- Can I Give My Dog Valium?
- How Long Does Diazepam Take To Work In Dogs?
- Rare and Serious Side Effects
- Other Medications
Anxiety, seizures, and epilepsy often occur when an influx of neurotransmitters fire off in the brain overloading the system. As such Diazepam — brand name Valium — is typically prescribed to help better manage these neurotransmitters from rapidly firing off in your central nervous system. It is sometimes prescribed as a muscle relaxant or to treat seizure disorders.
It does this by promoting the production of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) in the brain which will stifle pathways neurotransmitters take to the brain. The hope is it blocks just enough neurotransmitters to return behavior and activity levels to normal.
Because of the delicate nature of how drugs like valium work, it’s common to see side effects, especially with prolonged use. However, many of these side effects aren’t bad, and when used to treat in tandem with other drugs it can help treat medical conditions such as IBS and appetite loss. Another drug Valium is mixed with is anesthesia as it will you relax beforehand.
But with its powerful effects and sensitive nature, many are left wondering if they can give valium to their dogs.
Can I Give My Dog Valium?
Diazepam may be safe for dogs but it should never be administered without a prescription from your veterinarian. Consult your veterinarian before administering valium for dogs, cats, or small mammals. Veterinary approval can help to prevent a negative reaction.
Due the strong relaxation and tranquilizing effects of benzodiazepines, the most common side effects associated with Valium are drowsiness, depression, poor energy, sedation, and changes in heart rate. As well, vomiting and diarrhea are potential side effects to see as well. There is also some risk that the medicine will change your dog’s behavior, so be on the lookout for behavioral problems.
It’s important to monitor the degree of these effects as many dogs will display one or two. If your dog becomes pregnant, even in the first trimester, it is important to consult with your veterinarian to ensure that it is safe for your dog to continue to take it.
Lethargic Behavior and Drowsiness
Remember valium works by blocking neurotransmitters from overloading the brain, but by blocking too many signals, it could affect your dog’s energy levels. Dogs sleep a lot and love taking frequent naps, but if you notice they’re sleeping more or harder to wake up and get going, then the culprit could be Valium.
You’ll want to look for other symptoms such as them bumping into things, clustiness, and other signs of discoordination. If you notice these symptoms, immediately call your vet. While it’s likely that they are signs that your dog is taking just a little bit too much, they can also be early warning signs of an overdose.
Changes in Heart and Slow Breathing
When giving your dog valium, you will almost undoubtedly notice a change in your dog's heart rate and breathing. They should both mildly slow down, and this is fine as the medication is doing its job and controlling over excitement.
Cardiac arrest is a sign of an overdose so always follow the recommended appropriate valium dosage for dogs that your vet will set.
Vomiting and Diarrhea
It feels like nearly every drug has nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea as a side effect. That’s because it’s common for the body to attempt to fight a foreign drug even when it helps. In most cases, these effects quickly pass once the body learns that the drug isn’t a threat. Like all side effects, if the vomiting and diarrhea seem concerning call your vet immediately.
When attempting to block signals from entering the brain, weird things can happen such as minor personality changes. Your dog may experience a bout of aggression or become obsessive-compulsive over something like licking their paws.
Both of these issues should stay minor or not display themselves at all. When you give your dog valium you may see increased appetite or sometimes less hungry. This side effect of valium is much less worry-some, but you should still monitor it. Make sure you note any side effects even when mild so you can bring it up to your vet next time you see them.
Valium has addictive properties and as such when giving your dog Valium withdrawal symptoms can happen. The longer they are on the drug / heavier dosages will result in a more noticeable withdrawal.
Your vet will be a great help with discontinuing use. They may find that a gradual decline in dosage is more appropriate instead of dropping the drug cold turkey.
There are some potential drug interactions to look out for with Valium for dogs. Medications known for adverse interactions include:
- Sodium oxybate
How Long Does Diazepam Take To Work In Dogs?
The process of diazepam working in a dog is not entirely understood, but it's safe to say that the effects take at least an hour or two.
The answer may seem simple on paper: about one-to-two hours after ingestion. However, research has shown this isn't always true as people have felt some effect from taking doses up to six hours later; however there are also cases where no wait time was necessary and animals were showing signs within minutes - so when should you start paying attention if your animal needs help with their anxiety levels? If they're struggling with self-harm behaviors like excessive barking or licking themselves compulsively (obsessive-compulsive disorder), experiencing panic attacks
Rare and Serious Side Effects
Anemia, liver damage, and severe bruising/bleeding are the most serious side effects when giving Valium to dogs. Fortunately, these serious valium side effects are usually only seen with long-term use. However, there is one serious side effect that can happen the first time you give your dog valium and that’s an allergic reaction that can lead to an overdose.
You must seek immediate medical attention if you notice signs of an allergic reaction: rapid change in breathing, asphyxiation, extreme lethargy, irritation, and whining/crying. You should not have to worry about an allergic reaction after the first few time administering, so you won’t have to monitor as closely after the first few times.
Many pet owners are finding that it treats their dog’s anxiety without making them feel sluggish, aloof, or changing their personality. When used under close guidance with your vet, valium for your dog will likely help treat anxiety conditions while reaming free of side effects. Now, sometimes certain dogs do not react well to Diazepam and this is a concern because valium side effects in dogs can be quite serious. If this is a concern, there are natural options that preset lower side effects such as Innovet's PurCBD.
When looking into anti-anxiety medication, CBD is an excellent natural alternative treatment with no side effects. Although diazepam is generally harmless for dogs, there is a small amount of risk associated with this medication and that is why we always promote natural alternatives. Nothing negative about the diazepam, we just prefer no potential of risk at all to our fur babies and feel no need for administration of a drug unless it's deemed necessary by a veterinarian.