available as well as an injection. Most common doses are 3 to 5 mg per pound orally every six to eight hours. Consult a veterinarian for precise usage and proper dosage.
Cimetidine is most effective for dogs with mast cell tumors, which produce a lot of histamine and a lot of stomach irritation as a result.