Your pet has been sent home with Acepromazine. This is a very strong tranquilizer, and the intent of its use is to calm your pet, making her/him more content being less active in the post-operative phase of her/his rehabilitation. Each animal may be more or less sensitive to the effects of this medication. Thus, it can be difficult for us to determine the exact dosage appropriate for your pet. We have given you an average dose, based on your pet's size and age, and we may need to adjust this dose to achieve the desired effect. It is extremely difficult to overdose and cause significant harm with this drug. If your pet is more sensitive to the medication he/she may become very sedate, and sometimes uncoordinated, his/her eyes may appear red and the third eyelid (a pink fleshy eyelid that people don't have, in the inner corner of the eye socket) may become prominent. Some pets can fall into a deep sleep and be difficult to arouse for several hours. What most typically happens with a high dosage is that the pet will sleep for approximately 12 hours and then wake up and be normal.
Animals that have been lightly tranquilized with Acepromazine can be aroused out of their tranquilization. That is, should they see an appropriate stimulus, their adrenaline will start flowing and they can act normal for a while. However, once they have been placed in a quieter environment, the tranquilizer will again take hold and they will become tranquil.
Acepromazine is readily metabolized by the liver. As you continue to administer this drug to your pet, the liver will become more adept at getting rid of the drug in your pet's system. Hence, you may need to increase the drug dose almost on a weekly basis, to continue to achieve the desired sedative effect. We recommend increasing the drug by 1/2 tablet at a time. Generally, the drug should be given three times a day, as needed. When a dose is given, it will take 20-30 minutes for the drug to take effect. Obviously, the longer your pet needs to be on Acepromazine, the more judicious should your use of the drug be, as within several week's time the liver becomes so adept at getting rid of the drug that an extremely high dose of the tranquilizer no longer has any effect. Interestingly, within a few weeks of discontinuing Acepromazine, your pet will once again become susceptible to a very low dose of the drug. This drug is not addictive.
In very few cases, some pets may have an abnormal reaction to Acepromazine and become hyperactive, aggressive or suffer a personality change. This is extremely rare and the effects go away as the drug wears off. Some pets (especially spayed females), may also have mild urinary incontinence while on the drug.
Some people do not feel comfortable with the side effects of this medication. The purpose of placing your pet on this drug is to decrease their tendencies to become overactive and undo or damage the repairs made during surgery. If you can achieve your pet's tranquility through confinement, or if their inherent personality is mellow, then minimal use of this drug would be needed.
Should you have any questions, please give us a call, our staff is always happy to help you. Thank you for letting us give your pet the extra special type of care it deserves.