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Human Xanax for dogs?

This forum is for dog lovers seeking everyday advice and suggestions on health-related issues. Remember, however, that advice on a public forum simply can't be a substitute for proper medical attention. Only your vet can say assuredly what is best for your dog.

  
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Rocket

Miss Boss
 
 
Barked: Sat Oct 8, '11 1:18am PST 
I know that Xanax has not been approved for use in dogs but it's a common off label usage that has been done for a long time so clearly it is okay for dogs to take. It's routinely prescribed for dogs with anxiety.

Just FYI, getting seizures from stopping Xanax is only an issue if you've taken it regularly for a long time and have become dependent/addicted to it. In those cases the Xanax has to be tapered or the person will go into withdrawal which can include seizures. If Xanax is used just occasionally there are no issues with stopping it. Of course anything that has to do with heavy duty meds like Xanax should be done in conjunction with your doctor/vet.

I would recommend using Rescue Remedy and Dramamine for the trip. Dramamine helps for motion sickness and it causes some sedation which helps the nerves. For long trips I've given my dogs both Dramamine and Benadryl (as recommended by my vet) to make sure they get sleepy. It's worked fine. Having someone sit in the backseat with the dog petting him and talking gently to him helps a lot too. In fact before I started doing this with my dogs they would always vomit during even short rides but once I started sitting with them they wouldn't vomit.
The dose of Dramamine for a dog is 50mg for a large dog. I'd talk to the vet before you give him anything though.
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Toto, CD, RN, CGC

We don't do- doodles!!!
 
 
Barked: Sat Oct 8, '11 5:26am PST 
Rocket, I may be wrong, but I believe both Dramamine and Benedryl have a form of Diphenhydramine as the active ingredient so basically if you are using both you are doubling the dose. Probably safer to use one OR the other.
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Daisy- Allison

Pretty girl
 
 
Barked: Sat Oct 8, '11 6:06am PST 
I would try the benadryl. It has helped me with anxious dogs-esp Daisy who was a puppy mill mom. She was terrified of baths when I first got her-literally frozen in fear. The last time the dogs took Benadryl was during Hurricane Irene. They were able to sleep that night. My dogs are small so I use children's benadryl. Call the vet for the dosage suggestion.

About Xanax-
Xanax and Alprazolam are the same medication. Xanax is the brand name-Alpraazolam is the generic. For serious anxiety I would try it instead of Ace. I agree with the zombie effect other posters noted from Ace. Of course I would get it from the vet-the dosage will be very different from the human dosage.
I'm an addiction counselor and Xanax/Alprazolam does induce euphoria in some people and has a pleasant calming sleepy effect on all.
So much that people can become addicted to it. This is when it would have to be discontinued (titrated) slowly, so as not to cause withdrawl seizures. I once met an addict who couldn't get xanax and took her dogs!
For occasional use in people or dogs-you don't have to worry about that.
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Duke

I'm king of the- world!
 
 
Barked: Sat Oct 8, '11 8:09am PST 
Diesel, I can relate to your problem...Duke is also a mess in the car. For the short term, I would suggest trying Dog Appeasing Pheromone (DAP) and the Through a Dog's Ear FOR CARS CD. (Not the home version--it will put you both to sleep!). DAP can also be highly effective. I find that the diffuser works better than the spray, but then you need to buy an adapter for your car for plugging in the unit. Adding herbal remedies into the mix can also help.

Through a Dog's Ear is amazing. I was astounded at how this simple arrangement of classical piano can so dramatically calm a dog. I have the whole series of CD's and play them for Duke during the day while I'm at work.

I won't ever give Duke ACE again and have never tried Xanax. I have heard of people using benadryl, but I just don't like all the drugs. I prefer to try a natural approach first.

I know how it is; it's extremely stressful and nerve-wracking to ride for any distance with a very anxious dog. I have done it many, MANY times! The CD and DAP really helped him to calm down, along with some ongoing training we do to help him "pull it together" in the car. We travel A LOT, so I am constantly reinforcing good car behavior.

