ACVIM consensus statement: Support for rational administration of gastrointestinal protectants to dogs and cats

J Vet Intern Med. 2018 Nov;32(6):1823-1840. doi: 10.1111/jvim.15337. Epub 2018 Oct 31.


The gastrointestinal (GI) mucosal barrier is continuously exposed to noxious toxins, reactive oxygen species, microbes, and drugs, leading to the development of inflammatory, erosive, and ultimately ulcerative lesions. This report offers a consensus opinion on the rational administration of GI protectants to dogs and cats, with an emphasis on proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), histamine type-2 receptor antagonists (H2 RAs), misoprostol, and sucralfate. These medications decrease gastric acidity or promote mucosal protective mechanisms, transforming the management of dyspepsia, peptic ulceration, and gastroesophageal reflux disease. In contrast to guidelines that have been established in people for the optimal treatment of gastroduodenal ulcers and gastroesophageal reflux disease, effective clinical dosages of antisecretory drugs have not been well established in the dog and cat to date. Similar to the situation in human medicine, practice of inappropriate prescription of acid suppressants is also commonplace in veterinary medicine. This report challenges the dogma and clinical practice of administering GI protectants for the routine management of gastritis, pancreatitis, hepatic disease, and renal disease in dogs and cats lacking additional risk factors for ulceration or concerns for GI bleeding. Judicious use of acid suppressants is warranted considering recent studies that have documented adverse effects of long-term supplementation of PPIs in people and animals.

Keywords: acid; canine; feline; gastroesophageal reflux; histamine type-2 receptor antagonist; misoprostol; proton pump inhibitor; sucralfate; ulcer.

Publication types

  • Practice Guideline

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cat Diseases / drug therapy*
  • Cats
  • Dog Diseases / drug therapy*
  • Dogs
  • Gastrointestinal Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Gastrointestinal Agents / therapeutic use
  • Gastrointestinal Diseases / drug therapy
  • Gastrointestinal Diseases / veterinary*
  • Misoprostol / administration & dosage
  • Misoprostol / therapeutic use
  • Proton Pump Inhibitors / administration & dosage
  • Proton Pump Inhibitors / therapeutic use
  • Sucralfate / administration & dosage
  • Sucralfate / therapeutic use


  • Gastrointestinal Agents
  • Proton Pump Inhibitors
  • Misoprostol
  • Sucralfate