You knew you shouldn’t have gone into the garden.
Curse those beautiful blooming flowers and their hay fever-causing pollen.
Barely able to keep your red, weepy eyes open, you yank the box of Claritin free from the medicine cabinet.
Hastily, you break apart the foil blister wrapper, but in your blindness you fumble at the smooth tablet and it drops with a clear *ping* onto the tile floor.
A scuffle of furry feet aim for the pill. Despite your desperate attempts to retrieve the medicine, all that remains in the aftermath of the commotion is your dog looking innocently up into your eyes.
No Claritin pill in sight.
With instant dread, you realize, “My dog ate 10mg of Loratadine!”
What’s going to happen now that your dog has swallowed your Claritin pill?
Thankfully, loratadine is a medication that is sometimes prescribed for canine use for the same reason as humans use it: To relieve allergy symptoms.
Therefore, it’s not overtly toxic or dangerous to dogs– especially in an amount as small as 10mg. When prescribed to canines, the usual recommended dosage is between 0.12 to 0.22 per pound of body weight.
As long as your pup is not a mini or toy breed, you likely won’t see much in the form of negative side effects after it has swallowed 10 milligrams of the antihistamine.
That’s not to say that you definitely won’t see any negative side effects at all. Some minor symptoms of loratadine ingestion include:
- More drowsiness than usual
- A dry mouth
- Reduced tear production
- Significant drowsiness
- Urinary retention
These will usually reside once the loratadine works its way out of the dog’s system.
If you see more serious symptoms such as agitation, a significant change in heart rate, breathing problems, or seizures, it would be a good idea to take your pooch to the vet for a checkup straight away!
Loratadine is an antihistamine medication that is commonly used in both humans and animals for the purpose of relieving allergic reactions caused by factors such as hay fever or insect bites.
The most well-known brand of loratadine medication on the market in the US is Claritin.
Claritin works by limiting the amount of histamine (an inflammatory biochemical) released in the body when the immune system encounters allergens that it mistakes as harmful and is sensitive to.
Symptoms caused by histamines will be dependent on which receptor in the body- H1 or H2- the chemical attaches to.
Attachment to H1 receptors triggers common allergy symptoms such as swelling, itching, or sneezing, while connection to H2 triggers afflictions such as acid reflux, peptic ulcers, and an increased heart rate.
Antihistamines like loratadine prevent allergic symptoms associated with H1 receptors from occurring by inhibiting the ability of histamines to attach to these receptors.
It can be a scary scenario when your pup gets a hold of medications. If your dog accidentally eats loratadine, it is more likely to get sick from ingestion of this antihistamine if the amount swallowed was significant.
However, if your dog only ate 10mg of loratadine (and even if it had multiple pills of the medication), it is unlikely to experience severe symptoms because this is a relatively small amount for your pet.
Luckily, loratadine is one of the safer antihistamines out there when it comes to canines.
Drug trials have shown that even amounts of up to 2.3 grams per pound of body weight will not be fatal to dogs (though it may lead to serious complications).
However, if you’ve found our site (welcome, by the way!) by Googling “my dog ate 10mg of loratadine,” you likely have little to worry about due to the miniscule amount.
Nonetheless, if you believe your canine is experiencing some kind of antihistamine toxicity, it would be good to watch out for the following symptoms:
- Drowsiness to the extreme or general sedation
- Problematic heart rate
- Abnormal blood pressure
- Puking or regurgitating partially digested food
- A lack of appetite
- Breathing problems
If the symptoms are severe enough, a dog can become seriously ill and even be at risk of dying. To avoid this devastating scenario, take your canine to the vet as soon as possible if they are displaying these worrying symptoms.
Whether or not Loratadine ingestion is dangerous for a dog is highly dependent on the size of the dog as well as any other ingredients within the antihistamine tablet.
If you have a very small pup and it got its paws on 10 milligrams of loratadine, it would probably be a good idea to keep a close eye and take them to the vet if symptoms discussed above start showing.
However, if you have a large dog and there are no other active ingredients found in the antihistamine tablet, the dog should be relatively safe.
It is actually pretty common for a vet to prescribe an antihistamine such as Loratadine- commercially known as Claritin- to dogs to reduce allergic reactions that they may be suffering from.
However, when purchasing an over-the-counter antihistamine, dog owners need to be aware that some of these pills contain decongestants. You will need to avoid antihistamine products that contain decongestants because they’re very dangerous to pets.
You may find that your fluffy poodle or Golden Retriever will display dangerous symptoms if it ingests a decongestant. Often these can be complications such as a rise in heart rate, hyperactivity, breathing problems, muscle tremors, and seizures.
To ensure that the Loratadine product you purchase is not poisonous to your dog, you’ll need to check if it has a decongestant component. The safest brands of antihistamine products for your dog include:
- Chlor Trimeton
- Off-brand comparable antihistamines
The type of brands you should definitely avoid giving to your dogs so that they are not poisoned include:
- Brand antihistamines with “-D” in the name, which means it contains a decongestant
You will find that Claritin without a decongestant or other dangerous ingredient (such as pseudoephedrine) is safe for a dog when given at the correct dosage.
Best of all, your dog will not get drowsy on Claritin as it would if given comparable medications such as Benadryl.