For the long-term, I'd suggest trying some counterconditioning. Does Diesel ride in the car a lot? If not, or if it's only to places like the vet or the dog park, start taking him more often. Make the destinations boring sometimes, and fun other times. The goal: Show him that not all car rides end in the dreaded vet visit, nor do they all end in the super exciting dog park. It lessens the dog's anxiety/anticipation when they are conditioned to cars as just another aspect of life...sometimes exciting, sometimes boring.

Does he have a "go to mat" behavior? This helped Duke a great deal. I would put his mat in the backseat and tell him to lie down on it. Since he had already been conditioned to the mat as a calm, comfortable place where he gets lots of yummy treats, just lying on that mat would help him calm down some. I never let Duke pace. Ever. If he gets up and starts to pace, I ask him for a sit. Just this simple cue helps him to calm himself down. Sometimes I'll ask him to sit 50 times in a few minutes! I do it until he finally settles himself down and stays sitting or lies down (the latter is usually what happens...he gets sick of the constant stand-sit routine!. Just be sure NOT to use the "stay" cue because you will "ruin" the behavior if he continually breaks the stay and you can't block him from doing so.

If you can, bring along another person and reward Diesel each time he is calm (eg., lies down, stops panting, sits, etc). Be sure NOT to reward while he is being anxious...you don't want to reinforce that behavior! With Duke, I use a clicker, just because it's so much easier to mark the exact behavior with a click.

Good luck--I feel your pain! Duke is 8 and we've been working on this his whole life. It's worth it to me because I don't want his life restricted because his car anxiety. I can tell you that if you work at it, it pays off. Duke is now a much more pleasant car passenger, even occasionally dozing for a few minutes at a time!

Edited by author Sat Oct 8, '11 8:14am PST

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Adam

Vaccine free- -Disease free- goes pawinpaw
 
 
Barked: Sat Oct 8, '11 8:49am PST 
Is this just a weird thing with humans, but benadryl makes me anxious?? I don't think it happens to dogs.

I hope today goes well OP!!
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Sage CGC

Mommy's lil- princess
 
 
Barked: Sat Oct 8, '11 4:01pm PST 
Adam, it isn't only humans. Some dogs react the same way. Sage is one of those dogs.
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Sanka- I'll Miss- You

The ground is my- newspaper.
 
 
Barked: Sat Oct 8, '11 8:46pm PST 
Alprazolam is Xanax. If the vet gave you alprazolam, they gave you Xanax.

Another thing to keep in mind is that Xanax has an 11 hour half-life...so your dog will still be feeling the effects long after the car trip is over if it does anything.

Also keep in mind dosing. Xanax is usually given in small doses, think around 0.5 mg for an adult human. So, trying to dose out the human "sized" pill for a dog...it's just not safe.
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Sage CGC

Mommy's lil- princess
 
 
Barked: Sat Oct 8, '11 9:09pm PST 
Sage is .5mg. It doesn't affect her though. Doesn't help at all. I know what Xanax is. I know it's the same thing as Alprazolam.
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Rocket

Miss Boss
 
 
Barked: Sat Oct 8, '11 10:22pm PST 
Toto,

Benadryl contains Diphenhydramine and Dramamine contains Dimenhydrinate. They sound very similar but they are not the same. A lot of people get them confused though. I've given both Benadryl and Dramamine to my dogs several times after my vet suggested in and it has worked fine. They mostly just sleep during the trip but it doesn't make them groggy after the trip which is nice.
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Rocket

Miss Boss
 
 
Barked: Sat Oct 8, '11 10:27pm PST 
I was prescribed Xanax for sleep once and I got 2mg. I don't think 0.5 would do much for an adult human. Now I take Benadryl when I need it and it works the way it's supposed to for me - it puts me to sleep. The active ingredient in Benadryl is the same as in OTC sleep medications like Unisom.
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