PetMD’s medications content was written and reviewed by veterinary professionals to answer your most common questions about how medications function, their side effects, and what species they are prescribed for. This content shouldn’t take the place of advice by your vet.
What Is Aminocaproic Acid for Dogs?
Aminocaproic acid is a prescription medication used by veterinarians to treat bleeding conditions in dogs. Aminocaproic acid is sometimes given to Greyhounds prior to surgery to help prevent serious bleeding during a surgical procedure and post-operation. This is because studies have shown that around 30% of Greyhounds have an abnormal blood clotting condition called fibrinolytic syndrome.
Aminocaproic acid is also used in horses for guttural pouch hemorrhage and other bleeding conditions.
Aminocaproic acid is FDA-approved for human use in oral tablet and liquid formulations as generic aminocaproic acid. It is also given to animals by intravenous infusion for certain medical conditions under direct veterinary supervision in a hospital setting.
Aminocaproic acid is currently not FDA-approved as a veterinary medication. However, it is readily utilized in the veterinary field, and veterinarians can legally prescribe certain human drugs in animals in certain circumstances. This is called extra-label or off-label use because this use isn’t described on the drug label.
In certain circumstances, your vet may recommend a compounded formulation of aminocaproic acid. Compounded medications are prescribed if there’s a specific reason your pet’s health can’t be managed by an FDA-approved drug, such as if your pet has trouble taking pills in capsule form, the dosage strength is not commercially available, or the pet is allergic to an ingredient in the FDA-approved medication.
Compounded medications are not FDA-approved. They are created by either a veterinarian or a licensed pharmacist on an individual basis to best suit a patient’s particular needs. You can learn more about compounded medications here.
Aminocaproic Acid Considerations for Dogs
Aminocaproic acid should not be used in pets with certain medical conditions, including disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC) and upper urinary tract bleeding. Use with extreme caution in pets with kidney disease, liver disease, or heart disease, and speak with your vet to ensure this medication is right for your pet.
Your pet will need to be monitored for bleeding and closely supervised by your veterinarian with follow-up visits.
Your veterinarian may recommend lab testing depending on your pet's individual needs.
How Aminocaproic Acid Works in Dogs
Aminocaproic acid is classified as a hemostatic medication, which means that it stabilizes and keeps blood clots intact which helps slow down bleeding. Aminocaproic acid works by blocking certain chemical messengers involved in dissolving blood clots (fibrinolysis).
Aminocaproic Acid Directions for Dogs
Follow the directions on the drug label or as provided by your veterinarian.
Aminocaproic acid can be given with or without food.
Missed a Dose?
Speak with your veterinarian about what to do if you forget to give a dose of aminocaproic acid. Generally, they may instruct you to give it when you remember, or if it is almost time for your pet’s next dose, to skip the missed dose and resume your normal dosing schedule. Do not give extra or double doses.
Aminocaproic Acid Possible Side Effects in Dogs
Aminocaproic acid is generally well tolerated in animals. Possible side effects may include:
Abnormally high potassium (hyperkalemia) in pets with kidney disease
Human Side Effects
Aminocaproic acid is also a prescription medication for humans, frequently with dosages different from those prescribed for your pet by a veterinarian. Due to possible side effects, humans should never use medicine dispensed for their pets and pets should not be given any medicine dispensed for a human’s use.
Call Your Vet If:
Severe side effects are seen (see above)
Your pet’s condition worsens or does not improve with treatment
You see or suspect an overdose
You have additional questions or concerns about the use of aminocaproic acid
Aminocaproic Acid Overdose Information in Dogs
Overdoses and symptoms of toxicity may occur, including abnormally low blood pressure (hypotension), abnormally low heart rate (bradycardia), and seizures.
If you suspect an overdose, immediately contact your veterinarian, seek emergency veterinary care, or call an animal poison control center. Consultation fees often apply.
Pet Poison Helpline (855) 764-7661
ASPCA Animal Poison Control (888) 426-4435
Aminocaproic Acid Storage for Dogs
Always confirm storage requirements by reading the prescription label.
Aminocaproic acid tablets and syrup should be stored at controlled temperatures from 68 F to 77 F. Keep the container tightly closed to protect the medication from moisture and light.
Compounded medications should be stored according to the compounding pharmacy’s label.
Keep out of reach of children and pets.
Aminocaproic Acid for Dogs FAQs
Where can you buy aminocaproic acid for dogs?
Aminocaproic acid is a prescription medication, so you must purchase it directly from your veterinarian or through an authorized veterinary compounding pharmacy.
What is aminocaproic acid used for in dogs?
Aminocaproic acid is a prescription medication used for bleeding conditions in dogs. Aminocaproic acid is sometimes given to Greyhounds prior to surgery to help prevent serious bleeding during the surgical procedure and post-op.
Is aminocaproic acid safe for dogs?
Aminocaproic acid can be used safely in dogs, but under specific circumstances and only under direct supervision by their veterinarian. Aminocaproic acid should not be used in pets with certain medical conditions, so speak with your vet to ensure this medication is right for your pet.
No vet writer or qualified reviewer has received any compensation from the manufacturer of the medication as part of creating this article. All content contained in this article is sourced from public sources or the manufacturer.
Featured Image: miniseries/E+ via Getty Images
Marin LM, Iazbik MC, Zaldivar-Lopez S, et al. Epsilon aminocaproic acid for the prevention of delayed postoperative bleeding in retired racing greyhounds undergoing gonadectomy. Veterinary Surgery: VS. 2012;41(5):594-603.
Brown JC, Brainard BM, Fletcher DJ, et al. Effect of aminocaproic acid on clot strength and clot lysis of canine blood determined by use of an in vitro model of hyperfibrinolysis. American Journal of Veterinary Research. 2016;77(11):1258-1265.
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