Last Updated on
Can anxious dogs be given Diazepam?
It’s a great question because this sedative medication, AKA Valium, would seem to be useful for certain stressful situations (ie. fireworks and thunderstorms).
But is it safe enough?
Here’s the deal:
Being a powerful controlled substance, this drug can have serious side effects. You should consider it risky to give your dog Diazepam.
With that being said, vets do use it.
But it is often the case that dogs are weaned off to prevent aggressive behavior. Safer alternatives should really be considered.
Some Dogs Can Take Diazepam
A veterinarian must prescribe it. Do not go it alone!
This particular muscle-relaxant is sometimes used to treat the condition known as Separation Anxiety or to stimulate an appetite.
Diazepam, which is a type of benzodiazepine, is also a valuable anti-epileptic for dogs with Status Epilepticus (SE).
In other words…
It can be a life saver though there is a real potential for harm. So, whatever the situation, be cautious about providing Valium to your pet dog.
Precautions For Pets
Pregnant or nursing dogs as well as those with liver or kidney problems should never be given Valium (or equivalent).
Diazepam absorption can quickly reach the placenta (sedating unborn puppies and overdosing them).
Several Side Effects
The most common Valium side effects include:
- Respiratory problems
- Loss of appetite
Immediately stop the medication and go to a veterinarian if your dog experiences any of these.
It is also essential to avoid dehydration — be sure to provide plenty of fresh water (especially if your dog vomits or has diarrhea).
Careful of Overdose
Giving your dog any type of human-formulated sedative is potentially dangerous and you can never totally eliminate risks.
Closely monitor for lethargy and/or clumsiness. It may become difficult for Fido to stand up.
Coma has been known to occur in some dogs on too much Valium (or most other anti-anxiety meds).
Certainly get help if your dog somehow eats many Diazepam pills.
Forced vomiting and a laxative will likely be recommended.
Warning: Death is possible from a massive Valium overdose.
Use For Epileptic Dogs
Caring for an epileptic dog can be scary (especially the first time a seizure occurs).
Thanfully there are special medications. Anticonvulsants, for easing seizure symptoms, should be looked into.
It is true that Diazepam, and other muscle relaxers, are used to control seizures.
Very seldom is it a realistic long-term solution. Dogs tend to quickly develop a tolerance.
Yes, a vet may prescribe Valium for seizures.
But, again, later they may need to be weaned off Diazepam and put on something more sustainable.
The Bottom Line
Diazepam has valid uses, but get your dog a proper diagnosis first.
Use of this drug requires professional guidance. Diazepam is a strong sedative muscle relaxant that comes with significant dangers.
There are usually better solutions for a dog’s anxiousness or other medical condition.