Medicine

Streptokinase Uses for Dogs

 
María Besteiros
By María Besteiros, Expert veterinary assistant and canine/feline hairdresser.. October 22, 2023
Streptokinase Uses for Dogs
Dogs

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Streptokinase is an antithrombotic medication, meaning it works by breaking down blood clots which can be potentially fatal to dogs. It is usually given intravenously in injection form and is sold under various trade names in varying combinations. It is indicated as a human medication, but not for veterinary use. As with other drugs in this category, it may be prescribed by a veterinarian in some cases. Its use is somewhat controversial, with some research suggesting it is relatively ineffective even in human medicine.

At AnimalWised, we discover streptokinase uses for dogs, as well as its dosage, side effects and contraindications. We discover whether streptokinase should be used at all for dogs and what alternatives might be available instead.

Contents

  1. What is streptokinase for dogs?
  2. Streptokinase uses for dogs
  3. Streptokinase dosage for dogs
  4. Contraindications and side effects of streptokinase for dogs
  5. Alternatives to streptokinase in dogs

What is streptokinase for dogs?

Streptokinase is a human medicine that is included in the group known as antithrombotics. An antithrombotic serves to prevent the formation of blood clots, also called thrombi. They can also be used to help prevent these clots from increasing in size. It is sometimes paired with other active ingredients such as streptodornase. Streptokinase is an enzyme that breaks up clots when used in medicine. Streptodornase is a similar enzyme with an effect on clots.

A veterinarian may prescribe streptokinase for your dog, but it is important to know it is not officially approved for veterinary medicine. This does not mean streptokinase use is prohibited for dogs, but it will be used at the veterinarian's discretion. You should never give this or any other drug to your dog without approval from the veterinarian.

The trade names for streptokinase differ according to the market. These include Kabikinase, Streptase and Varidase. Despite being on the World Health Organization's List of Essential Medicines, it is no longer commercially available in the United States.

Streptokinase uses for dogs

Streptokinase is a very potent medication which is technically a bacterial product. For this reason, it is only usually given once. After its first use, the body's immune system can build up a resistance and further use can harm the dog. Another reason this drug is used only once is because it is often only administered during medical emergencies. We can see this in the following streptokinase uses:

  • Acute myocardial infarction (heart attack): streptokinase is administered intravenously to break down blood clots that are causing a heart attack. It helps restore blood flow to the heart muscle, reducing damage to the heart.

  • Deep vein thrombosis (DVT): DVT is a condition in which blood clots form in deep veins, often in the legs. Streptokinase can be used to dissolve these clots, reducing the risk of pulmonary embolism. This is relatively uncommon in animal medicine.

  • Pulmonary embolism (PE): when blood clots travel to the lungs and block pulmonary arteries, streptokinase can be used to break up these clots and improve pulmonary circulation.

  • Arterial thromboembolism: streptokinase is sometimes used to treat arterial thromboembolism, a condition in which blood clots block arteries in various parts of the body.

Streptokinase should only be administered under the supervision of a healthcare professional for specific medical conditions in humans. It is not typically used in tablet form. Veterinarians have alternative treatments for clot-related issues in animals, as mentioned in the previous response.

Learn more about blood clots in dogs in our guide to their causes, symptoms and treatment.

Streptokinase dosage for dogs

As stated above, streptokinase is a drug which is found in injection form. It is used mainly for emergencies and is not even available in many markets. It is only to be used by a veterinarian at their professional discretion. The dosage of streptokinase will be determined by the dog's weight and other factors. Since it is only indicated for human use, they will be able to determine its conversion for veterinary use.

Although streptokinase will need to be administered by a veterinarian, you can learn how to give a dog a shot under the skin if you do need to injedt a dog with a medication.

Contraindications and side effects of streptokinase for dogs

As with any other drug, streptokinase should never be administered if the dog has an allergic reaction to any its components. While we may be aware of sensitivities to some of the drug's excipients, it is unlikely we will know if the dog has an allergy to streptokinase. This is because it is a drug which is only administered once in a patient's lifetime during a medical emergency. This is one of the reasons the drug is not commonly used.

If the dog is taking or has taken any other medication, it is essential to inform the veterinarian to avoid possible harmful drug interactions. This notice includes drugs that do not require a prescription. Any allergic reaction should be brought to the attention of the veterinarian. Severe cases, known as anaphylactic shock in dogs, are emergencies that must be attended to immediately.

Streptokinase Uses for Dogs - Contraindications and side effects of streptokinase for dogs

Alternatives to streptokinase in dogs

As we have seen, this medication is unlikely to be given to a dog for various reasons. These include its effectiveness, availability and the prevalence of better alternatives. When a dog has a blood clot or similar problem which needs to be treated, the veterinarian will consider alternative drug therapies. Such alternatives to streptokinase include:

  • Heparin: heparin is an anticoagulant that can be used to prevent the formation of blood clots. It is often used in cases of certain medical conditions or surgeries that put dogs at risk of clot formation.

  • Aspirin: low-dose aspirin may be used in dogs to prevent platelet aggregation and reduce the risk of blood clot formation. However, aspirin should be used under the guidance of a veterinarian, as it can have side effects.

  • Warfarin: in some cases, warfarin may be prescribed to dogs to prevent clot formation. This medication requires close monitoring and should only be administered under veterinary supervision.

The choice of treatment and the specific medication will depend on the dog's condition and the veterinarian's assessment. It's essential to consult with a veterinarian for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment options for your dog's specific needs.

Learn more about heart problems in dogs with our article on why a dog's heart is beating very fast.

This article is purely informative. AnimalWised does not have the authority to prescribe any veterinary treatment or create a diagnosis. We invite you to take your pet to the veterinarian if they are suffering from any condition or pain.

If you want to read similar articles to Streptokinase Uses for Dogs, we recommend you visit our Medicine category.

Bibliography
  • Lobo M., Díaz M.J., García, J. & Frejo, M.T. (2011). Pilot study on prescription in exceptional situations. Use of human medications in veterinary medicine. Clin. Vet. Small Anim., 31(3), 143-149.

  • Oliven A., & Gidron E. (1981). Orally and rectally administered streptokinase. Investigation of its absorption and activity. Pharmacology.

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