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Dr. Marie
Dr. Marie, Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 3938
Experience:  Compassionate licensed veterinarian with >20 years experience with cats, dogs and pocket pets
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My 75lb. Dalmatian has ingested one 4mg Zanaflex ...

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My 75lb. Dalmatian has ingested one 4mg Zanaflex tablet. Is this an emergency?

Hi there and thanks for your question.

This is a drug for which we do not have good information as far as what dose will be toxic. However, I will give you some things to look for and together we should be able to decide what to do.

Zanaflex or tizanidine is what is called an alpha-2 agonist. It can cause sedation, and more seriously bradycardia (which is slowing of the heart rate). It would be a good idea to measure your dog's heartrate. You can do this by feeling for the heart beating on the left side of the chest just behind the elbow. Count how many beats you feel in 10 seconds and then multiply by 6. A 75 lb dog at rest should have a heart rate between 70 and 120 or so. If this is significantly less than 70 then there may be a cause for concern.

If you think your dog is sedated and has a low heart rate then I would recommend an emergency vet visit. The effects of this drug can be reversed by an injection of a medication called yohimbine.

Also, if the tablet was ingested within the last 30-60 minutes it would be good to induce vomiting by giving 1 tbsp 3% hydrogen peroxide orally every 5 minutes until the dog vomits. However, this does come with a slight risk of aspiration, so only do this if your dog just recently ingested the medication.

You may want to also call poison control for animals to be sure. They will likely have more information as far as just which dose is toxic. The number is(NNN) NNN-NNNN They will charge $60 to a credit card.

I hope this info helps! If you have more questions, just hit reply, or if my answer has helped please hit accept.

Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie and 3 other Dog Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Greetings. Molly's heart rate is about 70 right now...it has slowed down for sure...but, she is up walking around and seems just a little sedated. I will keep checking her heart rate and get to the vet if she goes down. She is a VERY curious dog that eats anything that is not nailed down...think I need to lock down my meds. Thank you.

You're very welcome. I would suggest that you keep checking the heart rate every 15-30 minutes or so.

If you are going to go to the vet's give them a call first so that they can prepare for your arrival. The vet will want to look up the drug just like I did. You may want to tell them about our conversation and that yohimbine seems to be the drug to administer, just in case they don't have access to the info that I did.

Hope all is well!

Dr. Marie.