Why Cerenia Killed My Dog? Science Answers Here

You’re feeling heartbroken after losing your beloved dog. One minute your canine companion was wagging their tail, and the next, they were gone and you are probably here after you researched cerenia killed my dog. The vet said it was from a medication called Cerenia. Now questions are swirling through your mind. How could this happen? Wasn’t Cerenia supposed to help with nausea? You’re not alone in your grief and confusion. This tragic outcome has happened to other dog owners too. Join me as we explore the question – how can Cerenia, a medication meant to treat vomiting and nausea, end up killing our furry friends instead? I’ll share the science behind this medication, signs to watch for, and steps you can take to protect your pup. Let’s get to the bottom of this together, so we can spread awareness and prevent future heartbreak.

Prime Suspect: Cerenia (Maropitant Citrate)

Before answering your question (Did cerenia killed my dog?), If your dog recently passed away shortly after being given Cerenia, you may be wondering if the medication played a role. The truth is, while rare, Cerenia can potentially cause life-threatening side effects in some dogs. As a pet owner, it’s important to understand the risks and be on alert for any dangerous reactions.

cerenia tablets

Weight Loss and Lack of Appetite

Two of the most common side effects of Cerenia are lack of appetite and weight loss. If your dog stops eating or seems to lose weight rapidly after starting the medication, contact your vet right away. While temporary, these side effects can be dangerous if left untreated. Your vet may adjust the dosage or switch to an alternative medication.

Gastrointestinal Issues

Some dogs experience nausea, vomiting or diarrhea when taking Cerenia, which is ironic since it’s meant to prevent these symptoms. Excessive salivation or drooling is another possible reaction. These side effects tend to be mild but can lead to dehydration or electrolyte imbalance if severe. Watch your dog closely after starting Cerenia and report any digestive issues to the vet.

Lethargy or Weakness

Drowsiness, lethargy or generalized weakness are potential side effects to be aware of when your dog begins Cerenia. While usually temporary, these reactions can make it difficult for your dog to eat, drink or go outside to use the bathroom. Severe lethargy or weakness may require hospitalization to receive IV fluids until the medication leaves their system.


In rare cases, dogs can experience anaphylaxis or a life-threatening allergic reaction to Cerenia. Symptoms like facial swelling, hives, vomiting, collapse or difficulty breathing require emergency vet care immediately. Anaphylaxis is extremely serious but fortunately quite uncommon. However, any dog starting a new medication should be monitored closely the first time it’s given.

By understanding the potential dangers of Cerenia, you can make sure your vet prescribes it only when the benefits outweigh the risks. Close monitoring, especially when your dog first starts the medication, is the best way to catch any serious side effects before they become life-threatening. If you ever have concerns about your dog’s reaction to Cerenia, don’t hesitate to call your vet.

What Is Cerenia and How Does It Work in Dogs?

Cerenia is an anti-nausea medication for dogs that contains maropitant citrate, a substance P antagonist. It works by blocking neurotransmitters in the brain that trigger nausea and vomiting.

How Cerenia Works

When dogs get motion sickness or experience other causes of nausea, their brain releases a chemical called substance P that activates the vomiting center in the brain. Cerenia blocks substance P from binding to neurokinin 1 (NK1) receptors in the brain and gut, preventing activation of the vomiting center. This helps relieve nausea and prevents vomiting.

Cerenia starts working within 30 minutes and lasts for 24 hours. It comes as a tablet or injectable liquid that vets administer based on your dog’s weight. The typical dosage for preventing vomiting from motion sickness or anesthesia is 1 mg per 1 kilogram of body weight. For treating vomiting, the dosage is 2 mg per 1 kilogram.

Is Cerenia Safe?

Cerenia is generally very safe for most dogs when used properly under veterinary guidance. However, it can cause side effects in some dogs, including diarrhea, lethargy, decreased appetite, and drooling. More serious side effects like allergic reactions are rare but possible. Cerenia should not be used in dogs with pre-existing liver or kidney disease.

It’s also important to note that Cerenia only prevents vomiting—it does not stop the underlying cause of nausea. So if your dog has an obstruction, infection, or other medical issue causing persistent vomiting, they will still need treatment for that condition. Cerenia simply provides relief from the symptom of vomiting so the underlying problem can be addressed.

