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Methocarbamol for Dogs: Uses and Side Effects

A muscle relaxant, methocarbamol for dogs is primarily used to stop involuntary movement of muscles, commonly associated with exposure to toxic substances.
DogAppy Staff
Since the safety of methocarbamol is not known during pregnancy, it is advised to avoid giving this medicine to pregnant dogs.
Sold under the brand name Robaxin-V, methocarbamol is an FDA-endorsed muscle relaxant that acts on the central nervous system to ease muscle spasms in dogs. Body shaking rapidly and uncontrollably is a prominent feature of medical conditions like seizures and convulsions. These medical issues in dogs can be effectively treated and even prevented in the future with methocarbamol.
Helps Ease Skeletal Muscle Hyperactivity
Dogs unknowingly exposed or ingesting a harmful substance often suffer from involuntary skeletal muscle activity, typical in seizures, which can be treated with this medication. For instance, dogs exposed to insecticides during the treatment of mite or tick infestation at home, is a cause for concern. Simply put, use of these pesticides around the house or even in the garden may expose your pets to these harmful chemicals. They may show symptoms of toxicity such as fever, muscle tremors, and seizures. However, these spasmodic movements can be brought under control with methocarbamol.
Some dogs develop toxicity to flea-killing products that are sprayed directly on their skin. Pesticides such as strychnine and metaldehyde that are used against rodents, snails, and snugs can also be extremely toxic to dogs. Exposure to these pesticides can also cause muscular convulsions, which can also be treated with methocarbamol.
Relaxes Injured Muscles
As methocarbamol relaxes the muscles, it can also help ease pain and stiffness associated with muscle injuries such as sprains and strains in dogs. So along with rest, giving your pet a prescribed dose of methocarbamol may help speed up healing of injured muscles.

Methocarbamol can also be used to treat spasmodic activity associated with the following conditions:
  • Intervertebral disc disorder such as herniated disc
  • Myositis
  • Fibrositis
  • Synovitis
  • Spinal cord injury
Treatment for tetanus in dogs may also include use of methocarbamol. Tetanus is a bacterial infection that is typically marked by frequent episodes of muscle spasms lasting for 3 to 4 weeks. The Clostridium tetani bacteria responsible for causing this infection release certain toxins that disrupt the normal contraction of muscles. As a result, affected dogs exhibit spasmodic activity that occurs frequently but lasts only for a few minutes. In such circumstances, muscle relaxants such as methocarbamol may be recommended to treat muscle spasms.
Methocarbamol is available in tablets of 500 mg, and the dosage will vary according to the weight of the dog. For every pound of your dog's weight, usually a 10-20 mg dose of methocarbamol is prescribed twice or thrice a day. In any case, the daily per pound dose should not go beyond the 125 mg mark to prevent any sort of serious side effects.
In case, the dog is not in a position to take it orally, the dose can be administered intravenously. The injectable liquid formulations have a faster onset of action and can help quickly relieve spasmodic symptoms
Side Effects
Methocarbamol tends to make the dog sleepy and drowsy. This sedative effect of the drug will enable your pet to relax. Also, dogs that are put on this muscle relaxant stumble often due to lack of coordination. So they may stagger while making an attempt to walk. Excessive salivation is also pretty common, particularly in sensitive animals. During the course of treatment, your pet may also pass dark urine. Other side effects that may occur are as follows:
  • Muscle weakness
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Lethargy
  • Loss of appetite
In case any of the aforementioned side effects are noticed in your pet, immediately consult your vet for advice. Your pet is likely to adjust the dosage, so as to minimize the occurrence of these side effects.
Allergic Reaction
An allergic reaction from methocarbamol can be serious and often requires an immediate visit to your vet's clinic. Dogs allergic to this medicine may suffer from skin problems, such as hives, and in severe cases, cause facial swelling and breathing problems.
Though FDA approved, methocarbamol is a prescription medicine and should not be given without consulting your veterinarian. Your vet will prescribe an appropriate dose that works best for your pet.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a veterinarian.