Some pet medicines are especially produced to address a specific illness in an animal. Allopurinol is one of these pet medicines. It has only one purpose: to reduce the uric acid in the blood stream.
People and animals often eat food that contains purines. These can be found in eggs, and in vegetables like beans. Normally, the ingested purine changes into hypoxanthine and xanthine. Then, an enzyme called xanthing oxidase converts these two metabolic products into uric acid. Lastly, the liver changes uric aid into a substance called allantoin.
This allantoin is water-soluble and is removed from our body as part of urine. However, this process may be disrupted. For example, Dalmatians and dogs having liver shunts, have reduced ability to bring uric acid into their liver cells to turn it into allantoin. As a result, uric acid builds up inside the body.
Unlike allantoin, uric acid does not easily dissolve in water. Uric acid crystallizes and when it is in the solid form, it can produce unhealthy effects. It may appear as bladder stones in Dalmatians. It may appear as deposits in the bone joints of birds, resulting in avian gout. In humans, crystallized uric acid appears as kidney stones.
Allopurinol works by intercepting the xanthing oxidase enzyme, and preventing it from converting hypoxanthine and xanthine into more uric acid.
Like all medications, there are important things to remember when administering allopurinol. The most important of all, particularly in dogs, is that the pet’s diet should be low in purines. A veterinarian can give you helpful advices about your pet’s diet. And your pet must rigidly follow this therapeutic low-purine diet. No cheating. This means that the master must not give an extra slice of meat from the plate. Otherwise, there will be a build up of xanthine bladder stones. If it is impossible to control your dog’s diet, then you should altogether avoid allopurinol. If the dog is pregnant, allopurinol must be avoided too.
Some side effects may manifest in your pets. These include upset stomach, cramping, diarrhea, and nausea. Your pet may take in something to alleviate these side effects. But allopurinol must not be used together with Ampicillin and Amoxicillin. Doing so will produce skin rashes on your dogs, and complicating your pet health problems.
Allopurinol is not advisable for pets with poorly-functioning liver or kidney. But if you must administer this medication, reduce the dose and closely monitor the changes that your pet will undergo.
As always, have a vet’s telephone number nearby.