By understanding how Cerenia works and following your vet’s dosage instructions carefully, this medication can be used safely and effectively to relieve your dog’s nausea and provide comfort when they need it most. But as with any drug, close monitoring for side effects and prompt veterinary care for any concerns is essential.

photo of man hugging tan dog
Photo by Eric Ward on Unsplash

Cerenia Side Effects

Cerenia can cause some undesirable side effects in dogs, so you’ll want to watch your pup closely after administering it. The most common side effects are vomiting, hypersalivation, and diarrhea. These usually only occur at higher doses used for motion sickness and tend to be minor, but it’s still a good idea to let your vet know right away if your dog experiences them.

Drowsiness and Lack of Appetite

Cerenia can make some dogs drowsy or cause a loss of appetite. If your dog seems excessively tired or goes off their food after a dose of Cerenia, call your vet. While usually not serious, these side effects can sometimes indicate an adverse reaction, especially in smaller dogs or those with liver or kidney disease. It’s best to err on the side of caution.

Allergic Reactions

Although rare, some dogs may have an allergic reaction to Cerenia. Signs of an allergic reaction include facial swelling, hives, scratching, sudden onset of diarrhea or vomiting. Seek emergency vet care immediately if you notice these symptoms in your dog after administering Cerenia. An allergic reaction can become life-threatening without prompt treatment.

Other Considerations

Cerenia is usually not recommended for dogs with pre-existing heart, liver or kidney disease. It may interact with some other medications, so always tell your vet about any other drugs your dog is taking before starting Cerenia. Cerenia can be used short-term, but long term use or high doses may lead to more significant side effects. Follow your vet’s dosage instructions carefully and never give an extra dose of Cerenia without consulting your vet first.

While Cerenia is generally very safe for most dogs when used properly under veterinary guidance, it’s important to monitor your dog for any side effects or adverse reactions after administration. By being informed and vigilant, you can help ensure your dog’s health and safety. If you ever have concerns about side effects from Cerenia or proper dosage and usage, don’t hesitate to contact your vet.

How Is Cerenia Fatal to Dogs?

Cerenia can be fatal to dogs in high doses or when misused. While Cerenia is generally a safe medication when used properly under veterinary guidance, an overdose of the drug can have devastating effects. ###Too much of a good thing

When given in excessively high doses, Cerenia blocks too many of the nerve receptors in the area of the brain that controls nausea and vomiting. This can lead to severe lethargy, lack of coordination, and difficulty standing. In the worst cases, a Cerenia overdose causes life-threatening tremors, seizures, and trouble breathing as the respiratory system starts to shut down.

A deadly cocktail

Sometimes well-meaning owners will give their dog multiple doses of Cerenia in an attempt to relieve nausea, not realizing the dangers. They may also combine Cerenia with other medications that have similar effects, creating a potentially lethal drug interaction. It’s critical that you only give Cerenia as directed by your vet and avoid mixing it with any other medications unless specifically instructed to do so.

Vulnerable patients

Certain dogs are more at risk of complications and even death from a Cerenia overdose. These include:

  • Elderly dogs: Their liver and kidneys may have a harder time metabolizing the drug, allowing it to build up to toxic levels.
  • Dogs with kidney or liver disease: Their organs are already compromised, so they can’t properly filter and break down the medication.
  • Small breed dogs: They require lower doses of Cerenia based on their size, so the same amount of medication represents a much higher dose for them relative to a big dog.
  • Very young puppies: Puppies’ organs are still developing, so Cerenia and other drugs can be particularly taxing for their systems to handle.

By following your vet’s recommendations carefully and never giving your dog a double dose or mixing Cerenia with other drugs, you can safely and effectively prevent nausea without putting your furry friend’s life at risk. But if you do notice signs of an overdose like lethargy, lack of coordination or difficulty breathing, contact your vet or emergency clinic immediately.

What to Do if the Suspected Cause of Death Is Cerenia?

If you suspect that your dog passed away after being given Cerenia, contact your vet immediately. They will likely want to do an autopsy to determine the exact cause of death and check for signs of overdose. This is crucial for your peace of mind and to prevent future tragedies.

Look for Symptoms

Had your dog been showing any strange symptoms before passing? Loss of appetite, vomiting or diarrhea can all be signs of an overdose. Bloody stool is especially worrisome. While Cerenia is usually very safe when given properly under vet supervision, too high a dose can be toxic. Don’t beat yourself up over this—accidents happen and hindsight is 20/20. The important thing is learning from this to help other pet owners.

Provide a Timeline

When your vet asks about the events leading up to your dog’s death, be prepared to give specific details about when you gave the Cerenia, how much, and your dog’s symptoms and behavior changes after that. Any details, no matter how small they seem, could be helpful in determining if the Cerenia played a role. Try to stay calm while relaying the facts.

