Major Uses

Dimethyl Sulfoxide is a free radical scavenger that is primarily used to reduce acute swelling caused by trauma. It can also be used as an adjunctive treatment in transient ischemic conditions, skin ulcers/wounds/burns, CNS trauma and cerebral edema, adjunctive therapy in intestinal surgeries, and analgesia for post-operative or intractable pain. It has also shown useful in treating amyloidosis in dogs

Common Precautions

Caution should be used when administering Dimethyl Sulfoxide to patients with mastocytomas, as it may degranulate mast cells. Animals with dehydration or shock should also receive Dimethyl Sulfoxide with caution. When administered topically, solution should be administered to a clean area to prevent contamination.

Some negative local side effects experienced from Dimethyl Sulfoxide include burning, erythema, vesticulation, dry skin, garlic or oyster-like breath odor, and local allergic reactions. Other possible side effects can include hemolysis, hemoglobinuria, diarrhea, muscle tremors, colic, hepatotoxicity, and renal toxicity.

Dimethyl Sulfoxide should not be used in animals with a known allergy or hypersensitivity to the drug. A veterinarian should be contacted immediately if any alarming symptoms occur or if an overdose is suspected. Possible sings of an overdose include sedation, hematuria, coma, seizures, opisthotonus, dyspnea, and pulmonary edema.


Dimethyl Sulfoxide should be kept at room temperature in a tight, light resistant, childproof container. It should not be kept in plastic, as it may react negatively in these conditions. If exposed to open air, it will self-dilute. Dimethyl Sulfoxide should be stored where children and pets will not be able to reach it.


Dimethyl Sulfoxide is typically administered topically. For dogs, it should be applied to the affected area 3-4 times a day. For horses, it should be applied to the effected area 2-3 times a day. If administered intravenously during surgery, a typical dose is 25 mg/kg twice daily for up to two days after surgery. Should a dose be forgotten, it should be administered as soon as possible. Two doses should not be administered at one, so if it is almost time for the next scheduled dose, the missed dose should be skipped.

Doses may vary in different species, when the drug is given by a different route or concurrently with other medications, and with regards to a patient's age, breed, and health status. A veterinarian's dosing instructions and/or those printed on the medication label should be followed closely.

This information is for general reference only and should not be used for the diagnosis or treatment of any condition of your pet. It's intended as a general reference, this information may not include all possible uses, precautions, directions, reactions (including allergic), drug interactions, or withdrawal times. Always consult your local veterinarian and have your pet examined for any advice concerning the diagnosis and treatment of your pet, including which products and doses are most appropriate. Any trademarks are the property of their respective owners. VetDepot is not a pharmacy. All prescription products are dispensed by our Pharmacy Partner. Article last updated 2/2014.