Sunday, January 04, 2009

Thorazine shuffle in dogs is not cool!

I took my dog Saul in to the vet last week for his yearly shots. Saul is a very anxious dog around strangers and can be more than a little scary, I'll admit that. However, as long as I am with him I can control him and he has never bitten anyone.

The vet noticed his anxious state and prescribed him some Acepromazine which he equated to Thorazine for humans. I told him I thought that was a bit much as Saul is not like that unless strangers are around. He said, "No." I asked him if he was prescribing it to be taken daily and he said no, just when I bring Saul to the vet to give him three on an empty stomach. He said it would make him 'wobbly'. He also said I could give it to him anytime I wanted to calm him down.

So, last night Saul was having a wild night. I had to go out for a while and when I got back he was just NUTS. Jumping on everybody, refusing to mind or get calm, wanting to wrestle and so forth. After about an hour of his nuttiness I decided to give him just one of the pills and chill him out a little.

About five minutes after I gave him the pill he lost all balance and his eyes got as big as saucers. He couldn't stand up or walk. He got scared. His breathing became really shallow and his heartbeat slowed way, way down and became erratic. I was TERRIFIED!! I love this dog like he is one of my kids and I felt absolutely horrible for giving him the pill. If I had given him three it would have killed him. I couldn't get in touch with the vet because it was a Saturday night. All I could do was hope that he made it through the night.

All night long I stayed with him, checking on him every few minutes. He did make it through the night. This morning he is still a little wobbly in his back legs and still a little loopy in the head but otherwise seems ok. He is requiring a lot of extra love.

Never give your dog Acepromazine. It is awful to watch them be so scared and not in control of their bodies. I'll be looking for a new vet that isn't afraid of Saul. And there is always the possibility of using a muzzle during vet visits if I can't find one that isn't afraid of him. I know that I will never again give him medication to make him 'calm'. I like him much better wild and crazy.


Christie O'Brien said...

Now even the vets are trying to dope the dogs up...I swear it never ends. They think a pill 'cures' everything!

Rachael said...

Thanks for posting this...I am researching sedative options for my boxer mix, who is terrified of having her nails trimmed. I had heard that Ace numbed the responses and motor functions but that the dog still felt fear and anxiety, just couldn't react to it, intensifying the stress, but I couldn't find anything about it online until now. Your poor guy! If a vet can't handle a reactive dog, they need to go back to school or at least have a better response than forcing you to drug the dog into submission. Anyway, thanks for letting others know about this.