Consider a Lawsuit (If Applicable)

If an overdose of Cerenia is confirmed as the cause of death, you may want to consider pursuing legal action against the manufacturer to hold them accountable and help cover vet and burial costs. While a lawsuit won’t bring your fur baby back, it could prevent future overdoses by encouraging more warnings and safeguards. You may also warn other pet owners by sharing your story on social media or with local news outlets.

Losing a pet is incredibly painful. Try to take comfort knowing you did everything you could to keep them happy and healthy. And if Cerenia did play a role, use your experience to spread awareness about responsible medication use and the importance of close vet monitoring. Your dog was clearly well loved, and the lessons from their life—though cut tragically short—could save other lives.

Alternative Options to Cerenia

There are several natural remedies and alternative treatments you can try to relieve your dog’s nausea without the risks associated with Cerenia.

Ginger is a natural anti-nausea remedy for dogs that can help settle the stomach. You can give your dog ginger tablets, capsules or fresh ginger grated into their food. The compounds in ginger have anti-spasmodic effects to relieve cramping and soothing effects on the stomach.

Chamomile, fennel and peppermint are herbs known for their ability to relieve nausea and calm digestive upset in dogs. You can make a tea from these herbs and add a small amount to your dog’s water or food. The gentle, calming effects of these herbs can help an upset tummy without the side effects of medication.

Slippery elm is another herb that can be very soothing for a vomiting pet. The inner bark of the slippery elm tree contains mucilage, a substance that coats and protects the stomach and intestinal tract. Slippery elm powder can be given orally to help relieve nausea, vomiting and diarrhea in dogs.

Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that can improve digestion and help restore balance to the gut flora. Giving your dog a probiotic supplement may help reduce nausea, vomiting and other gastrointestinal issues. The good bacteria in probiotics help break down food and absorb nutrients to keep the digestive system functioning properly.

With patience and the right natural remedies, you may be able to relieve your dog’s nausea without resorting to medication like Cerenia. However, if symptoms persist or your dog shows signs of dehydration or other medical issues, consult your vet right away. They can determine if medication or further treatment may be needed to keep your furry friend healthy and comfortable.

While losing a pet is always difficult, educating yourself on safe and responsible choices for treatment can help give you peace of mind that you did all you could to provide them the best care. With the support of your vet, natural remedies and alternative options, you have many paths to try before resorting to medication that could further endanger your dog’s health. The most important step is catching symptoms early and taking action quickly. With time and care, you will find what works to get your faithful companion back to their normal, happy self.

FAQ: How Can Cerenia Kill Dogs?

As a pet owner, you always want the best for your furry friend. When they’re sick, you do whatever it takes to make them feel better. But some treatments, even when properly prescribed, can have unintended side effects. Cerenia, an anti-nausea medication for dogs, is one such drug. Despite its benefits, irresponsible usage can lead to dangerous outcomes.

Cerenia works by blocking signals in the brain that trigger nausea and vomiting. When used correctly under veterinary supervision, it’s very safe and effective. However, an accidental overdose of Cerenia may cause life-threatening side effects in dogs like:

  • Excessive drooling and thirst: Too much Cerenia can stimulate saliva and fluid production, leading to dehydration if not properly hydrated.
  • Loss of appetite: High doses of Cerenia are known to reduce appetite, which in turn causes weight loss and malnutrition over time.
  • Diarrhea and bloody stool: Excess Cerenia may irritate the stomach and intestines, resulting in diarrhea, abdominal pain, and bloody feces in severe cases.
  • Lethargy and weakness: Dogs that overdose on Cerenia often become very tired, unresponsive, and weak. This can be a sign of liver or kidney damage and requires immediate veterinary care.

The bottom line is that Cerenia, when used irresponsibly without guidance from a vet, has the potential to be lethal to dogs. But when given in the proper doses and under medical supervision, it remains a safe option for managing nausea in canines. The key is to always follow your vet’s instructions carefully and be on alert for any adverse side effects. By staying informed and vigilant, you can ensure your dog’s health and safety.


You’ve been through a lot after losing your beloved dog to Cerenia. It’s normal to feel sad, angry, and confused. But don’t beat yourself up over not knowing the risks. Pharmaceuticals can have scary side effects, and vets don’t always explain them fully. Honor your pup’s memory by learning from this experience. Educate yourself and others on Cerenia’s dangers. Advocate for more transparency from vets about medication risks. And when you’re ready, consider opening your heart and home to a new rescue dog who needs your love. Your old pal would want you to keep living life to the fullest while cherishing the happy memories you shared. This isn’t the end of your story – just a new, bittersweet chapter.

Leave a Comment