Xanax Anxiety Medication For Dogs
(redirects here from alprazolam)
This article covers the usage of Xanax for dogs, including dosage information, side effects, safety guidelines and more.
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Xanax, the more popular name of alprazolam, is a drug of the benzodiazepine class which shares many similarities with others of the class such as diazepam. It’s a fact that many dogs become frightened or anxious as a result of trivial events, such as fireworks or plane journeys, and as such, benzodiazepines are commonly prescribed by vets to help dogs maintain a level of calm throughout times of distress.
Xanax dosage for dogs
The typical dosage of Xanax for dogs ranges between 0.01 mg per pound at the lower end of the scale, up to 0.05 mg per pound. Because Xanax is a prescription drug, you should consult with a vet prior to use, and he/she will be able to recommend a dosage for your pet depending on the circumstance. You should never give more than the prescribed dose without first seeking approval from your vet. An example of a typical dose for mild sedation would be 0.5 mg for a 50 lb dog.
Is Xanax safe for dogs
Xanax is a relatively safe medication for use in dogs, though as a benzodiazepine there are some interactions with other drugs such as antacids, several heart medications, antibiotics and anti-fungal medications. For this reason, it’s important to notify your vet of any other medication that your dog is taking prior to using alprazolam. Xanax may be unsafe for use in dogs suffering from glaucoma, or kidney/liver disease. Further information about safety precautions can be found below.
- Do not stop medicating abruptly after prolonged use
- Anticipate wild changes in behavior
- Notify your vet of any medical condition your dog suffers with
- Do not administer alongside drugs which interact with alprazolam
Alprazolam should typically be avoided for use in pregnant or nursing dogs due to the potential to cause unforeseen problems. It’s possible for Xanax to remove the inhibitions of your pet, which means that instead of becoming more sedate, your dog may in fact become more aggressive and excitable. If this happens, you should seek advice from your vet, as there are many other alternatives which may be better suited to your dog to relieve them of their anxiety such as Ativan or diazepam. Remember to notify your vet of all other medication your dog is taking due to the many drugs which interact with Xanax and other drugs of the benzodiazepine class.
Uses of Xanax for dogs
Xanax may be used to treat:
- Irritable bowel syndrome
Like in humans, the most typical use of this drug is for controlling anxiety. It may be used off-label to control insomnia but it is highly recommended that you seek alternatives as there are many other medicines with less side effects that can help control your pet’s sleeplessness.
Side effects of Xanax use in dogs
Most notable side effects when using Xanax for dogs includes sedation, weakness and fatigue. In some cases, your dog may become excitable and aggressive. Other side effects may include gastrointestinal irritation, eventually leading to diarrhea and vomiting.