Last Updated on
Some folks depend on muscle relaxers to get them through the day.
But are these types of meds safe for dogs? After all, there are times when canines need this sort of pain relief too.
The truth is veterinarians do use muscle relaxants on pets (short-term treatment only).
Hold on though!
Do you have a personal supply that you’re considering for your dog?
It’s always a bad idea to give leftover medication and especially when it comes to muscle relaxers.
This is a very broad topic. Learn more…
Muscle Relaxers Work For Dogs But Your Vet’s Help is Required
Providing a drug like Xanax (for example) without professional guidance is not recommended.
The same goes for other less well-known brands that have similar properties including:
- Cyclobenzaprine (Flexeril)
- Tizanidine (Zanaflex)
- Carisoprodol (Soma)
- Metaxalone (Skelaxin)
There are so many skeletal muscle relaxants. And many are actually just as dangerous for dogs (if not more so) than popular pain killers or NSAIDS.
What’s absolutely certain is this:
Antispasmodic drugs could put your dog in harm’s way. Do not go it alone!
Others Worth Considering
Are there viable treatment options for when a pet has muscle pain or spasms?
There is a drug that’s FDA-approved for veterinary medicine.
Robaxin-V (Methocarbamol) is a muscle relaxer that is an option for dogs with acute muscle spasm disorders. It has a pretty good safety record.
For Reference Only: Dosing is typically around 20mg per pound of body weight.
- Dantrium AKA Dantrolene was found to be “well tolerated after oral administration” for dogs that were part of a detailed pharmacokinetic evaluation.
- Tramadol (this opioid is an option for animals)
- Benzodiazepines (Diazepam, for example, is prescribed by vets to achieve muscle relaxation)
But of course you’d need to get your dog a prescription for these. Be sure to ask about them!
Very Real Risks For Rover
It cannot be stressed enough:
Most muscle relaxers can impair or depress your dog’s central nervous system (CNS).
Toxicity may appear as overall weakness, disorientation as well as mood swings.
But that’s not all…
Serious cases of poisoning can cause seizures, coma and even death.
Overdose And Other Concerns
When it comes to muscle relaxers, it’s so important to get a diagnosis and then adhere to proper dosage.
Puppies and small breeds are particularly at risk compared to larger breeds.
Make no mistake:
Overdose can cause organ failure of the liver, kidneys and heart.
Does your dog have another existing heath problem? If so, be super careful with muscle relaxants!
The above are just a few reasons to consult with a veterinarian.
Two Safer Alternatives
This may sound far out there but acupuncture is worth looking into.
Yes, this can also be done on canines! It may be a lasting solution to a furry friend’s muscle spasms.
You could also look into a light therapy device designed specifically for dogs. It’s safe and can be beneficial in several ways including for deep muscle pain.
The Bottom Line
There are muscle relaxers that can be given to dogs.
But these pharmaceuticals require expertise and especially when it comes to pets!
Never provide your dog with a muscle relaxant that may be sitting in your medicine cabinet. Get a diagnosis!