How Does Cerenia Kill a Dog? (Facts You Should Know)

Losing your beloved dog is not easy. Their unexpected demise can take a huge toll on the pet owners’ lives, especially if it’s caused by a medication meant to help them with the sickness.

There have been many cases concerning various medications that affect our dogs with the popular one being Cerenia. This drug has caused the death of lots of dogs, leaving pet owners wondering how does cerenia kill a dog.

How Does Cerenia Kill a Dog?

Cerenia is a brand name for maropitant citrate. This car sickness medication is used in veterinary medicine to prevent and treat vomiting and nausea in dogs. The active ingredient, maropitant, can treat nausea and vomiting.

Maroplant blocks the action of substance P, a neurotransmitter involved in the acute vomiting reflex.

Cerenia tablets help prevent vomiting associated with motion sickness in pets. It can also manage acute vomiting related to various underlying causes, such as chemotherapy, surgery, or certain medical conditions.

Cerenia tablets are only safe when prescribed by the vet, as overdosing can result in the demise of your pet. This medication that treats motion sickness can cause the demise of your pet in the following ways:

Allergic Reaction

While it is extremely rare, like any medication, Cerenia (maropitant citrate) can potentially cause allergic reactions in some dogs. Allergic reactions can vary in severity and may include symptoms such as:

  • Itching
  • Hives
  • Swelling
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Anaphylaxis — a severe and life-threatening reaction to your dog

Death is one of the side effects indicated on this drug’s leaflet. 

Therefore, if the side effects are not managed properly, then dog owners may lose their beloved pets.

It is crucial to recognize the signs of an adverse reaction and seek immediate veterinary attention. Anaphylaxis can be a medical emergency, and prompt intervention is essential.

It’s important to note that the vast majority of dogs tolerate Cerenia well, and severe adverse reactions are uncommon. Veterinarians carefully consider the potential risks and benefits of any medication before prescribing it. 

They take into account the specific health condition and medical history of the individual animal.

If you suspect that your dog is experiencing adverse effects from Cerenia, contact your veterinarian immediately. Dog owners should never attempt to treat or manage these reactions on their own without professional guidance. 

Veterinary professionals are best equipped to assess and address the health needs of your pet.

The Underlying Cause of Vomiting

If you don’t find and treat the leading cause of the problem, then Cerenia can be the reason why your dog died. When our pet vomits, its body removes various harmful things like bacteria, viruses, and toxins. Fortunately, this drug can inhibit vomiting while getting rid of the toxins.

When our dogs stop vomiting, we always forget to deal with the underlying issue. Therefore, you must use Cerenia after the vet has examined your pet. Without having the dog diagnosed, the toxins may end up killing your dog in the future.

Here are other scenarios where Cerenia can be harmful to your pet:

  • Overdose: Overdosing your pet because it is still vomiting, thanks to motion sickness, can have a severe effect on its health. It can cause lethargy, drooling, seizure, and unsteadiness. In severe cases, a Cerenia overdose can result in the demise of your pet.
  • Interaction with other drugs: The interaction between Cerenia medication and any other medication your pet is taking can result in adverse effects. Therefore, your vet should be aware of every medication your pet is using that can cause adverse effects.
  • Side effects: As aforementioned, most dogs can handle Cerenia medication, but it can trigger some side effects in others. Some of its side effects are not life-threatening, but they shouldn’t be ignored.

The Side Effects of Cerenia

Just like any medication, Cerenia is quite safe when prescribed by a vet, but it can have some side effects. You must know these side effects and adhere to the vet’s guidance when administering it. Some of its most common side effects include the following:


This side effect manifests as excessive sleepiness, reluctance to move, and decreased activity in dogs. It’s crucial to note that this may not affect all dogs, and for the ones affected, it is usually mild. Lethargy will resolve itself after a short period after your dog metabolizes the drug.

If your pet becomes unusually sluggish, then you should monitor its condition. If it persists or is accompanied by swelling in the extremities, difficulty breathing, and vomiting, then you should consult a vet.


While not all dogs will experience this side effect, it has been reported in some cases. Diarrhea associated with using this prescription medication is typically mild, but if it persists or becomes severe, it’s important to contact your veterinarian.

