Sedatives and tranquilizers are used in veterinary medicine every day. Primarily, they are used to help relax and calm pets during stressful or scary situations and treatments. If your pet is tranquilized, it will be completely awake but more calm, relaxed, and not anxious. These medications are often given by mouth for situations where the pet is abnormally stressed or anxious which for some pets includes annual examinations, nail trims, blood draws, etc.
If your pet is sedated, they will be awake and relaxed or lightly sleeping and can be aroused if stimulated. These medications can be administered by injection into a vein, muscle, or given by mouth and are often used during mild-moderate painful or stressful procedures such as nail trims, taking x-rays, lump aspirations or small lump removals, or grooming. The effects of specific sedatives may be reverse, meaning that the effects of one drug are omitted with the use of another. This allows us to use these medications while still allowing your pet to go home safely soon after the procedure is finished. Certain sedatives also provide mild pain relief during and after the procedure. We use sedatives before surgery to relax the animals, provide pain relief, and to decrease the amount of other drugs needed to perform the procedure. We also use sedatives during our humane euthanasia’s to allow our pet’s to feel as comfortable and relaxed as possible during their last moments. For all sedatives or tranquillizers, a full physical exam needs to be completed to ensure the animal is healthy enough to tolerate the medication which allows us to use them as safely as possible. Pets may be groggy for on average 3-6 hours after sedation or tranquilization
At the QSVS, we have a Fear Free program for anxious pets to make their visit to the veterinarian more pleasant and less anxious. Medications used primarily for dogs in this program include Trazadone, and for cats include Gabapentin. Both of those medications provide mild anti-anxiolytic and sedative properties, similar to the mild effects of a glass of wine in humans. This program can also be utilized for travelling, during thunderstorms, fireworks, or other stressful situations. We strive to ensure your pet is able to remain comfortable, happy, and able to enjoy unfamiliar or frightening activities.
Please contact us with any questions regarding sedatives, tranquilizers or our Fear Free program.