Zitac for dogs



Active ingredient



Gastric / anti-vomiting

What is Zitac?

Zitac is a prescription medication used to treat or manage chronic gastritis, a condition that causes inflammation of the stomach lining. While the way it works is not fully understood, it seems to involve:

  • Reducing stomach acid production
  • Potentially influencing other digestive processes
  • Helping to control vomiting and other symptoms associated with chronic gastritis.

What does Zitac do?

Zitac is a brand name of the drug cimetidine, manufactured by MSD animal health. It blocks histamine receptors in the stomach. Normally, these receptors stimulate the production of gastric acid, leading to irritation and vomiting in some cases. However, cimetidine reduces this secretion of gastric acid. This decrease in acid production helps reduce gastric irritation and reduces the likelihood of vomiting, especially during chronic gastritis.

What is Zitac for?

  • Gastric Issues: Zitac provides relief from stomach problems, specifically when excessive stomach acid production leads to discomfort or vomiting.
  • Chronic Gastritis: If your pet is facing chronic gastritis, where the stomach lining is consistently irritated, Zitac can help by reducing gastric acid secretion and offering relief.
  • Preventing Ulcers: Ulcers can occur when too much stomach acid is produced. Zitac inhibits stomach acid production, preventing ulcers from forming, especially when your pet is at risk due to certain medications or health conditions.
  • Reflux: This happens when stomach acid backs up into the oesophagus, Zitac provides relief by curbing excess acid production.

What are the possible side effects with Zitac?

While Zitac is generally well-tolerated, it’s essential to be aware of potential side effects. These include:

  • Mild Drowsiness: Some pets may experience mild drowsiness, which usually resolves on its own. 
  • Digestive Upset: In rare cases, pets may exhibit mild digestive upset, such as diarrhea or vomiting. This is often temporary and tends to subside as their system adjusts to the medication.
  • Allergic Reactions: Though uncommon, some pets may show signs of allergies like itching, swelling, or difficulty breathing.

Remember, not all pets will experience these side effects, and the benefits of using Zitac often outweigh the risks, especially in pets with serious health conditions. However, if you notice any concerning symptoms or changes in your pet’s behaviour or health while they are taking Zitac, it’s important to contact your veterinarian immediately. They can provide guidance and adjust the treatment plan if necessary to ensure your pet’s safety and well-being.

Which pets is Zitac not suitable for?

  • Zitac should only be used in dogs, it is not licensed for cats. However, vets can use medications off-label based on experience when there are no other suitable drugs available.
  • Zitac should not be used in dogs who are pregnant or lactating unless advised by a vet, as it has not been tested in pregnant and lactating pets.
  • Zitac may not be suitable for dogs who won’t take tablets. If this applies to your dog, talk to your vet about alternative medications or whether it’s possible to get a liquid version.
  • Zitac shouldn’t be used in dogs who are allergic to any of the ingredients.
  • Zitac should not be used in dogs with kidney or liver disease: Zitac can potentially worsen existing kidney or liver problems, so it’s not recommended for dogs with these conditions.
  • Zitac should not be used in dogs with immune system disorders: Zitac might suppress the immune system slightly, making immunocompromised dogs more susceptible to infections. Consult your veterinarian for alternative options in such cases.
  • Zitac may not be suitable for dogs on some medications including Metronidazole, a commonly used antibiotic. It’s crucial to inform your veterinarian about all medicines your dog is taking before administering Zitac. This is important even if you think your vet is aware, just in case something has been missed.

How to give Zitac safely

Administering Zitac safely to your dog requires following proper guidelines and precautions to ensure their well-being and maximize the medication’s effectiveness. Here’s a breakdown of the key steps for safe Zitac administration:

Before administration:

  • Consult your vet: This is crucial, as they can assess your dog’s individual health, any potential risk factors, and the appropriate dosage based on weight and condition. Make sure you inform them of any other medications your dog is taking to reduce the risk of interactions.
  • Read the product instructions carefully: Familiarise yourself with the prescribed dosage, administration method, and potential side effects.
  • Gather supplies: You’ll need the Zitac tablets and a treat (optional) to distract or reward your dog.

Administration process:

  • Wash your hands: This helps prevent the transmission of any germs before handling the medication.
  • Measure the correct dosage: Follow your vet’s instructions.
  • Offer your dog a treat (optional): This can help distract them and make the process easier.
  • Choose the administration method:
    • Tablets: Gently place the tablet at the back of your dog’s tongue and close their mouth briefly. Encourage them to swallow by offering water or stroking their throat. You may also be able to hide the tablet in a small amount of food.
  • Observe your dog after administration: Watch for any immediate reactions like excessive drooling, vomiting, or signs of discomfort.

After administration:

  • Store Zitac securely out of your dog’s reach. Children and other pets should also be kept away from it.
  • Wash your hands again.
  • Monitor your dog for potential side effects and consult your veterinarian if you notice any concerning changes.
  • Follow the prescribed treatment schedule: Stick to the dosing frequency and duration instructed by your veterinarian. Do not give Zitac more often or for longer than prescribed.

Zitac FAQs

What is the alternative to Zitac for dogs?

Alternatives for managing chronic gastritis in dogs include:
Omeprazole: This proton pump inhibitor works by reducing stomach acid production, similar to Zitac. It’s generally well-tolerated and a common alternative.
Sucralfate: This medication forms a protective coating on the stomach lining, shielding it from irritation and promoting healing.
Diet modification: Feeding a specially formulated diet for sensitive stomachs can significantly improve symptoms and reduce the need for medication.

Can dogs be on Zitac long term?

Long-term use of Zitac needs to be done under veterinary care. In general, Zitac is used for at least 28 days. However, if your dog starts to vomit again after Zitac is stopped, your vet might recommend using Zitac again. They will discuss the risks of long term Zitac use with you, and work out whether the benefits your dog might get from Zitac are worth these risks.

Should Zitac for dogs be given before or after food?

It doesn’t matter if you give dogs Zitac before, with, or after a meal, as long as you give it regularly. This is because Zitac lasts a long time in your dog’s system. However, it’s not recommended to put Zitac in your dog’s main meal, as it can be hard to be sure they’ve eaten the whole dose. For this reason, it’s best to hide the Zitac in a small amount of food, then give them the rest of their meal.

Zitac Datasheet

All drugs have a manufacturer’s datasheet, which gives information about the drug’s use and possible side effects. There is usually one in your Zitac box, but if you have lost it you can click on the button below to be taken on an online version.

Courses related to Zitac

Please note that the information contained herein is provided for informational purposes only. Although it has been written by a vet, we cannot consider the individual nature of your pet’s problems so it does not constitute veterinary advice. If you have questions about your pet’s medication or their health you should contact a vet, who will be able to help.