If you happen to have a small dog weighing only 5 pounds or so and your pup ingested 10 milligrams of pure loratadine, you should keep an eye out for any negative symptoms that demonstrate toxicity.
If your dog ingested Claritin-D or another antihistamine that has a decongestant or xylitol, you will need to get your pet to a veterinary clinic right away and not wait to monitor symptoms.
If your dog vomits, has an increased heart rate, experiences respiratory distress, has a seizure, or experiences an extreme change in body temperature, you should also get it to a vet as soon as possible.
Call your vet and get your pup over as soon as you can. If need be, take your dog straight to the veterinary emergency room.
Once at the vet’s office, it is likely that the vet will try to induce vomiting in your dog if it is still in the effective timeframe to do so.
Induced vomiting is a procedure that is carried out usually with the use of 3% hydrogen peroxide solution.
The liquid is given orally to the dog either by mixing with food or via a syringe, and it forces the dog to throw up its stomach contents as it bubbles up inside.
Alternatively (or additionally), the vet could also treat your dog with activated charcoal.
Under certain circumstances, activated charcoal has the ability to absorb toxic compounds in the dog’s stomach and prevent the Loratadine from transferring into the bloodstream.
Once the toxic particles have bound to the pores of the activated charcoal, they are harmlessly excreted in the dog’s feces.
The specialists at the vet’s office will observe your dog for any other signs of toxicity.
If there are more problems present (such as seizures), your vet will be able to prescribe necessary medication and put your canine on fluid therapy to safeguard the kidneys.
If your dog has allergies resulting in symptoms such as itchy skin, wet, puffy eyes, and sneezing, then you may want to speak to your vet about prescribing an antihistamine like loratadine.
Loratadine comes in both a liquid and tablet form, and while it is available readily over-the-counter it is still vital to consult a vet first before giving your pup the medication.
When prescribed by a vet, Claritin is often used in conjunction with other allergy treatments such as lifestyle and diet improvements, fatty acid supplements, anti-inflammatory medications (commonly Rimadyl).
Loratadine and Claritin are effective for treating all the common allergic reaction symptoms, but are especially potent when it comes to minimizing reactions that involve skin irritation and canine dermatitis.
It is also used with great success when treating inflammation that is caused by mast cell tumors.
Mast cells are typically helpful in the body for fighting off parasites and allergic reactions, but their overgrowth and the resulting tumors can become painfully swollen.
Finally, along with Benadryl, loratadine is one of the medications that are commonly prescribed by vets to be given to puppies or dogs for pain experienced after vaccinations.
Loratadine can be effective in helping to reduce common reactions to routine shots, such as:
- Loss of appetite
With so many different potential situations where loratadine can be helpful, it’s definitely important to know the precise weight of your dog if you’re planning on giving it the medication!
Loratadine is usually administered to dogs at a dosage of 0.12mg to 0.22mg per pound.
Going by that recommended guideline, 10 milligrams of loratadine is an appropriate dose for a dog that weighs around 45 to 50 pounds. Again, this is on the condition that there are no decongestants or other dangerous chemicals added to the pill.
Consult the table below for more dosage guidance:
20 pounds or less
2.5mg, twice a day maximum.
21 to 50 pounds
5mg, twice a day maximum.
51 pounds and over
10mg, twice a day maximum.
Even if your vet prescribed Loratadine for your pet, there are certain side effects that some canines can experience. These side effects can include:
- Significant drowsiness
- Dry mouth
- Reduced tear production
- Urinary retention
Also, while loratadine is technically supposed to be non-sedative, it can tend to still cause a bit of drowsiness in a medicated dog.
It’s vital that dog owners never give their pooch a higher dose of loratadine than is recommended in the table above, as overdosing the drug has been known to cause strokes in canines.
It is also essential for you to check with your vet whether any medication your pet may be taking could have a bad reaction when paired with loratadine.
In particular, the drugs amiodarone, cimetidine, and ketoconazole can all interact negatively with the antihistamine loratadine.
Do not under any circumstances give your pup both Benadryl and Claritin at the same time either, as giving a dog a variety of different antihistamines simultaneously will likely lead to an overdose and subsequent strokes.
In addition, any animals that have pre-existing diagnoses of dry eyes or liver issues should not take Claritin.
To help alleviate these symptoms, make sure that your dog is sufficiently hydrated all throughout the treatment course.
If your dog ate 10mg of loratadine, there likely isn’t any reason to become overly worried.
10mg of loratadine is a relatively small amount even for a canine, especially if it is an average to large-sized dog rather than a small/toy breed.
Additionally, it’s also one of the safer antihistamines available on the market.
Loratadine is often prescribed by vets to treat allergic reactions caused by insect bites, as well as for pain relief after vaccinations.
Despite its general safety, it can still result in a few minor side effects such as vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, and drowsiness. These should pass quickly as the medication subsides.
If at any point you feel like your dog is not acting normally or if symptoms seem to be worsening, don’t hesitate to call your vet for further advice!
Heather Abraham is an owner of two dogs, one cat, a leopard gecko, and a parrot (who her dad still cannot teach bad words to), and an avid blogger. From the time she was a young girl, she always felt a connection with pets. She brings her love of every type of pet to you, with information on animal nutrition, medication, toys, beds, and everything else in between. Along with newly-on-board veterinarian DVM editor Elena, she puts pups first while offering other various fun tidbits along the way.