Low Dose Naltrexone for Pets 

By: Martina Saied, Pharm.D. Candidate 2022 

 

Low dose naltrexone, also abbreviated as LDN, is being used more and more in pets for the treatment of various health issues that are associated with inflammation as well as to manage problematic compulsive patterns in dogs.  

What is Naltrexone? 

Naltrexone is an opioid receptor antagonist that is commonly used for opioid and/ or alcohol dependence. Naltrexone blocks opiate drugs from binding to opioid receptors which has been seen to help with compulsive patterns in pets. It has also been found to suppress inflammatory markers as well as increase endorphins which helps with inflammation. It can be used in pets for many different reasons. 

 

How does low dose naltrexone help? 

Naltrexone has been seen to have anti-inflammatory effects at lower doses. It reduces pain and fights inflammation. 

 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) 

What are the different formulations LDN comes in? 

It can be formulated in so many different formulations!! It can be made into either liquid, capsules, sublingual, cream, topical lotion, eye drops, or tablets 

 

Is low dose naltrexone considered safe? 

Doses from 3 mg to 250 mg were studied and there was no difference in serious side effects between naltrexone and placebo, which is a “fake pill” or a “dummy tablet” that looks and tastes the same as naltrexone but does not have any effect.  

 

What side effects can I expect with low dose naltrexone? 

LDN is very well tolerated in pets. 

 

What conditions can it help with in pets? 

It can help in various types of cancer and uses for the treatment of recurring compulsive animal behavior disorders such as tail-chasing and self-mutilation such as acral lick dermatitis, as well as to help lessen the pain of chronic arthritis, to treat some autoimmune disorders and to help slow the growth of some tumors. Good results have actually been found in treating lymphomas, adenomas, nasal/ sinus cancer, inflammatory bowel disease, degenerative myelopathy and many others! 

  

Where can I get LDN? 

LDN has to be specially made in a compounded pharmacy because it is not commercially available.  

 

https://dogcare.dailypuppy.com/naltrexone-use-dogs-7571.html 

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6313374/ 

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