Cerenia: Medication To Prevent Dog Vomiting Due To Motion Sickness

Dog in car

Does your dog love car rides but gets queasy whenever he steps in a moving vehicle? And then you end up cleaning his breakfast from the back seat of the car?

Pfizer Animal Health has created Cerenia, a daily tablet that prevents canine vomiting from motion sickness. This FDA approved medication became available starting July 30 and is recommended for dogs 16 weeks or older.

Cerenia works by blocking a receptor in the brain stem that receives signals from the rest of the body to vomit. It can be used to treat vomiting in dogs caused by motion sickness or medical problems, such as gastroenteritis or renal disease.

Dr. Brenda McClelland, a veterinarian and co-owner of an animal clinic in Fort Collins, Texas, says that when an adult dog gets sick, pants or drools excessively in a moving vehicle, it is important to observe the dog to see if it’s truly motion sickness.

McClelland says that true motion sickness is the result of an inner ear problem. When dogs start drooling or getting queasy even before they get in the car, it may be more of an anxiety problem instead of motion sickness. A dog may be anxious if they are not used to riding in a car or has had a bad experience.

A veterinarian with Pfizer Animal Health said that Cerenia has a success rate of up to 93%. But the medication will not treat a dog’s anxiety if that is the reason they are vomiting.

“Motion sickness is not well understood in dogs,” Pfizer’s veterinarian said. “A dog could be vomiting both from sickness of the inner ear and from anxiety. … It’s hard to tell whether anxiety is causing vomiting or whether nausea is resulting in anxiety.”

McClelland adds that motion sickness is often treated with over-the-counter antihistamines used for people like Benadryl or meclizine. Some dogs may become drowsy after taking antihistamines. Also, some dogs may have mixed results with meclizine.

She says that it is critical to focus on the dog’s anxiety and not just the vomiting. An anxiety attack can affect a dog’s heart just like how it affects a human’s heart.

She recommends training the dog to get used to the car. Put the dog into the car (without turning it on) and give lots of compliments and a treat and then get out. Repeat this process and gradually start turning on the car and then driving the car for short distances with the dog. Gradually lengthen the amount of driving time and the number of starts and stops.

For pet owners who want more of a natural method, spraying the car with a dog-appeasing pheromone spray like lavender essence may work. The effectiveness of this method may differ depending on the dog’s anxiety level.

Source: coloradoan.com

8 Responses to “Cerenia: Medication To Prevent Dog Vomiting Due To Motion Sickness”

  1. Moonbeam says:

    One of my dogs used to get really car sick when he was about five months old - he would sit in the passenger seat and hang his head to the floorboard and it was all history. I would put down newspapers - but after a few trips - he got used to it and now never pukes. Yippeee!

  2. Katie says:

    It worries me that our pets are joining the list of the pill popping society -

    Re: motion sickness; my breeder friends use ginger in the form of ginger snap cookies.


  3. Moonbeam says:

    Yeah, it bothers me too. Dogs will outgrow this - but one needs patience and they need to get used to going for rides. It didn’t take long for my dog to overcome his problem, and I would not have given him pills for this even if the vet had suggested it. Enough with the pills!

  4. JJ in IL says:

    Katie be careful of ginger. It was just reported to be as contaminated as the dog food and just as dangerous since it is coming from where else - Melaland. It is the fresh ginger root that is toxic from melaland and once processed and ends up in all kinds of stuff one would either use as a spice or in something that required it.

  5. CynthiaK23 says:

    Forget all the hype, read what it can do to your pet’s health. It’s not safe for all pets.


    Click on “Product Information” at the bottom of the page for Warnings and Adverse Reactions.

    I had that problem with my dog being car sick. I learned if she could sit in the front seat, and was able to look out the window, she didn’t get car sick.

  6. Lindsey says:

    My dog is over 2 years old and still gets carsick, I assure you this is not due to anxiety as she loves the car and going on shorter drives. However anytime the road gets too curvy or we climb in altitude she gets ill. I have tried not feeding her before, but then its just bile instead of wet dog food vomit, tried dramamine and it works for shorter trips, but still not if the road gets too curvy, also I have tried bachs rescue remedy. Also there is little warning, we are driving along with the windows down and my dog is happy and smiling, then there is sometimes about a minute of lip smacking before she vomits. If there was a pill that I could feed her that would allow both of us to arrive at our location happy and vomit free I would be relieved and it would certainly ease my anxiety when travelling with my pet.

  7. Molly Giles says:

    I am writing to ask permission to borrow the above photo of dog in car for an article in a newspaper supplement called Pet Tales — published by a community newspaper near Rochester, NY. We would give attribution to this site.

    Please let me know at the above email address.

    MH Giles

  8. isabel says:

    cerenia is safet for cats?

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