Trazodone for Dogs: Uses, Side Effects, and Dosage

Trazodone for Dogs: Trazodone is a drug used in veterinary medicine to treat dogs with behavior problems and high anxiety. The drug is approved by the FDA for treating canine anxiety and depression, as well as reducing aggression in dogs.

Trazodone should be given in small doses at regular intervals. Side effects of trazodone can include sedation, dizziness, and confusion.

Dogs should not be given trazodone if they are pregnant or breastfeeding.

Trazodone is available as a pill or a liquid suspension for dogs. The recommended dose for treating behavior problems and anxiety in dogs is 5 to 10 mg per day.

What is Trazodone?

Trazodone is a serotonin modulator. This medication helps control serotonin levels in the brain, which results in a slight sedative effect as well as relief from anxiety.

In the 1960s, Italy was the country that first began research and development on trazodone as a treatment for depression in people. Sedation was a side effect of the medicine, which prevented it from gaining broad use for treating human patients. After some time, the dosing recommendations were changed, and eventually, in the 1980s, the medicine was given the green light for usage in humans in the United States.

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Trazadone is available for sale for canines under a variety of brand names, including Desyrel and Oleptro®. Despite the fact that the FDA has not given its approval for trazodone to be used in animals, many vets do utilize it “off-label” as an anti-anxiety medication for dogs.

Trazodone is often presented in the form of a white tablet that has a score running down the middle of it. This allows the tablet to be easily broken in half. Much less frequently, it is offered in the form of a capsule or a drink.

How Does the Prescription of Trazodone Work When Given to a Dog?

Trazodone is effective because it restores a normal level of serotonin in the brain. Because it is a neurotransmitter, serotonin is involved in the transmission of messages from one set of nerve cells to another set of nerve cells. These nerve cells are responsible for the general feeling of well-being in the body. As a result of trazodone’s ability to maintain stable levels of serotonin in the brain, the drug encourages calm behavior and reduces anxiety in dogs.

What are the Directions for Giving Trazodone to Dogs?

Trazodone is a medication that is frequently used to treat anxiety, either generalized or situational. However, due to its ability to produce only transient soothing effects, it is most frequently used to treat situational anxiety.

Trazodone may be helpful for dogs that benefit from being calmed down and are easier to control in certain settings. In addition, following surgery, some veterinarians recommend giving their canine patients Trazodone. Trazodone is effective in these circumstances for helping to maintain the dog’s state of relaxation during the recovery period so that the surgical incisions have sufficient time to heal.

The following are some examples of situations in which trazodone is frequently prescribed:

  • The anxiety that comes along with trips to the veterinarian
  • Anxiety caused by travel
  • Noise phobias (such as thunderstorms, fireworks, etc.)
  • Anxiety caused by being alone
  • An extreme dread of being groomed (nail clipping)
  • Post-surgical confinement

Side Effects of Trazodone for Dogs

In dogs, adverse reactions to trazodone are uncommon almost all of the time. The most typical adverse reaction is for a dog to become more lethargic or sedated than was anticipated, however, these effects typically disappear within a short period of time. Dogs may feel minor nervousness or excitement as a side effect of the medicine on a far less frequent basis.

The following are some of the potential adverse consequences of administering trazodone to dogs:

  • Drowsiness/lethargy
  • Panting\Anxiety/pacing
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Alterations in one’s appetite
  • An uptick in aggressiveness

Trazodone Dosage for Dogs

The correct dosage of trazodone for canines is going to change depending on a lot of different things. Trazodone is no different than other medications in that the dosage that is prescribed for your dog is determined by his or her weight. Dogs of a smaller size will receive a lower dose than those of a larger size.

There is a rather broad range of acceptable dosages for trazodone. It is possible for veterinarians to begin a dog’s treatment at the lower end of the scale and then gradually increase it if it is determined that a larger dose is required. Get in touch with your dog’s vet if you believe the prescribed dose ought to be changed in any way.

If you forget to give your dog medication, you can administer the dose as soon as it is convenient for you to do so. It is possible that you will need to postpone your dog’s next dose of trazodone in order to get back on a regular schedule. Each dose of trazodone should be spaced out by 8 hours.

How Much Does Trazodone Cost for Dogs

You should plan on spending between one and two dollars for each dose, but the exact amount will depend on the size of your dog. Although there are some dogs that are given a prescription for two to three doses of trazodone per day on an ongoing basis, the majority of the time, this medication is only provided for sporadic use, right before a period of intense stress.

Trazodone Storage

It is recommended that trazodone be kept in a bottle that is resistant to light and kept at room temperature. There are no other handling or storage guidelines that are particularly pertinent.

A Few Parting Thoughts

Your dog will have an easier time maintaining his composure and happiness with the help of trazodone. It is important that if you use this medication you do so under the guidance of your veterinarian because there is a possibility that it could cause undesirable side effects.

If your dog experiences anxiety, you could discuss the possibility of getting trazodone prescribed for them by their veterinarian. This can help your dog remain calm and less worried when confronted with stressful situations.

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