Methocarbamol for dogs, cats, and horses helps to reduce muscle spasms from injury or disease. It is a treatment often provided for inflammation after an injury or conditions like intervertebral disc disease to give the animal relief from pain.
What is Methocarbamol?
Also known by the trade names Robaxin and Robaxin-750, methocarbamol is a muscle relaxant. The FDA currently approves Robaxin for use in humans to treat muscle spasms and other musculoskeletal conditions. It’s important to note that this drug is an adjunct treatment, or an add-on treatment, not a treatment to be used alone.
Is Robaxin Safe for Dogs?
In most cases, yes. If used properly under the guidance of a licensed veterinarian, there is a reduced risk of dogs experiencing serious harm from Robaxin.
- The loading dose is 60 mg per pound (dog weight) for the first day
- The maintenance dose is 30 to 60 mg per pound, two to three times a day (every 8 to 12 hours)
- Lack of coordination
- Dark or oddly colored urine
There are multiple possibilities to manage musculoskeletal pain in dogs beyond methocarbamol.
Guaifenesin (glyceryl guaiacolate) is a muscle relaxant used in veterinary medicine that acts in a very similar manner as methocarbamol. It is a centrally acting muscle relaxant that blocks nerve impulse transitions. This active ingredient is common in human cold medicines like Mucinex.
Please note that pet owners should not give Mucinex to their pets without first clearing such use with their veterinarians. Owners should also check that the formula they use only contains dextromethorphan and guaifenesin.
Dantrolene acts on the muscle directly to ease the pain, and research has found that healthy dogs may tolerate it well.
Other classes of drugs may also help. For example, benzodiazepines (“benzos”) work to depress the spinal cord at a different level to get the same effect as muscle relaxants.
In some cases, a licensed veterinarian may prescribe methocarbamol for dogs, particularly if they experience certain types of pain that otherwise are difficult to treat with rest and physical therapy alone.