If your dog develops diarrhea while taking Cerenia, your veterinarian may recommend adjusting the dosage. He may even recommend discontinuing the medication, depending on the severity of the symptoms. 

It’s crucial to keep your veterinarian informed about any changes in your dog’s health or behavior.

Excessive Drooling

Drooling or excessive salivation is among the potential side effects of Cerenia in dogs. While not all dogs will experience this side effect, some may exhibit increased salivation. In most cases, drooling associated with Cerenia is mild and temporary.

If you observe excessive drooling in your dog, it’s generally not a cause for major concern. However, if the drooling is severe or persistent, or if you notice other concerning symptoms, it’s important to contact your veterinarian.

Your vet may adjust the dosage or recommend discontinuing the medication based on the individual response of your dog.


It may seem counterintuitive, but one of the reported side effects of Cerenia (maropitant citrate) in dogs is vomiting. While Cerenia is commonly prescribed to prevent vomiting and motion sickness, some dogs may paradoxically exhibit vomiting as a side effect of the medication.

If you notice that your dog is acute vomiting while taking Cerenia, it’s important to contact your veterinarian. They may need to reassess the dosage, consider alternative medications, or determine if there are other factors contributing to the vomiting.

Remember that individual dogs can react differently to medications, and not all dogs will experience the same side effects. Your veterinarian will be the best resource for assessing your dog’s specific situation and adjusting the treatment plan accordingly.

Other side effects of cerenia in dogs

  • Lack of appetite: Some dogs may experience a temporary loss of appetite.
  • Injection site reactions: If administered as an injection, there may be some irritation or swelling at the injection site. Your dog may experience some discomfort, swelling, and redness on the injection site. You can avoid this by using Cerenia tablets.
  • Allergic reactions: While rare, reactions such as hives, itching, or facial swelling can occur. Some of these side effects include difficulty breathing, hives, or swollen tongue, lips, and face.
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When Should You Avoid Giving Your Dog Cerenia

While Cerenia may be affecting, there are situations when it’s not recommended. It’s crucial to consult your vet if your dog has the following circumstances:

  • Hypersensitivity or Allergic Reaction: If your dog has had adverse reactions or hypersensitivity to maropitant citrate in the past, you should avoid using Cerenia.
  • Dehydrated Dogs: Cerenia may not be suitable for dehydrated dogs, and fluid therapy may be necessary before starting the medication.
  • Pregnancy and Nursing: The safety of Cerenia in pregnant or nursing dogs has not been well studied, so it’s important to consult with your veterinarian if your dog is pregnant or nursing.
  • Severe Liver Disease: Dogs with severe liver disease may require dose adjustments, and the use of Cerenia should be carefully monitored.
  • Seizure Disorders: Cerenia may lower the seizure threshold in some dogs, so it should be used with caution in those with a history of seizures.
  • Use with Other Medications: Inform your veterinarian about all medications, supplements, and herbal products your dog is taking, as interactions can occur. Cerenia may interact with certain drugs, so your veterinarian needs to be aware of the complete medical history.

First-time users of this medication can experience an adverse effect on Cerenia. Therefore, you should be cautious when giving your pet this medication as it can cause hives, swelling, and difficulty breathing. 

If your pet has the following conditions, then you should avoid Cerenia or follow the vet’s instructions to the letter.


While many dog owners have complained about this drug, Cerenia is still a safe drug that vets prescribe. And that’s because there is little to no direct evidence associating Cerenia with these deaths. Like most drugs, Cerenia does have several side effects that can affect your pet’s health.

Therefore, you should emphasize and follow the vet’s instructions. When you take the preventive measures, your pet can stop vomiting, and you’ll never have to worry about its demise. 

If your dog becomes weak and continues vomiting, then you should consult a vet immediately. Never try to manage these symptoms at home.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can cerenia cause the death of my dog?

Improper usage of this medication can result in the death of your pet. 

Can Cerenia treat pancreatitis?

Yes, this medication is a perfect solution for pancreatitis.

What’s Cerenia’s active compound?

The active compound in Cerenia is referred to as the marapitant, a known NK1-receptor antagonist.

Jake Willhoite
Jake runs and has had cats and dogs his entire life. As a kid his family adopted several dogs from the local shelter which set him down the path of animal rescue.
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