Use of Trazodone for Dogs: Benefits, Side Effects and Precautions

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Trazodone for Dogs

Trazodone is a commonly prescribed medication for humans and has gained recognition as a valuable tool in veterinary medicine. It increases the level of serotonin in the brain, promotes relaxation, and reduces stress. Now trazodone is commonly used off-label to treat short anxiety and behavioral disorders in dogs.

Benefits of Trazodone 

Trazodone for dogs offers several benefits when appropriately used. According to the American kennel club, it aids in managing behavioral issues in dogs, such as aggression or fear-based reactions. Here are some of the benefits below:

Anxiety Relief: Trazodone alleviates anxiety caused by separation, noise phobias, travel, or veterinary visits. It helps dogs remain calm and reduces destructive or aggressive behaviors.

Behavior Modification: Trazodone also aids in a behavior modification program. It enables dogs to focus and respond better during training or behavior therapy sessions.

Improved Quality of Life: Trazodone reduces anxiety levels and improves dog behavior. However, trazodone can significantly enhance a dog’s overall quality of life.

Dosage and Administration

Dosage of trazodone for a dog depends on various factors, such as 

1-weight

2-Age

3- overall health

A veterinarian can only prescribe the correct dosage for your dog by considering overall factors along with the specific condition. However, trazodone for dogs is typically administered orally and can be given with or without food.

Potential Side Effects

Trazodone is safe for dogs when used as directed. According to Petmd. Trazodone may cause specific side effects commonly related to the digestive system, such as vomiting, diarrhea, and nausea.

However, a high level of trazodone in the brain can cause serotonin syndrome, which is potentially life-threatening. The signs of serotonin syndrome include vomiting, diarrhea, seizures, coma, and death.

Trazodone can also cause allergic reactions or hypersensitivity in some dogs. The signs of an allergic reaction include hives, itching, swelling of the face or throat, difficulty breathing, or collapse. However, Seek immediate emergency care if the following signs of serotonin syndrome occur;

  1. Nausea or bowel disturbance
  2. Convulsions
  3. Heightened skin sensitivity
  4. Emotional distress
  5. Enlarged pupils or loss of vision
  6. Vocal expressions
  7. Excessive salivation
  8. Difficulty in breathing
  9. Feebleness or impaired coordination
  10. Confusion or disorientation

Precautions and Considerations

When using trazodone for dogs, it is crucial to follow the veterinarian’s instructions carefully, including dosage and duration of treatment. Trazodone should store at controlled temperatures between 68-77 F. Keep the container tightly closed in a safe place, away from children and other pets, as it is a prescription medication. You can also read how to keep your dog healthy. 

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