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NancyH
NancyH, Dog Expert:Rescue, Train,Breed,Care
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 31958
Experience:  30+ yrs dog home vet care & nursing, rescue, behavior&training, responsible show breeding, genetics
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dying lab

Customer Question

My 11yr old lab has cancer. He has gone down hill fast as of last night. We dont want to take him to the vet, we want him at home as the vet said their is nothing they can do at this point. Will a canine tranquilizer kill him or just help him rest or make his breathing more difficult?
Submitted: 11 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  NancyH replied 11 years ago.
Let me say this carefully and I hope I can do it right - you really should not attempt home euthaniasia on your own. It is in some areas considered cruelty and if someone learns about it you could be in trouble and if you make an error you will be heartsick about it.
However I do know that vets can be helpful in this area and that some if asked will come to your home and do the euthanasia for you.
How a drug would work on the dog depends on how weak the dog is and how powerful the medication is. I know you would not want to cause your dog harm or undue pain during your pet's passing. See if there are any mobile vets in your area if your vet won't help you with this.
I hope this helps you and I'm sorry I can't give you an easy answer!
Customer: replied 11 years ago.
Reply to Nancy Holmes's Post: Nancy, We are not trying to euthanize him. I am just trying to find out if a tranquilizer will make it harder for him to breath and end up making him more uncomfortable. His resperations are 36, heart rate 120. The tranq is acepromazine.

Thank you,
Amy
Expert:  NancyH replied 11 years ago.
Sorry for the confusion we do get questions like that. Let me see if I can do better answering your real question!
Acepromazine doesn't have any pain-killing effects.
It can cause hypotension (lowering of blood pressure).
The recommended dosage for acepromazine is 0.25mg to 1mg per pound of body weight.
Acepromazine also can stabilize the rhythm of the heart in certain situations.
From this site
http://www.marvistavet.com/html/body_acepromazine.html
Acepromazine is not consistently absorbed into the body when given orally. This means that some pets are hardly tranquilized while others are heavily sedated. More consistent results are obtained with the injectable product.

Acepromazine is best not used in patients where circulation is in question. Acepromazine dilates blood vessels which leads to a drop in blood pressure. Injured patients or patients in shock should not have this medication.

Acepromazine should not be used in patients with seizure disorders. Acepromazine lowers the threshold to seizures. This is not important in normal patients but could be important in epileptic pets.

Acepromazine should not be used in anemic patients. By dilating the blood vessels in the spleen, Acepromazine use leads to increased red blood cell storage in the spleen, leading to an approximately 5% drop in red cell count. This is not important in normal pets but if there has already been a blood loss this drop in red cell count could be significant.

Acepromazine should not be used in patients with known liver disease. Acepromazine is removed from the body by the liver and if the liver is not working, tranquilization can be markedly prolonged.

from this site
http://www.wedgewoodpharmacy.com/monographs/AcepromazineMaleate.asp
It may change heart and respiratory rate, and thermoregulatory ability allowing for either hypo- or hyperthermia.


From what I am reading on this it has sedative effects but will drop the blood pressure or effect his breathing which may not be what you want to do for your pet at this time. It is implicated in the deaths of some dogs particularly Boxers.

Hope this is more helpful!
NancyH, Dog Expert:Rescue, Train,Breed,Care
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 31958
Experience: 30+ yrs dog home vet care & nursing, rescue, behavior&training, responsible show breeding, genetics
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