Pentoxifylline: Improving Blood Flow for Your Pet’s Health


When it comes to our pets’ health, it’s essential to understand the medications prescribed by veterinarians. Pentoxifylline is one such medication that improves blood flow in small blood vessels. In this article, we will explore the uses, benefits, and precautions associated with Pentoxifylline, providing you with valuable insights to help you make informed decisions about your pet’s health.

What is Pentoxifylline?

Pentoxifylline is a medication used to treat diseases that affect blood flow in the small blood vessels. In dogs, it plays a crucial role in the treatment of inflammatory diseases and aids in the healing of various skin lesions caused by inflammation in the small blood vessels. Cats can also benefit from Pentoxifylline, although its use is less frequent, mainly for treating vasculitis and certain skin conditions. Horses can benefit from Pentoxifylline for septicemia, foot/hoof related issues, and inflammation of the placenta in mares.

How Pentoxifylline Works

While the exact mechanism of action is not fully understood, Pentoxifylline is known to increase the flexibility of red blood cells and reduce blood thickness. This allows for smoother blood flow, ensuring better access to the body’s small blood vessels. In horses, Pentoxifylline is believed to decrease cytokines, which are chemical messengers that drive inflammation in the immune system.

It is important to note that although Pentoxifylline is FDA-approved for human use, it is currently not FDA-approved as a veterinary medication. However, it is widely utilized in the veterinary field, as veterinarians can legally prescribe certain human drugs to animals in specific circumstances, also known as extra-label or off-label use.

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Pentoxifylline Directions

To ensure the safe administration of Pentoxifylline, always follow the directions provided by your veterinarian or those indicated on the drug label. It is best to administer this medication with food, and the frequency of administration will depend on your pet’s individual condition.

In case you miss a dose, it’s important to consult your veterinarian for guidance. They may advise you to administer the missed dose when you remember or skip it if it’s almost time for the next scheduled dose. Do not give extra or double doses without veterinary advice.

Potential Side Effects

Side effects of Pentoxifylline are relatively uncommon in dogs and cats but may include vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, excitement, or agitation. In horses, the medication is generally well-tolerated, with potential side effects such as muscle tremors, sweating, and an increased heart rate.

It’s worth noting that Pentoxifylline is a human prescription medication, and different dosages and side effects may occur in humans. If you accidentally ingest this medication meant for pets, please contact your physician or the national Poison Control Center hotline at 800-222-1222.

Monitoring and When to Call Your Vet

Depending on your pet’s specific needs, other medications they might be taking, or the initial issue that led to the prescription of Pentoxifylline, your veterinarian may recommend specific monitoring or routine testing during the course of treatment. Animals at an increased risk for bleeding may require additional monitoring.

Call your veterinarian immediately if you observe severe side effects, if your pet’s condition worsens or does not improve with treatment, if you suspect an overdose, or if you have any additional questions or concerns regarding the use of Pentoxifylline. Your veterinarian is the best source of guidance and support for your pet’s well-being.

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Pentoxifylline Overdose Information

In the event of a Pentoxifylline overdose, contact your veterinarian immediately, seek emergency veterinary care, or call an animal poison control center. Symptoms of an overdose may include vomiting, loss of appetite, increased heart rate, bloody diarrhea, bleeding, drooling, high blood pressure, agitation, tremors, or seizures. Remember, even small overdoses in dogs can lead to symptoms.

Pet Poison Helpline: (855) 764-7661

ASPCA Animal Poison Control: (888) 426-4435

Pentoxifylline Storage

When it comes to storing commercially available versions of Pentoxifylline, follow the temperature guidelines specified on the label. Typically, it should be stored at controlled room temperatures between 68-77°F (20-25°C). Ensure that the container is tightly closed to protect the medication from moisture and light.

For compounded medications, refer to the labeling instructions provided by the compounding pharmacy.

In conclusion, Pentoxifylline is a valuable medication that improves blood flow in small blood vessels, aiding in the treatment of various inflammatory diseases in dogs and cats, as well as septicemia and other conditions in horses. By following the directions provided by your veterinarian and being aware of potential side effects, you can enhance your pet’s well-being and ensure their health is in good hands. For more information about Pentoxifylline and other pet health topics, visit Katten TrimSalon.