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Discussion Starter #1
I was wondering if anyone had any experience giving their dog an oral sedative prior to going to the vet?

My dog is not one to stay still but does ok when the vet uses treats to do exams or give routine shots. However for something like blood work where they need to hold the dogs leg and for him to stay steady for a longer period he starts freaking out a bit and at over 70 pounds it's a bit of a task. Plus I feel like if we don't get it done the first time each time we try again it just increases the stress for him.

So for this purpose I don't mind giving him a sedative as I think it will help make the process go quick and relieve unneeded stress.

My vet recommended Acepromazine but I've read mixed reviews. It seems to slow the dogs response yet his state of mind stays the same. The following article seems to explain it well and suggests valium or Xanax as a better alternative...

http://fearfuldogs.com/acepromazine/

Any thoughts are appreciated as I'm really conflicted as to what is best now. Thanks!
 

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We give Jules ace 30 min before leaving for the vet. She stresses so bad at the vet we had to drag her into the vet and then it was pretty much impossible to check her ears or do anything else to her. We have used the ace twice now and I have to say I love it! She is not stress and just lays down in the exam room. She does still struggle a little with her ears but she doesn't freak out and then she settles much quicker after.

I do know that what works for her may not work for your guy but you could try it and if it doesn't work as well for you then try something else ?.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Good to hear your experience with it. Still hoping to hear some more feedback before deciding what's best for my dog...
 

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I've only heard bad things about ACE, personally. My old vet gave it to us to use for my dog and he was sedated but clearly still anxious.

My current vet has sedated my dog for a full checkup, I'm not sure what she used but it was injectable and totally put him out. That worked much better for him. He's been in since and hasn't been sedated and managed to make it through the appointment.

Have you considered calming meds or OTC products?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
He is fine if we use food to do things like routine shots, exams...but for something like a blood draw where he "needs" to stay still for a little while and be somewhat held he starts throwing his body around, at over 70 pounds of muscle it's not the best scenario for a blood draw :( He acted that way the last visit, but it's possible he was like that because he was in pain and I didn't have time to prepare as it was an emergency visit (normally I would excersise him before him and prepare some food to bring that he is absolutely crazy about to distract him while getting things done)

Here's the possible outcomes I forsee:

A. I don't give him a sedative and he tolerates the blood draw (best case scenario)

B. I don't give him the sedative and same experience happens (he does not stay throwing his body around). Then not sure what we would try next.

Here's the thing, a while back he had a bad experience at another vet, they were only doing a simple exam and he was absolutely fine. They did not introduce themselves to my dog and tightly restrained and then towards the end of the exam when he started to resist the tech nearly wrestled with him to the ground. All happened so fast and they didn't even communicate what they were going to do so I was kinda taken by surprise.

Ever since then he was somewhat hesitant going into vet's offices and we shopped around until I found one that I absolutely loved and took their time to do what worked best for him.

So now my fear is that we worked so hard and he's made so much progress to now happily go into the vet's office, I don't want to backtrack and regress, make sense?
 

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ACE essentially sedates the body, but not the mind. The physical ability to run/fight/struggle has been dramatically reduced while the dog is mentally still completely aware. There have been cases of animals "breaking through" ACE when under enough stress. The veterinary behaviorist I take classes with has also recounted situations where dogs given ACE dramatically escalated in their aggressive response long-term (since you're taking away the ability to fight or flee but leaving them fully cognizant, you're setting them up to become more aggressive next time, IMO).

Personally, it's not a drug I would use. I'd talk to a vet about alternatives that also have a mental sedative effect.

In this case, it sounds like the dog just doesn't like to be restrained? I would look for a vet that practices "humane handling" or runs a "fear free clinic". Some clinics will let you restrain the dog, as well- others don't because it is a liability issues. I'd also suggest working on him allowing people to restrain him.

Beyond that, I would probably choose not to drug this dog. Being drugged can be a frightening experience for a dog in and of itself, especially with something like ACE. Work on getting him used to restraint and look into a clinic that will go at his pace and possible even let you do the restraint- sometimes that will help.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for the feedback! I've decided to put it off for a little longer (I am in no rush) to work with him more on desensitizing him to tolerate procedures better.

On another note, I've heard a lot of people had luck with Melatonin to kinda take the edge off. I searched online and found this one for dogs:

https://www.amazon.com/Melatonin-3-m.../dp/B007D8BDLW

or this one for people:

https://www.amazon.com/Nature-Made-M...ords=Melatonin

Anyone know is there a difference which I get or one preferred over the other? Thought it would be worth a shot. Thanks!
 
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