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Ask the Veterinarian/motion sickness in dog


Hi, my dog is a sheltie/cairn mix, he is about 14 lbs and 3 years old. He gets very sick when we take him in the car to the point where he vomits so excessively that he fills his pet taxi with a clear thick foamy mucous, sometimes he near chokes on it, very frightening and needless to say we don't take him in the car often.
My trouble right now is that we have to take him on an airplane, as we are moving to another province, for a six hour flight. He has never been on a plane before but I am assuming it will be no better than a car if not worse. He will be traveling in the cabin in a carrier with me. I have been researching online and came up with this drug named Cerenia, I want to know if this drug is safe, if it is 100% effective, I need something so Im guaranteed he will not get sick during flight. I have to go speak with the vet within the next couple of weeks and would just like your opinion on the drug if possible, Thanks in advance.

While I have never given this to any of my dogs it appears to be very safe for dogs.
I think that if your vet says your dog is healthy enough to take this then you needn't worry.
At three years old his liver is probably just fine.

Here is some important information about the drug but this will be on the packet of pills you get anyway:

Brand Name


Common Drug Name
Maropitant citrate

What should I discuss with my veterinarian while considering Cerenia?
Talk to your veterinarian about what type of outcome is expected. Have your veterinarian explain the other treatment options that may be available to treat your pet's condition.

Tell your veterinarian if your pet has liver disease, could have eaten a foreign object or poison, is pregnant or may be used for breeding.

Notify your veterinarian of any other medications or supplements your pet is taking. Also if your pet has had any reactions to previous medications.

What is the most important information I should know?
Do not wrap the tablet tightly in meat or cheese, as it could prevent the tablet from dissolving. Consult your veterinarian if your pet's condition does not improve or worsens after beginning treatment with Cerenia.

Who should not take it?
Not for use in animals hypersensitive (allergic) to maropitant citrate.

Not recommended for dogs less than 16 weeks of age.

Use with caution in dogs with liver problems.

The safe use of Cerenia in female dogs that are breeding, pregnant or are nursing has not been determined.

Do not use in dogs that have swallowed foreign objects or have eaten poisonous substances.

What side effects may be seen when taking Cerenia?
Side effects are rare, but include drooling, lethargy, drowsiness, lack of appetite and diarrhea. Consult your veterinarian if you notice any of the above side effects.

If your pet experiences an allergic reaction to the medication, signs may include facial swelling, hives, scratching, sudden onset of diarrhea, vomiting, shock, seizures, pale gums, cold limbs, or coma. If you observe any of these signs, contact your veterinarian immediately.

How is it stored?
Store in a tight, light-resistant, childproof container at room temperature. Keep out of reach of children and pets.

What should I do if I know of or suspect there has been an overdose?
If you know or suspect your pet has had an overdose, contact your veterinarian immediately.

What should I avoid when giving my pet Cerenia?
Consult your veterinarian before using Cerenia with cardiac, anticonvulsant and behavioral medications as well as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID) such as aspirin, carprofen (Rimadyl, Novox), etodolac (EtoGesic), deracoxib (Deramaxx), firocoxib (Previcox), tepoxalin (Zubrin), and meloxicam (Metacam) since interactions may occur.

Where is more information available?
Ask your veterinarian, consult with one of our pharmacists at 1-800-447-3021, or see the Patient Information Sheet on this medication.

I would not hesitate to give it to my dog if it was needed. No drug is ever 100% effective, no matter what, except the drug they use to euthanize with of course. So no one can give you that guarantee. Just make sure you follow the directions well- give an hour before you leave, don't give with fatty foods to delay the onset of the drug working etc. and he should be fine.

Travel is stressful to many pets, so it doesn't matter so much if it's a car or plane. It's the anxiety of the trip that gets them.

I hope it works well for you!  

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Jana Connell RVT, CVT


PLEASE READ BEFORE SUBMITTING TO ME: I am NOT a vet and do NOT diagnose diseases. That is only for a licensed Veterinarian to do. I will give you suggestions and steer you toward calling your vet for help. You can call the vet's office and talk to the technician there or the vet at times. Don't be afraid to call them! If you have a serious issue with your pet please post it to one of the veterinarians in here- I will tell you the same thing in my answer. IF your pet is injured or in an emergency situation, CALL YOUR VET- Do not wait and post in here. Just call the vet's office and get them in to see the vet right away. Critical treatment time is lost if you seek answers here when you should have your precious pet at the vets!! Don't sit at home waiting for an answer when your pet is critically ill or injured!! I can answer most questions about small animal and wildlife care as well as small animal nutrition. I can also answer questions about all phases of dental care for small animals. I DO NOT answer questions about birds (unless it is wildlife or songbirds) or HAMSTERS/GERBILS/CHINS/GUINEA PIGS/REPTILES/FROGS/RABBITS/PET BIRDS OF ANY KIND so please submit these questions to the appropriate sections. I, as well as other experts in here, do NOT do homework questions- that is for YOU to do! Please respect these rules for all of us. Thanks!


I have over 42 years experience in the field of veterinary medicine. I specialized in small animals and did wildlife rehab for over 25 years, mostly raptors, squirrels and opossums. I am a Small Animal Nutritional Consultant with 6 certificates from Hills Pet Foods, CNM and Purina. I also specialized in Small Animal Dentistry which is a field I truly love. I also Teach Veterinary Technology to working technicians who are studying to take their California Tests to become Licensed Technicians. They have to take both the VTNE (Veterinary Technician National Exam) and the California boards.

Audubon,World Wildlife Federation, American Society of Veterinary Dental Technicians.


Licensed with California and Oregon, RVT and CVT. Certified Veterinary Dental Technician Have over 1500 logged hours of Continuing Education Credits(that means I keep up to date!).

Awards and Honors
Nominated for Expert of the Month for the last 5 years.

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