This drug is an injectable hormone that is used in dogs and cats (and many other species) to increase uterine contractions (labor) and/or milk let-down. Oxytocin is available in multi-dose vials by prescription from your veterinarian.
WHAT IS THIS DRUG?
- A hormone naturally produced in the hypothalmus (part of the brain)
- Given by subcutaneous (under the skin) or intramuscular (in the muscle) injection, or at your veterinarian’s office, intravenously (in the vein)
- Registered by the FDA for use in many animal species
REASONS FOR PRESCRIBING:
- To induce labor in animals having weak or no contractions (by causing the uterus to contract and move the fetus into the birth canal)
- To promote milk let-down after delivery of fetuses
- To evacuate uterine contents after delivery of fetuses
- To slow hemorrhaging after delivery of fetuses
WHAT DOGS/CATS SHOULD NOT USE THIS MEDICATION?
- **Oxytocin should not be used if the fetus is in an abnormal position, the mother has a small pelvis, the fetus is too large to pass through the birth canal, or when a cesarian section is necessary for any reason
- Animals without a dilated cervix
- Animals with an uterine infection (pyometra)
- Animals with uncorrected low blood sugar or low blood calcium
- Animals with a known hypersensitivity or allergy to this drug
Giving this medication incorrectly can have serious consequences. Always consult with your veterinarian before administration. The mother and babies’ lives depend upon the correct use of this drug.
Oxytocin is usually available in multi-dose vials containing 20 units/mL.
There is a wide dosage range, depending upon the stage of labor.
Follow the dosage instructions provided by your veterinarian very carefully.
Allow at 30 minutes before giving subsequent dose(s).
Give the exact amount prescribed and only as often as directed.
WHAT IF A DOSE IS MISSED?
STORAGE AND WARNINGS:
Oxytocin should be stored in the refrigerator or at controlled room temperature, according to the label instructions. Protect from light.
Keep this and all medication out of reach of children and pets.
Call your physician immediately if you accidentally take this product.
POTENTIAL SIDE EFFECTS:
- Can cause uterine rupture or severe pain from excessive uterine cramping if used inappropriately
- Severely high blood pressure
- Allergy symptoms to this medication include: scratching, facial swelling, hives, vomiting, sudden diarrhea, shock, seizures, pale gums, cold limbs, or coma.
- If you observe any of these symptoms or you notice anything else unusual, contact your veterinarian
CAN THIS DRUG BE GIVEN WITH OTHER DRUGS?
- Yes, but possible interactions may occur when giving Oxytocin in conjunction with adrenergics (eg. ephedrine) or some general anesthetics
- If your pet experiences any unusual reactions when taking multiple medications, contact your veterinarian
Contact your veterinarian immediately if your pet receives more than the prescribed amount.
WHAT TO TELL/ASK A VETERINARIAN BEFORE GIVING MEDICATION?
Talk to your veterinarian about:
- When your pet will need to be rechecked
- What tests may need to be performed prior to and during treatment with this drug
- What are the risks and benefits of using this drug
Tell your veterinarian about:
- If your pet has experienced side-effects on other drugs/products
- If your pet has experienced digestive upset now or ever
- If your pet has experienced liver or kidney disease now or ever
- If your pet has experienced any other medical problems or allergies now or ever
- All medicines and supplements that you are giving your pet or plan to give your pet, including those you can get without a prescription. Your veterinarian may want to check that all of your pet’s medications can be given together.
WHAT ELSE SHOULD I KNOW?
Notify your veterinarian if your animal’s condition does not improve or worsens despite this treatment.
As with all prescribed medicines, Oxytocin should only be given to the pet for which it was prescribed.
It should be given only for the condition for which it was prescribed.