For years, dog owners and their veterinarians have used Zantac or other ranitidine products to treat and prevent ulcers by reducing stomach acid in pets. In dogs and cats, ranitidine may also be used to treat esophagitis, esophageal reflux, and stress-related erosive gastritis.
However, using ranitidine in dogs is off-label, which means giving the medication to your pet was never officially approved by the FDA. While it’s true that many drugs are used off-label in veterinary medicine, it’s important to consult with a veterinarian and follow their instructions.
The ranitidine drug label suggests that if dogs ingest more than 225mg of Zantac a day, they may experience vomiting, rapid breathing, and muscular tumors. In light of recent news related to potential side effects of Zantac, you may want to consider alternative medications for treating gastric issues in your dog.
Is Zantac Safe For Dogs?
If you’ve heard about Zantac being recalled and pulled from the shelves of major pharmacies, you may wonder whether Zantac is still safe for your dog.
In late 2019, detected levels of a potentially cancer-causing chemical in ranitidine products prompted the FDA to urge Zantac users to consult with their doctors and consider switching to a different medication. The same advice should also be applied when considering whether it’s safe to give your dog Zantac.
What You Need To Know About The Cancerous Chemical In Zantac
N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA), the probable human carcinogen detected in Zantac, has been linked to cancer in animals. Although some levels of NDMA are found in various foods, the levels detected in Zantac are considered unsafe for human consumption.
Researchers are even more worried about NDMA because what they can detect in lab testing may not actually reflect what’s happening in the human stomach. Some research suggests that the medication may break down into NDMA once it’s ingested.
However, the cancer risk associated with NDMA in ranitidine is not fully understood at this time. Nevertheless, the discovery of this chemical has prompted over 100 lawsuits aimed at recovering damages from major pharmaceutical companies who failed to alert the public of the likely cancerous risk of taking Zantac.
What NDMA In Zantac Means For Your Dog
Although there are some unwanted side effects of managed doses of Zantac in pets, ingesting unsafe levels of NDMA could lead to cancer in your dog. Lab animals, including hamsters and mice, were exposed to levels of NDMA for more than several weeks and developed liver and lung cancer.
It’s assumed that if the chemical caused cancer in animals, then it’s likely to cause cancer in humans. So, if you give your dog Zantac, you may put them at risk for developing various cancers, including bladder cancer and lung cancer.
Signs Of Cancer In Dogs
If you’ve given your dog Zantac, there is no guarantee that it will lead to cancer. However, the NDMA in ranitidine may increase the risk. Spotting the signs of cancer in dogs is similar to the signs in humans.
Be on the lookout for:
- lumps or bumps under the skin
- abnormal odors or discharge from any part of the dog’s body
- sudden weight loss; changes in appetite
- changes in other basic functions (sleeping, pooping, etc.)
- difficulty breathing or coughing
- evidence that the dog is in pain
Seek Advice From Your Veterinarian
If you’re worried about your dog taking Zantac, consult with your veterinarian. Veterinarians are trained professionals capable of weighing the risks and benefits of ranitidine. They may also be able to suggest alternative medications, such as Pepcid (famotidine), that can treat gastric issues and not put your dog at risk of developing cancer.
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Legal Options If Your Dog Developed Cancer After Taking Zantac
Under the law, dogs are considered property. This means that your legal options for collecting damages may be limited to your dog’s market value or compensation for the money you spent on veterinary bills.
However, because of our attachment to dogs and other pets, some states may allow greater rewards than economic damages, including punitive damages related to emotional distress. It’s important to reach out to an attorney to determine your options for legal recourse.
Consult With Attorneys Who Specialize In Personal Injury Law
For a case involving Zantac and the pain or injury it caused you and your dog, you may be best served by an attorney who specializes in:
- personal injury law
- property damage claims
- dangerous drug lawsuits
- animal law
Since the medication was never approved for use in dogs, cats, or other pets, it may be difficult to prove negligence. For a plaintiff to win a negligence lawsuit, your attorney must prove that the drugmakers had a reasonable duty to protect your pet from harm, failed to meet that duty, and that this failure caused your dog injury.
What About Veterinary Malpractice?
Other legal standards could also apply if your veterinarian gave your dog Zantac and you file a veterinary malpractice claim. Veterinary malpractice may be applicable if your veterinarian prescribed the wrong course of treatment for your dog’s health issue.
If they prescribed Zantac for a long period of time, or after the news broke about NDMA in Zantac, they could be held liable for negligence or malpractice, depending on the specific details of your case. Your best bet is to consult with an experienced and qualified attorney.
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Contact Florin|Roebig To Discuss Your Legal Options
Because Zantac wasn’t designed or marketed for dogs or other pets, it may be difficult to establish your case. However, at Florin|Roebig, we specialize in personal injury law and dangerous drug lawsuits. We offer a free case evaluation to help you learn if you have the right to a legal claim.
If you gave your dog Zantac and it experienced negative health effects, you may be wondering if this situation can be applied to a Zantac lawsuit. Contact Florin|Roebig to learn more and start your free case evaluation today.