How Does Cerenia Kill a Dog – Debunking Myths

Cerenia is a medication commonly prescribed by veterinarians to alleviate nausea and vomiting in dogs. While it can be a beneficial treatment, some pet owners have concerns about its safety and potential side effects. In particular, there are misconceptions about how Cerenia may affect dogs, including myths suggesting that it can be lethal. In this article, we’ll delve into the world of Cerenia, its uses, and debunk these myths to provide a clearer understanding of its impact on dogs.

how does cerenia kill a dog


The Role of Cerenia in Canine Health

Cerenia, also known by its generic name maropitant citrate, is a medication developed specifically to combat nausea and vomiting in dogs. It belongs to a class of drugs known as neurokinin-1 receptor antagonists. This medication is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use in dogs.

Common Uses of Cerenia in Dogs

Cerenia is primarily prescribed by veterinarians for several common purposes:

1. Motion Sickness

Many dogs experience motion sickness during car rides or travel. Cerenia can be administered before a trip to prevent vomiting and discomfort associated with motion sickness.

2. Post-Surgery Nausea

After surgical procedures, dogs may suffer from post-operative nausea and vomiting. Cerenia helps reduce these symptoms and promotes a more comfortable recovery.

3. Nausea Induced by Chemotherapy

In some cases, dogs undergoing chemotherapy may experience nausea and vomiting. Cerenia is an essential part of managing these side effects, making the treatment process more tolerable for the dog.

4. General Nausea and Vomiting

Cerenia can also be prescribed for dogs suffering from general nausea and vomiting unrelated to travel, surgery, or chemotherapy. It offers relief from these symptoms, improving the dog’s overall well-being.


How Cerenia Works

To understand the potential side effects of Cerenia and debunk myths surrounding its lethality, it’s crucial to comprehend how the medication functions in a dog’s body.

Cerenia works by blocking the action of substance P, a neurokinin that plays a significant role in triggering vomiting. When substance P binds to the neurokinin-1 receptors in the brain, it sends signals that result in nausea and vomiting. By blocking these receptors, Cerenia prevents the onset of these symptoms.


Debunking Myths

Now that we have a better understanding of how Cerenia works and its common uses, let’s debunk some of the myths surrounding this medication and its potential lethality in dogs.

Myth 1: Cerenia Can Kill Dogs

Debunked: This myth likely stems from a misunderstanding of how Cerenia works. While any medication can have side effects, including potentially severe ones, Cerenia is generally considered safe when prescribed and administered correctly. The medication is specifically designed to alleviate nausea and vomiting in dogs, improving their quality of life.

Myth 2: Cerenia Causes Lethargy

Debunked: Lethargy can be a side effect of some medications, but it’s not a common or expected effect of Cerenia. If a dog appears lethargic while taking Cerenia, it may be due to an underlying issue or another medication they are on. In such cases, it’s essential to consult with a veterinarian to determine the cause and make any necessary adjustments to the treatment plan.

Myth 3: Cerenia Is Addictive

Debunked: Cerenia is not an addictive medication. It is not known to create dependency in dogs. It is typically prescribed for short-term use to address specific issues such as nausea and vomiting, and veterinarians closely monitor its administration.

Myth 4: Cerenia Should Only Be Used as a Last Resort

Debunked: Cerenia is a valuable tool for managing nausea and vomiting in dogs. It is not reserved for use only as a last resort. Veterinarians often prescribe it when they believe it will be beneficial in improving a dog’s comfort and overall health. It should be administered under the guidance of a veterinarian, who will assess the dog’s condition and recommend the appropriate treatment.

Myth 5: Cerenia Interferes with Digestion

Debunked: Cerenia is primarily focused on preventing nausea and vomiting by blocking neurokinin-1 receptors in the brain. It does not significantly interfere with the digestive process or the absorption of nutrients. While any medication can have indirect effects on the digestive system, Cerenia is not typically associated with such issues.


Potential Side Effects of Cerenia

While Cerenia is generally considered safe when used as directed by a veterinarian, it is essential to be aware of potential side effects:

  • Drooling: Some dogs may experience increased salivation or drooling as a side effect of Cerenia.
  • Lethargy: While not common, lethargy can occur in some dogs taking Cerenia. This is typically a temporary side effect.
  • Diarrhea: Diarrhea can be a side effect in a small number of cases.
  • Inappetence: Some dogs may experience a reduced appetite while taking Cerenia.

If your dog experiences any of these side effects or any unusual symptoms while taking Cerenia, it’s crucial to contact your veterinarian. They can assess the situation, make any necessary adjustments to the treatment plan, or recommend alternative medications if needed.



Cerenia is a valuable medication in the field of veterinary medicine, providing relief from nausea and vomiting in dogs. While it is generally considered safe when used as directed by a veterinarian, it is essential to debunk the myths surrounding its potential lethality. These myths likely stem from misconceptions and misunderstandings of how Cerenia works and its role in enhancing the well-being of dogs.

If your dog requires Cerenia for motion sickness, post-surgery recovery, chemotherapy-induced nausea, or other issues related to vomiting and nausea, you can trust that, when prescribed and administered correctly, it can be a crucial component of your pet’s treatment plan, ensuring their comfort and health. Always consult with a veterinarian to address any concerns or questions related to Cerenia or your dog’s overall health.