Side Effects of the Acepromazine Dog Tranquilizer

by Jeff Katz
    Acepromazine is prescribed by many veterinarians for pets who suffer from anxiety and other disorders.

    Acepromazine is prescribed by many veterinarians for pets who suffer from anxiety and other disorders.

    Photodisc/Photodisc/Getty Images

    Acepromazine, which may be administered to patients orally or intravenously, is generally used as a sedative or stress-reducer for pets. The drug is also utilized by veterinarians before a pet is given anesthesia in preparation for a medical procedure. Some vets prescribe acepromazine for other ailments, such as nausea, motion sickness, muscle spasms and itching. There are, however, a number of potential side effects of which pet owners should be aware.

    While acepromazine has many benefits, the drug should be used only after a thorough consultation with a certified veterinarian. Experts at the Veterinary Anesthesia & Analgesia Support Group and VCA Animal Hospitals warn that caution should be used if a patient suffers from kidney, liver or heart disease, or if the patient has low blood pressure. Additionally, pets who are older and very large dog breeds have a greater risk of experiencing a side effect.

    A number of potential side effects exist for acepromazine, including seizures (particularly in epileptic patients), urine discoloration, respiratory rate change, constipation, reduced blood pressure, convulsions, shock and vomiting. There is also a possibility that acepromazine will interact poorly with certain other drugs if your pet is taking other medication. Again, as with any drug, it is crucial to consult with your vet prior to the use of acepromazine.

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    About the Author

    Jeff Katz has been a professional librarian, educator, historian, writer and editor for almost 20 years. He holds a Master of Library Science degree from the University of British Columbia and a BA degree in Classical Studies from Hunter College of the City University of New York.

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