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Sucralfate for Dogs, Cats, and Horses

By Barbara Forney, VMD

Last reviewed: 7/14/2022

Commonly prescribed for: Ulcers within the gastrointestinal tract

Species: Dogs, Cats, and Horses

Therapeutic Class: Local Gastro-protectant

Basic Information

Sucralfate is a hydroxy aluminum salt of sucrose octasulfate that acts as a local mucosal adherent. In an acidic environment, sucralfate forms a sticky viscose gel that adheres to preteinacious exudates within an ulcer crater. This Band-Aid® effect lasts about six hours. At a higher pH, sucralfate may remain in suspension, but may improve the gastric environment by adsorbing pepsin, buffering hydrogen ions, stimulating prostaglandin E, increasing bicarbonate secretion, stimulating mucous secretion, and binding epidermal growth factor. The absorption of sucralfate is minimal; its actions are local rather than systemic and it does not affect gastric-acid output or enzyme activity. Sucralfate is used to treat oral, esophageal, gastric, duodenal, and colonic ulcers. Usually, sucralfate is given on an empty stomach.

Dogs and Cats

Sucralfate is used to treat ulcers and upper GI disorders of dogs and cat. Common causes of GI erosion and ulceration in dogs include drugs (particularly NSAIDs and corticosteroids), toxic chemical ingestion, liver disease, renal failure, carcinoma, stress (trauma, shock, sepsis, and burns), inflammatory bowel disease, mast cell tumors, hypoadrenocorticism, and any condition causing an excessive secretion of gastric acid.


Sucralfate is used in neonatal medicine as a local mucosal-protectant. The protective role of sucralfate in the sick equine neonate may be related to local protection against ischemia reperfusion injury. Sucralfate has been shown to be beneficial in lesions of the glandular mucosa and less so for lesions of the squamous gastric mucosa.

The gastric environment in the normal neonatal foals is acidic, while the gastric environment in the critically ill neonate is more variable. Recent research in the rat and in humans supports the use of sucralfate, and calls into question the use of H2 receptor antagonists and proton-pump inhibitors in the neonatal population. H2 receptor antagonists and proton-pump inhibitors are thought to be more appropriate in the older foal.

Sucralfate is used to treat gastric ulcers and ulcers of the right dorsal colon in adult horses. It usually is used with an H2 receptor antagonist or a proton-pump inhibitor such as omeprazole. Sucralfate appears to provide significant pain relief in horses that show abdominal pain due to ulcers.

Sucralfate Side Effects

Side effects are rare. Constipation and hypophosphatemia may occur in a small percentage of patients.


Sucralfate may decrease the rate of gastric emptying and slow GI transit time.

Drug Interactions

Sucralfate may affect the absorption of many drugs and, in general, administration should be separated for other oral drugs including: NSAIDs, H2 receptor antagonists, fluoroquinolones, digoxin, ketoconazole, levothyroxine, penicillamine, tetracyclines, fat soluble vitamins, and warfarin.


It is unlikely that an overdose of sucralfate will cause clinical problems because it is so poorly absorbed. Very high doses (50X) have been administered to laboratory animals without mortality.
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Popular Sucralfate Dosage Forms

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Sucralfate: Oral Powder

Sucralfate: Oral Powder

Flavored oral dry dosage form, ideal for mixing in food.

Sucralfate: Oral Powder

Sucralfate: Oral Powder

Flavored oral dry dosage form, ideal for mixing in food.

Sucralfate: Oral Powder

Sucralfate: Oral Powder

Flavored oral dry dosage form, ideal for mixing in food.