Hairball Remedies and Laxatives
Veterinary & Aquatic Services Department, Drs. Foster & Smith

Summary

Petroleum-based laxatives and hairball remedies coat the swallowed hair and the stool and allow it to pass through the digestive system of cats and other pets. Use these products under the direction of a veterinarian since frequent, long-term use could result in vitamin deficiencies. Do NOT force feed, since the petrolatum could be aspirated into the lungs and cause serious effects. Overdose can result in diarrhea.

Generic Name
Petrolatum

Brand Names
Drs. Foster and Smith Hairball Remedy, Felaxin, Kat-A-Lax, Lax'aire, Laxatone, many more available

Type of Drug
Lubricant

Form and Storage
Store at room temperature.

Indication for Use
Treatment and prevention of constipation and hairballs.

General Information
FDA approved for use in veterinary medicine. Available over the counter. These products work by coating the hair in the stomach and intestines which helps it pass through the gastrointestinal tract without balling up. It also lubricates the colon and the outside of the stool preventing water from being reabsorbed. This increases the softness of the stool facilitating bowel movements. Other hairball remedies are available which add bulk to the stool, such as Drs. Foster and Smith Hi-Fiber Formula Hairball Remedy and Vetasyl Fiber Tablets for Cats.

Usual Dose and Administration
As a hairball prevention: follow labeled directions. Usually give for 2-3 days in a row and then a maintenance dose every 4-7 days.
For constipation: contact your veterinarian for directions.

Side Effects
Aspiration of the oil could cause serious effects in the lungs. May see a decrease in the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E, & K) when used frequently and long term. May see loose stools.

Contraindications/Warnings
None listed for animals.

Give between meals to decrease chance of limiting fat-soluble vitamins from being absorbed.

Drug or Food Interactions
None listed.

Overdose/Toxicity
May see diarrhea or, if the overdose is long term, may see a vitamin deficiency.

 
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Keep this and all other medications out of the reach of children and pets.


If you think your pet has been poisoned...

Contact your veterinarian or one of the Animal Poison Hotlines (listed below) if you think your pet may have accidentally received or been given an overdose of the medication.

**ASPCA National Animal Poison Control Center

1-888-4ANI-HELP (1-888-426-4435). $65.00 per case, billed to caller's credit card.

Follow-up calls can be made for no additional charge by dialing 888-299-2973.

There is no charge when the call involves a product covered by the Animal Product Safety Service.

**Pet Poison Helpline - 24-hour service available throughout North America for pet owners and veterinary professionals who require assistance with treating a potentially poisoned pet.

1-800-213-6680 ($35.00 per incident). Staffed 24-hours a day.


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Reprinted from PetEducation.com.