Dealing with the Underlying Problem : Anxiety in Dogs
Anxiety-that feeling of nervousness, unease, or apprehension that we’re familiar with-is at the heart of most behavioral problems in dogs. Sometimes anxiety is perfectly normal, but it is a problem when it is severe or frequent enough to have an adverse effect on the quality of life. If your dog is anxious, you might notice that :
– Tense muscles
– Attempts to escape the situation, which may lead to destructive behavior
– Urination, defecation, release of the analglands
– Crouching or cowering close to the ground or trying to hide in a “safe” location
– Wide open eyes, sometimes with the whites showing
– Pulled back ears
What to Do About Anxiety in Dogs
Behavioral modification is the best way to treat anxiety in dogs. These protocols typically involve teaching them to remain calm when they are exposed to mild releases of their triggers, rewarding them, and gradually increasing their intensity.
Short-Term Dog Sedative Solutions
But what about those cases? When should they be affected or when they are not appropriate? What can be done for the hyperactive dog Who needs to take it easy after surgery with the history of aggression who needs X-rays ASAP, for example? This is when a sedative might be a good idea.
Oral Dog Sedatives
Owners who are looking for a limited income in their choices.
Acepromazine is the most common oral sedative for dogs. It is a member of the phenothiazine class of sedatives and works by blocking dopamine receptors within the brain. Unfortunately, acepromazine tablets can have wildly variable effects in different individuals. Some dogs may not be sedated, even when given similar doses of the drug. Additionally, the onset and duration of effect can be inconsistent and hard to predict.
A potentially better option is to squirt the injectable, liquid form or acepromazine between the gums and cheek of the dog. The medication is absorbed through the oral mucous membranes and provides more reliable sedation. Regardless of how oral acepromazine is given, at-risk individuals are possible.
Sometimes a veterinarian will recommend a medication that is traditionally used for other purposes for sedative side effects. For example, the anti-seizure medications phenobarbital and gabapentin are known to have a profound sedative effect. They can also be ordered for use before a potentially stressful event.