Acepromazine experiences

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mtlu
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Acepromazine experiences

Postby mtlu » Sun Dec 27, 2009 11:54 pm

I'm starting this thread to describe the effects of Acepromazine because I have had to use it on my dog a few times in the last several days for post-surgical/recovery reasons. Since it seems to be commonly prescribed by vets after surgical procedures and for issues like separation anxiety, this might be useful for people to understand what it is and what it does. Hopefully others who have had experiences with using Acepromazine can also share their experiences here.

I remembered an earlier topic a while back about Acepromazine related to fearful dogs and air transport so I PM'd Red for her advice about Ace prior to my Molly's surgery as the vet had run through the list of drugs she would have to take post-op during our consult. Since Red's description of what the drug does is so clear, I have quoted it here:

Red wrote:Yes, it was probably me who said something about Acepromazine because it is prescribed for fearful dogs when it should be a big no no.It is basically a dopamine antagonist that decreases locomotor responsiveness and therefore both abnormal and normal behavior. It does not affect emotions in a productive manner and that is why it should not be used for prior a flight ( it has an effect on body thermoregulation as well), vet procedures or any other situations in which stress and fear are present. Pretty much you have a dog who cannot move but is still capable to experience emotions.Imagine a fearful dog in a situation that frighten him, can hear and smell, but cannot fully react to the environment. On top of that there are possible side effects such as increased noise sensitivity, muscle spasms, body temperature and more.

That said, ACE can be used on easy going dogs who don't have a care in the world, for a short amount of time.


A few nights ago, I gave Molly a full pill of Ace about 45 minutes before we were supposed to go out to dinner at a friend's house. The previous two nights, I had given Molly half pills of Ace to help her sleep through the night. The Acepromazine was prescribed by my vet as an anti-anxiety medication to help her recover from surgery and to soften the effects of the Tramadol pain reliever that was also prescribed. When we were ready to leave, Molly became extremely stressed (heavy, rapid panting and whining) so I told my BF to go and I would join him later when I felt like Molly had sufficiently calmed down. It took another hour for her to calm down, but even then I could tell she was still stressed. She was panting less and lying on her side but her eyes were completely bloodshot.

I decided to stay home that night so I could monitor any other reactions. Nothing else happened – Molly's reactions were really mild but after reading about the dramatic effects described in a thread from another forum member (see paragraph 6 of OP and subsequent thread comments towards the end of page 1: viewtopic.php?f=2&t=129990), I'm glad I stayed home to keep watch on her.

msvette2u

Re: Acepromazine experiences

Postby msvette2u » Mon Dec 28, 2009 12:25 am

I routinely used ace (injectable) in my work as ACO, but usually in conjunction with xylazine (injectable)
http://www.drugs.com/vet/xylazine-hcl-injection.html , which is how I preferred to use it - the combination worked much better than either drug alone. I'd never have used ace by itself since safety is a huge factor in what I was doing and ace is iffy as to whether or not it will even work.
For simple sedation (like for thunderstorms) I prefer to use 1-2mg./lb of Benadryl.

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Re: Acepromazine experiences

Postby heartbullies » Mon Dec 28, 2009 1:36 am

I've also used Ace but only in a combo for knocking out animals that needed to be handled when otherwise impossible/unsafe.

Booker gets wacked out on Ace tablets, not sure about injectable, but he got Ace tabs during the un-happy tail debacle and it did NOT have a tranquilizing effect.

A former dog (who was possibly the most confident bullheaded dog in the world) had no problems with it orally or injected and it worked well for him after surgery.

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Re: Acepromazine experiences

Postby Kingsgurl » Mon Dec 28, 2009 2:36 am

Martin had an EXTREMELY bad reaction to Ace. He is a fearful dog at the vet and we thought it would take the edge off........NOT. As soon as he started the head bob, he freaked out. His temp skyrocketed and he looked like he was trying desparately to swim (once he was on his side) I had to hold him to keep him from hurting himself he was thrashing so bad. Total panic. He vomited too. They tried giving him Valium. It was AWFUL. Poor little guy.

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Re: Acepromazine experiences

Postby PitFriend » Mon Dec 28, 2009 8:33 am

Two of my dogs had negative reactions to Ace tabs. With my yellow lab, she wasn't tranquilized at all. It was like Red described, the dog couldn't move, but she was still clearly very stressed and anxious, panting, whining incessantly, and eventually urinating all over herself and her bed. Even after the medication was out of her system she was exhausted and it took a day or two for her to recover from the effects. It was horrible to watch.

I also gave Ace to Riley once, thinking my lab's reaction had been uncommon. Riley didn't react quite as badly, but she fought the effects of the drug and was very very stressed out. I won't touch the stuff anymore.

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Re: Acepromazine experiences

Postby pblove » Mon Dec 28, 2009 9:09 am

seriously wth is wrong with these vets?
I have lost my confidence with vets and reading this thread reinforces why.
Reading these posts sickens me, all that stress/anxiety personlly prescribed by their vets!!!.
Did any of your vets even tell/warn you there could be such a negative reaction??
(I have had some bad experiencs with Ace/horses too)

msvette2u

Re: Acepromazine experiences

Postby msvette2u » Mon Dec 28, 2009 11:36 am

Our horse vet uses straight xylazine for our horses. It amazes me constantly that it affects them so much in smaller dosages than it takes for dogs!
I don't think vets do it to be mean or anything, they just know it works on some dogs and so it might work on them all.
I did use an ace tablet I got from the vet when I brought Corey, our feral border collie foster, in for a neuter. It made him more handleable but you could tell it wasn't ideal for him.
The last time I had a feral dog to bring in to the vet I did request my ace/xylazine combo for her and I still much prefer the two in conjunction with each other- they xylazine cancels out the side effects of the ace and vise-versa.
FTR, the other nice thing about the injectables are it can be given sub-cu or IM. IM works much more quickly than sub-cu but if time is not of the essence, sub-cu works just fine. Plus there's no worry about them not eating drug-laced food when you inject it all (in chemical capture scenarios).

