Educational Articles

Birds + Medications

  • Amitriptyline is used off label and given by mouth to treat behavioral and pain disorders in dogs, cats, and occasionally birds. Common side effects include sedation, dry mouth, constipation, and urinary retention. This medication should not be used in pets sensitive to TCAs, seizures, or pets currently using MOIs or flea collars. If a negative reaction occurs, please call your veterinary office.

  • Carprofen is used on and off label and is given by mouth in the form of a tablet to treat pain and inflammation. The most common side effects include vomiting, diarrhea, and decreased appetite. Do not use this medication in pets with bleeding disorders, in pets that are allergic to it or other NSAIDs in the same class, or in pets concurrently using corticosteroids or other NSAIDs. If a negative reaction occurs, please call your veterinary office.

  • Chlorpheniramine maleate is given by mouth and is used off label to treat allergic conditions or as a mild sedative. Common side effects include sleepiness, although other side effects are possible. Do not use in pets that are allergic to it or other similar antihistamines, or pets that are undergoing allergy testing within 2 weeks. If a negative reaction occurs, please call your veterinary office.

  • Clomipramine is given by mouth and is used on and off label to treat behavior disorders such as obsessive-compulsive disorders, anxiety, aggression, and urine marking. Common side effects include lack of appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, dry mouth, elevated liver enzymes, difficulty urinating, or tiredness. Do not use in pets that are allergic to it or other tricyclic antidepressants, in breeding males, in pets with a history of seizures, or concurrently with monoamine oxidase inhibitors such as amitraz flea collars. If a negative reaction occurs, please call your veterinary office.

  • Colchicine is given by mouth and is used off label to primarily treat amyloidosis and Shar-Pei fever. Give as directed by your veterinarian. Side effects are not well documented and may include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, lack of appetite, skin rash, incoordination, severe tiredness, weakness, infections, bleeding, or bruising. Do not use in pets that are allergic to it or in pets with severe kidney, gastrointestinal, or heart disease. If a negative reaction occurs, please call your veterinary office.

  • Diazepam is given by mouth, injection, or into the rectum and is used off label to treat anxiety, seizures, tense muscles, or decreased appetite. Give as directed by your veterinarian. Side effects include sleepiness, increased appetite, incoordination, weakness, agitation, drooling, and aggression. Do not give to cats by mouth, and do not use in pets that are allergic to it or other benzodiazepines, or in pets with severe liver disease. If a negative reaction occurs, please call your veterinary office.

  • Diphenhydramine is given by mouth or as an injection and is used on and off label to treat allergic reactions, motion sickness, and to induce sedation. Side effects include sleepiness, and less commonly dry mouth and gastrointestinal upset. Diphenhydramine should not be used in pets that are allergic to this medication and should be used cautiously in pets with glaucoma, enlarged prostate, thyroid or heart disease, or are lactating. If a negative reaction occurs, please call your veterinary office.

  • Doxepin is given by mouth and is used off label to treat psychogenic dermatoses such as excessive grooming and psychogenic alopecia. Give as directed. The most common side effect is sleepiness. Do not use in pets that are allergic to it or other tricyclic antidepressants, in pets currently using an MAOI or flea/tick collar, or in pets undergoing skin allergy testing within two weeks. If a negative reaction occurs, please call your veterinary office.

  • Doxycycline is an antibiotic given by mouth in the form of a tablet, capsule, or liquid, used off label to treat certain infections. Common side effects include stomach upset, sun sensitivity, and increases in liver enzymes. Serious side effects include liver failure, seizures, and trouble swallowing. Do not use in pregnant pets, and use cautiously in pets with liver disease or in young pets. If a negative reaction occurs, please call your veterinary office.

  • Enalapril is used on and off label and is given by mouth or injection to treat heart failure, high blood pressure, chronic kidney disease, or proteinuria. Common side effects include loss of appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, and tiredness. Do not use in pets that are allergic to it, have an acute kidney injury, or have certain heart conditions. If a negative reaction occurs, please call your veterinary office.

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