Histamines are naturally made chemicals that can help against allergens. Allergic reactions are ways by which your pet’s body enhances protection against possible attacks or external risks. Drugs such as cyproheptadine are used to prevent histamines from getting attached to appropriate sensors / receptors. Once this attachment or binding is prevented, your pet is unlikely to develop allergic conditions such as itchiness, inflammation of body parts, sneezing as well as a few other discomforts. Though cyproheptadine is approved only for human use, vets use it on your pets as an extended or an off-label use.
Histamines are compounds your pet’s body makes when there is an onset of an allergic attack. Allergens (i.e., allergy causing agents) vary in forms and size; these can be dirt, microbes, pollen, etc. Some pets may turn allergic to climatic conditions such as excessive levels of humidity or dryness. Regardless of the allergen and its mechanism of action, your pet’s body makes histamines to minimize the risks of the invading allergen. Antihistamines such as cyproheptadine are widely used to prevent allergic reactions in humans; however, veterinarians are known to commonly prescribe this drug to pets – such as your dogs and cats.
In cats, cyproheptadine prevents histamine (such as H-1) from being identified and subsequently bonded with allergy-causing sensors. Once this action is effected, your cat is safeguarded from allergic discomforts. Most common among such discomforts are loss of appetite, purring incessantly, indigestion, restless as well as being nervous. Vets also prescribe cyproheptadine to cats as the drug is known to boost appetite. This action is largely attributed to this drug’s capability to inhibit the production of serotonin. Once this transmitting chemical is under control, your cat may start eating well. A limited production of serotonin – triggered by cyproheptadine – is instrumental in boosting appetite levels of cats.
Administering cyproheptadine to your cat
Dosage of cyproheptadine depends on a lot of factors – namely, your pet’s personality, type of allergen, weight, age, etc. The drug is available both as a liquid form (syrup) and as a pill. Most pet owners prefer to administer the pill form of this drug. This is mainly because it is easy to make your cat to consume it. However, if your vet has prescribed cyproheptadine to boost the appetite level of your cat, the dosage plan may vary substantially. For cats with poor appetite, the dosages have to be measured in precise proportions. Talk to your vet about the right dosage levels and the reasons for which cyproheptadine is prescribed for your cat.
Vets often prescribe cyproheptadine in the range of 2 to 3 milligrams (mg) within a 24-hour timeline. In general, theses dosages are considered as safe for cats. You may need to tell your vet if your cat is living with any other medical conditions – such as increase in inner eye pressure level (or glaucoma), impairment of renal function, etc. Intake of cyproheptadine with any of the above problems may worsen your cat’s medical condition.
Your cat is likely to witness a few side effects soon after consuming cyproheptadine. Commonly experienced adverse side effects or reactions are dizziness, feeling drowsy, getting sedated as well as feeling lethargic. Some pet owners – in their anxiety to make their cat to eat more foods or fight an allergic condition – may administer larger doses of cyproheptadine. This is not a safe practice. Dosages given to cats must always be in accordance to the vet’s prescription. Cats which ate larger doses of cyproheptadine are likely to remain sedated for several hours. In such cases it is likely that you have overfed your cat with this drug. Upon sensing excessive levels of lethargy, you are advised to consult with the treating vet as soon as you possibly can.
Cyproheptadine as a stimulant of your cat’s appetite
Some cats may continue to be sick or may remain undersized. Chronic spells of undereating or staying malnourished may lead to hepatic problems or liver conditions. A fairly acute condition known as hepatic-lipidosis is also likely to show up. If unchecked – with proper nourishments or medicines – your cat may eventually develop hepatic failure.
Cats administered with cyproheptadine for boosting their appetite level may at times turn agitated. As a result, you may notice that your cat is meowing incessantly (in dogs, you may see your pet howling more frequently). Such changes in behavior are attributed to alterations of pulse rates, restricted breathing cycles as well as decreased quantum of urine-discharge. The good news however is – not all cats develop such behavioral changes. These are observed among cats living with chronic spells of hypertension (i.e., high blood pressure levels) or those who also consume supplements of minerals such as potassium. But, if you observe these changes in your pet, it is a safe practice to rush to your vet without any further delay.
Other alternative ways to boost the appetite level of your cat
Intake of cyproheptadine is a widely used approach to make your cat to eat more. However, there are a few more ways by which you can enhance the appetite of your pet. A time-tested way is to expose your cat to newer smells and aroma. You can try feeding your cat with foods that emit strong smells. For a start, you can try different types of meats – such as, tuna, beef, chicken, etc. Some pet owners have tasted success by giving catnip to their cats. This herb is known to boost appetite of cats in a natural manner; however, the only side effect of catnip is it can make your cat turn lethargic.
In sum, veterinarians prescribe cyproheptadine to cats to minimize allergic reactions as well as to boost appetite levels. Cyproheptadine is sold as a pill and a liquid. Dosages of this drug to cats (that are underweight or those living with poor appetite levels) may vary based on cat’s age, weight as well as presence of other prior ailments, if any. It is always a safe practice to talk to the treating vet about dosages of cyproheptadine prior to starting the treatment of your cat.