• My oldest bitch Jewel (17+) had a stroke just over a week ago. The vet prescribed Vivitonin but she retched every time I gave her a tablet despite me trying all sorts of ways to give it to her.

    I've now had to stop but would like to know if anyone else has had this reaction to Vivitonin.? If so was an alternative found? I am at present giving her Cocculus (homeopathic).

    I queried with my vet about the colouring ised in the tablet coating but he doesn't think thst was the cause and said that occasionally dogs have this reaction. It is very strange because as soon as the tablet touched her throat she began the retching.

    Mind you, she is going on well despite the lack of conventional medicine but I would like to have a fallback if there is one.

  • Good Luck with her treatment, hope she gets better… and congratulations for a very long life...

  • Pepcid? I've given my dogs 1/2 a pepcid to help settle the stomach. Otherwise, I have no ideas. Obviously you've done a wonderful job giving Jewel a long healthy life.

  • Will it still wretch her stomach if the pill is put into a 1 inch chunk of a hot dog? Maybe there is something in the initial taste that disgusts her.

    Congrats on having such a long life with her. You are doing remarkably well!

  • Thanks for your replies - Fran I've not tried ahot dog but have given it to her in a large chunk of ordinary sausage - there was a delay then before she vomited but she then brought up her partly digested food as well.

    Thank you all on behalf of Jewel, I owe her the best as she has always lived up to her name and is one wonderful Basenji!

  • It does state that it needs to be given at least 30 minutes before feeding and to wash hands after use. What little I have read on the internet, it does seem to give some dogs problems with vomiting.


  • Helena, i am sorry to hear about Jewel and hope that a suitable alternative to the Vivitonin can be found. Gentle pats and healing vibes on their way.
    We gave Benji Vivitonin with no adverse effects.

  • Jennifer, I was giving it to her some time before feeding and certainly more than 30 minutes. Interesting that you found some instances on the net - I did look it up but couldn't find anything. Also interesting that you should wash hands after use - i'm always a bit suspicious when that is stressed.

    Shelley, thank you for your thoughts on behalf of Jewel and myself. I've heard from several people whose Basenjis have been helped by Vivitonin with no adverse effects so its a pity that Jewel can't tolerate it.

  • The washing hands came from a drug website which listed this warning including the 30 minutes before feeding. It does seem that with some dogs it causes vomiting issues but this is what I have read based on owners comments on different websites-nothing scientific.


  • I always think practical experience is helpful, don't you ?

  • It isn't a US drug, had never heard of it but wow sounds great:


    What does Vivitonin do?
    Vivitonin contains the active ingredient propentofylline which is a xanthine derived compound. This means it is a similar compound to caffeine. Vivitonin increases blood supply to the heart and muscles. This means that Vivitonin can increase willingness to exercise and improves lethargy. It also increases blood flow to the brain which helps brain function and can help improve general demeanour and some signs of senility in older dogs. It can improve quality of life in older dogs but if a specific disease, such as kidney or heart disease has been diagnosed then that should receive specific treatment.


    Could you give her an antacid about an hour earlier, give it time to work, then put the pill in cream cheese? Although it says before eating, enough to coat it should help. I know the other day I was retching when I got antirobe taste on my fingers. I am careful to make a pocket in the cream cheese, fold it over and give it to Arwen fast so she doesn't have to taste it cause if I let it sit, she refuses and I don't blame her!

  • Debra - Yes, I'll try the antacid - is it the human one you mean? I'll then try the Vivtonin again. Yes it does seem a marvellous drug - my vet says it acts a bit like Warfrain thinning the blood so increasing the supply to the brain.

    She was sick today but before she'd had her meal. She only brought up bile so an antacid might be what she needs. I suspect the whole system is running down but I'll try anything to slow the decline a sshe's such a happy girl in herself and loves her walks with her grandchildren.

  • I had never heard of this drug so I looked it up. It falls into the phosphodiesterase (PDE) inhibitors category of drugs. This is a non-selective PDE that is thought to increase & stimulate blood flow with a similar effect to caffiene. Selective PDEs include Viagra and Cialis. I don't understand all of the pharmacokinetics of the drug, but I wonder if your vet or pharmacy could compound the drug into a suppository which would allow you to bypass the stomach and still get the effect you are seeking.

  • Patty, I use both famotidine and ranitidine. Wendy prefers ranitidine and I trust her but Cara is so small I couldn't get low dose ranitinde at an affordable price so I am using famotidine on her. Basenji size, about 5 to 10 mg 2x a day is good.


  • Thank you Debra, I actually take Zantac (Ranintidine) my self in 20g - I'm going to try giving Jewel a quarter of that to start with.

    I'll also check whether my vet can compound Vivitonin into a suppository if the antacid doesn't work.

    You are great friends, thank you all.

  • Helena, how is Jewel ?
    I ordered something from a firm called Canine natural cures and they sent a booklet of products.
    They advertise a tonic called Old Faithful which is herbal and targets the heart, brain, circulation and joints of older dogs. I realise you probably know of it but thought i'd mention it anyway.

  • Shelley, thank you - I looked Old Faithful up and it sounds ideal but is at present out of stock. Unfortunately though, Jewel had another stroke yeaterday and is not too good. I'm not giving her anything now because I've had the dreadful experience of trying to persuade an old dog to take medicine and felt really guilty that I'd hassled her while she was dying.

  • Helena, i'm so sorry

  • Old age is a blessing and a dread, i am sure you are doing the very best for her. My thoughts are with you in such a tough time

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