Acepromazine anxiety treatment for dogs

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This article contains details about acepromazine for dogs, including the safe dosage, side effects, uses of the drug and more.

Acepromazine or acetylpromazine, also referred to as “Ace” and marketed as “PromAce”, is one of the most common tranquilizers given to dogs. The drug has a wide range of uses, as aside from being an effective central nervous system depressant it also functions as an antiemetic (prevents vomiting). Acepromazine is classed as a phenothiazine neuroleptic as it alters chemicals in the dog’s brain, though the exact mechanism of how it achieves its effects is not yet known. The current theory is that the drug blocks dopamine receptors in the brain.

Acepromazine dosage for dogs

 
Acepromazine is available as different size tablets and also as an injectable form which is commonly used for surgery. The recommended dosage for dogs is 0.25 – 1 mg for every pound your dog weighs and takes roughly one hour to kick in with effects lasting anywhere between 6 to 8 hours. Always follow the exact recommendations and instructions of your vet even if they differ from those provided on this page.

Is Acepromazine safe for dogs?

 
When you follow safety guidelines and use the drug as specified by your vet it is a safe substance for use in dogs. Dogs with a mutation of the MDR1 gene are at a higher risk of adverse side effects. The following breeds are likely to be particularly sensitive to the effects of acepromazine:

  • Old English Sheepdog
  • English Sheepdog
  • Australian Shepherd
  • German Shepherd
  • Silken Windhound
  • Longhaired Whippet
  • Skye Terrier
  • Collie

For treating the breeds listed above, your vet may choose to reduce the recommended dose by up to 50%.

Safety precautions

  • Never give your dog acepromazine without veterinary guidance and approval
  • Notify the vet of all existing medical conditions your dog suffers with (particularly heart/liver disease and seizures)
  • Notify the vet of any other medication your pet is taking (particularly other central nervous system depressants)
  • Consider avoiding use in pregnant or lactating pups
  • Consider avoiding use in older dogs or giant breed dogs

Because various substances interact with acepromazine you should avoid administering any other drugs to your pet during treatment until speaking to your vet. Be aware that older dogs receiving the medicine may experience prolonged effects, and giant breed dogs may experience adverse reactions to the drop in blood pressure linked to acepromazine use.

Uses of acepromazine for dogs

 
Acepromazine is a drug with various uses, but is most commonly used to treat:

For treating motion sickness you may opt for a milder drug such as Cerenia for dogs.

Side effects when giving acepromazine to your dog

 
Adverse reactions are more likely to be experienced by the breeds mentioned earlier. Side effects associated with acepromazine includes seizures in susceptible dogs, lowered blood pressure, lowered heart rate and rate of respiration, depression, sedation, incoordination, vomiting, constipation and excitability/aggression. If your pet suffers any serious or unforeseen reactions to the drug stop administering the medicine and seek emergency veterinary care.

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