Independence Day may mean a fun holiday weekend for people, but it can represent an entirely different meaning to our furry friends. Fireworks can push even our bravest pets to the brink of panic and fear. Sometimes gentle comforting, or maybe some soothing aromatherapy or a favorite toy, can ease their minds.
But sometimes that’s not enough. In those cases, you may wish to discuss some medications with your veterinarian to help ease your pet through the explosive evening and keep them safe.
It is important to know that while there are a multitude of medications for pets to help them deal with anxiety and panic disorders, many of these medications can take weeks or even months to begin working.
With Independence Day right around the corner, some pet owners will need medication that can reach therapeutic levels more quickly. With that in mind, faster-acting medications for high anxiety situations are most likely the best choice.
At RxSaver, we want both you and your pet to have an anxiety-free celebration. The following is a brief overview of some of these medications, and by using a RxSaver coupon, you can reduce the anxiety that burdens your pet and your wallet.
To save on prescription drugs for you and your furry friends, don’t forget to use RxSaver to find discount coupons on prescription medications at nearby pharmacies.
Situational Anxiety Medications
These medications work quickly and effectively to decrease anxiety for situations that can cause panic in pets. These medications could provide relief within a few hours and are readily available at your local pharmacy with a prescription from your veterinarian.
- Alprazolam (Xanax) – One of the most used medications for anxiety in humans can also be used in pets. Alprazolam is available in a tablet or an oral suspension and is suitable for a variety of animals.
- Diazepam (Valium) – Diazepam is also suited for a variety of animals and is available in a tablet, liquid, or injectable. It is important to note that cats may need liver enzyme tests before prescribing as it can affect the liver when used more than a few days in a row.
- Lorazepam (Ativan) – This is another anxiety medication that works quickly and is available in a tablet or liquid form and can be used in a variety of animals.
- Trazodone (Oleptro) – This medication is more commonly used for anxiety and sleep disorders in humans, but with a good safety profile in dogs and cats, it is becoming more popular for short-term anxiety situations.
Sedatives For Pets
Sedative medications are more commonly used to increase sleepiness or lethargy in pets. Usually, they would be used if your pet needed an X-ray or needed to move around less. In other cases, a medication that may normally be used for one thing but has sedating side effects can be safely used in situational anxiety. This is called “off-label” use and is common practice in certain situations.
- Chlorpromazine (Thorazine) – This medication is mostly used to treat nausea and vomiting in pets, but the most common side effect is sedation, which leads to it being used off-label for short-term anxiety events.
- Phenobarbital (Solfoton) – Phenobarbital is used mainly for seizure disorders but has a strong sedative side effect profile, making it a commonly used medication for events like Independence Day.
- Diphenhydramine (Benadryl) – Diphenhydramine is usually given for allergic reactions, but also can be used as a mild sedative in certain situations due to it causing sleepiness. It is not as potent as others on this list, but if you feel your pet only needs a little help, then your vet may opt for this readily available medication.
- Chlorpheniramine (Chlor-Trimeton) – Another mildly sedating medication, chlorpheniramine is commonly used for allergies but can also cause general fatigue and sleepiness in pets. Like Benadryl, it is not as potent as others on this list, so take that into account when talking with your veterinarian.
It is important to remember that no pet should ever take human medication unless under the direct supervision of a veterinarian as there are inactive ingredients and drug absorption tendencies that could potentially cause them harm.
If you do decide that your pet may need extra help getting through the big celebration, be sure to prepare the living area, bed, or kennel for their comfort, and check on them regularly. Once you know your pet is relaxed and able to get through the evening events, you may find that it allows you and your family to celebrate the festivities with a little less anxiety of your own.
Kevin Shores, PharmD
Kevin Shores is a consultant pharmacist and educator in Tallahassee, FL. He obtained his Doctor of Pharmacy from Mercer University in Atlanta, GA. As a consultant pharmacist, he enjoys helping independent pharmacies increase their clinical patient care while improving profitability and lowering customer costs.
The information on this site is generalized and is not medical advice. It is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgment of your healthcare professional. Always seek the advice of your healthcare professional with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard seeking advice or delay in seeking treatment because of something you have read on our site. RxSaver makes no warranty as to the accuracy, reliability or completeness of this information.
If you are in crisis or you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately.
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