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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My vet prescribed it to Marge for possible use during the 4th of July. I may or may not use it, depending on a couple of things. Any thoughts on the drug? He assured me that it is safe.
 

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I just posted these replies on a greyhound forum about the same topic...

I would greatly prefer valium over Ace. I've seen dogs have a bad reaction to ace (the dog fights the drug) which is worse than any phobia reaction I've ever seen. I've also seen a greyhound sedated to a very scary level with only a small dose. Ace is a drug you can overdose them on and they don't wake up. Not to be used lightly with greyhounds, in my book. Ace won't necessarily make them less fearful...they may be just as afraid, but drugged to a point of being unable to actually display any fear behaviors.

I've never tried Xanax since valium has always worked great for our dogs that have needed it, but I'd look into that before giving ace. Basically, I would use ace in a non-fear/anxiety related situation where I needed the dog sedated/quiet and there were no other good options.


....and a follow up....
We do keep Ace on hand and have/will use it. I think you took the absolute right approach by dosing the drug at the lowest and working your way up to find the right treatment dose for each dog in a non-anxiety situation. I guess my biggest hesitance in making it my "go to" drug for anxiety (or anything, really) is the difference in reaction between dogs to the same amount. Our tiny 50lb Hanna can take a large dose and is fairly unaffected other than being a bit more 'chilled' and less active, while our much larger,70lb, boy Caesar was knocked on his @$$ for an entire day on a lower amount. Haley had such a bad reaction to ace (she was terrified...her eyes were bugged out, heart racing but she just laid there and wouldn't/couldn't move) that she had me in tears and I swore I'd never use the drug again (but...I've since come around to realize that there can be a time and place for every drug). I just don't like Ace's unpredictability...I've given it to, oh, 9-10 or so hounds over the years and seen quite a bit of varying reactions. Strong reactions to low doses and weak effects on larger doses. But, it can be helpful for some dogs, as you've experienced.

I think people have to talk to their vets and may have to try a few things until they find what works for their pup.

....................

Here's a good link: http://veterinarynews.dvm360.com/dvm/article/articleDetail.jsp?id=136493&pageID=1&sk=&date=
 

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We were prescribed Acepromazine after our 85lb Berner had elbow surgery. I cannot remember what mg the pills were but they informed us to start with half a tablet to see how she reacted to it. Half a tablet did very little to calm her. So next we tried a whole tablet and it had a noticeable effect on her. She looked and acted like she was stoned and like most stoners she just wanted to relax.

Two things I noticed: Acepromazine must have a short half-life because the effects did not seem to last very long and she quickly built up a tolerance to the 1 tablet dose.
 

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I'm feeling less and less comfortable about this. Could I/should I bring it back?
I've had a lot of experience with ace and no negative side effects yet. We recommend people start at the lowest dose work up if necessary...not giving more than the vet says.

We mostly prescribe ace for thunderstorm anxiety, traveling, and have prescribed some for the fourth of July as well. We usually tell people a 1/4 to 1/2 tablet (or 1/2 to 1 depending on the animal's size). We always recommend starting at 1/4 tablet and if it works great, if not move to 1/2, etc.

Of course it's up to what you feel comfortable with. How bad is Marge with fireworks? Luckily they are banned where I live (fire danger) so Bridgette has been fine for the last 2 fourth of july's.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Yeah, after speaking to a fearful dog expert that's an acquaintance of mine, I'm not touching this stuff with a 20 foot pole. I'm sure there are situations it works well in, but I do not believe it's the best thing for my dog. So, now my next question.. does Rescue Remedy really work?
 

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For a truly fearful dog...one that is so fearful I feel I need to do something, only medication (valium) has really worked. For dogs with just some general anxiety/discomfort with fireworks/storms, Rescue Remedy, DAP and the calming cd has worked. I'd say it depends on your dog's fear level...but worth a try.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I feel like she falls closer to the general discomfort/anxiety side of the spectrum. I'm not talking pacing and panting and running aimlessly, I'm talking hiding under the desk, maybe giving a shiver or two if it gets really loud. She WILL many times take treats from my hands during thunderstorms. Not really sure if she'll be as good (or bad) with fireworks.
 

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If her fireworks response is not severe, you may want to try distraction tactics...does she have a favourite toy or game you can play with her while the noise is going on?

Have you thought about trying an anxiety wrap? I tried one on Cracker last May (Victoria day weekend in Canada), we were housesitting near to the beach where the fireworks happen and SURPRISE she got quite anxious. I took an ace bandage (long one) though you could use a length of fabric. If you google it or try youtube there will be descriptions of how to apply it. It's similar to using swaddling in an infant or a "squeeze machine" like Temple Grandin created for the cows. I was a bit desperate, didnt' know if it would work..but it did visibly calm her.
 

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We've generally stopped giving ace to owners. We still use it as a pre-med before surgery but that's in a different form (injectable) and at different levels since it is being used in conjunction with other medications. We also switch it out with diazapam (valium) depending on the dog (heart issues, medication sensitivity, etc...).

The option we now give all owners who call is to use benadryl at 1mg per pound. It's completely safe and will have a sedative affect on the dog just like it does on us.

The important thing to remember for anyone who is using ace is that it will NOT work if the dog is already upset. It absolutely must be given at least an hour or two prior to what it will be needed for. This can make it a bit hard to use and ineffectual with thunderstorms. Also as was noted it does not actually calm them down, just makes them unable to react, especially if not given enough ahead of time.
 

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We've generally stopped giving ace to owners. We still use it as a pre-med before surgery but that's in a different form (injectable) and at different levels since it is being used in conjunction with other medications. We also switch it out with diazapam (valium) depending on the dog (heart issues, medication sensitivity, etc...).
That's interesting. Before I started at my veterinary clinic they gave out diazepam (Valium) as a sedative, but I just found out this week we stopped giving it to people because of issues with abusing it!

We do script it out to people who really need it (and we have injectable) but we no longer have the pills.
 

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Oh sorry, didn't type that well. I meant we switch the ace with valium as a pre-op med. We basically never give it out to people.
 

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Oh sorry, didn't type that well. I meant we switch the ace with valium as a pre-op med. We basically never give it out to people.
Ah got it!
 
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