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Re: Acepromazine experiences

Postby Sarah » Mon Dec 28, 2009 11:46 am

When I was working for a vet, we'd use the ace in a combo to sedate before anesthesia (high risk animals were just gassed down, but most were sedated first). I think they may have prescribed the ace occasionally as a tranquilizer for unusual circumstances, but I'd never heard of it being used for behavioral issues. I never saw a problem with it at that practice. My dogs have never had it, unless it were given one of the few times they were under anesthesia.

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Re: Acepromazine experiences

Postby mtlu » Mon Dec 28, 2009 12:24 pm

Thanks for sharing your experiences everyone. I feel really lucky that Molly did not have a truly adverse reaction to the drug but it was still hard to watch her as she was clearly still very stressed but just could not do anything physically – just like PitFriend described with one of her dogs and Red's description.

I did talk to my vet about Ace before I accepted the prescription for it but he did not seem overly concerned about adverse effects and wanted us to use it first instead of going to another alternative. I think in our case too, because this is post-TPLO, his primary concern is to help us keep her as inactive as possible. I do trust his experience and I do think he is the type of doctor that would alter his recommended protocols if he got a lot of feedback that something wasn't working.

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Re: Acepromazine experiences

Postby Misskiwi67 » Mon Dec 28, 2009 8:01 pm

Acepromazine is commonly (and safely) used as a pre-anesthetic medication and has very few side effects when used prior to anesthesia. If the OP's vet wants to use Acepromazine as part of the anesthetic protocol, then I wouldn't worry about it at all.

As a sedative to be used at home, I have mixed feelings on the matter. Every dog reacts very differently to this medication, and I tell everyone its sortof like wine... some people need a glass, others need a bottle, but you should always start with the lowest dose an monitor your dog closely until you determine their best dose. I give the stuff out like water during 4th of July, and give it to owners who specifically request a sedative for travel. There are other anti-anxiety and anti-vomiting medications available that make Ace lower on my list unless sedation is the #1 effect needed (for barkers etc.) I'm considered "wierd" by my co-workers because I don't reach for Ace first (it is, after all, the cheapest)...

I have prescribed tablets to probably over 100 clients, and only ONE has ever come back to me saying their dog had a bad reaction... so I really do think this thread is heavily biased. Either that, or people are failing to tell their vets some very important information. Every client gets told what the potential side effects are, and I will not prescribe it to dogs with behavior issues as it can decrease the "filters" that keep a fearful dog from biting.

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Re: Acepromazine experiences

Postby Allie » Mon Dec 28, 2009 8:23 pm

My old lady will sometimes take one before vet visits because she has a particularly hard time with going to the vet. We've never had any problems with it at all.

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Re: Acepromazine experiences

Postby Red » Tue Dec 29, 2009 12:46 am

Misskiwi67 wrote:... so I really do think this thread is heavily biased. Either that, or people are failing to tell their vets some very important information.


Perhaps, but then again some vets are just reluctant to hear anything period, and they have very little understanding of the behavioral issues involved with a dog they prescribe this drug for. I don't know of many veterinary behaviorist who prescribe Ace like it is water, especially when it comes to certain dogs, and there is a reason for it.I had to literally fight with one of the vets I was using over Ace, the last time an attempt to prescribe it to one of my client's dog was done. I refused it, and provided a explanation of the reasons behind it but despite that the attitude was "well, I am the vet". True, and I would not dream to argue with a vet's advice on so many other things I know nothing of, but I happen to be behavior consultant and to know which drugs can be used and which are to be the last option is part of my job. Sure many dogs have been fine with it, and I think I made it a point to mention that when talking to anyone who ask. But, I'll say that none of the dogs I work with (significant behavioral issues are involved) will be sedated with Ace when I am the person to handle them or when i am working with a behavior modification change protocol. Not looking to be bitten when handling a dog under Ace who is overcoming the drug initial effect.

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Re: Acepromazine experiences

Postby Misskiwi67 » Tue Dec 29, 2009 10:46 am

Ace is given to anyone with a healthy dog who needs sedation during 4th of July fireworks... NOT for dogs with issues biting etc...

And I would never force Ace on someone who wanted to try something else... there's what, a dozen other options out there for behavioral management??? Ace is for sedation ONLY... not for behavioral management. How is a dog supposed to get re-conditioned when they're no longer aware of their surroundings anyway, Ace is a stupid choice for behavioral consults. In this, I'm in 100% agreement with you.

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Re: Acepromazine experiences

Postby msvette2u » Tue Dec 29, 2009 11:20 am

Yeah, I've never heard of ace being given for a behavior problem, it is a sedative (potentially) that lowers their inhibitions and can cause biting in a dog who'd not bite otherwise.
Miss, do you ever recommend plain benadryl for a 4th of July stressed dog to help with sedation?

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Re: Acepromazine experiences

Postby Red » Tue Dec 29, 2009 12:05 pm

msvette2u wrote:Yeah, I've never heard of ace being given for a behavior problem,


And yet it is given during the 4th of July. A dog's response to fireworks, which involve stress and fear, IS a behavioral issue, and so it should be treated.


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