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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 28452
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience
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My 12 year old 70 lb dog has heartworm, confirmed by the

Customer Question

My 12 year old 70 lb dog has heartworm, confirmed by the vet. I bought $125+ worth of homeopathic meds, liver, kidney and arthritis caps, along with black walnut wormwood oil, and the coughing has let up, but she is lethargic and not eating well. I have access to morphine, Percocet, and Zannax, as well as flexeril. Will it hurt her to give her any of these meds? I am torn up, don't want to put her down, but can't let her suffer. Can you help me?
Submitted: 7 months ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 7 months ago.

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Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 7 months ago.

I understand your concerns. Here's what you need to know about those drugs...

Flexeril is toxic to dogs. It mustn't be administered to Huli.

Regular morphine as an analgesic can be dosed at 0.5 mg/lb every 4-6 hours. That would be 35 mg for Huli every 4-6 hours. Sustained-release morphine is dosed at 1-2.5 mg/lb twice daily 70-175 mg twice daily for Huli). You need to be careful about administering this potent narcotic to any dog with respiratory disease such as would be seen with heartworms. I would avoid morphine unless Huli was suffering intractable pain (as evidenced by whining/howling/extreme restlessness) and the benefit of that narcotic would then outweight the risks.

Xanax (alprazolam) is a sedating anxiolytic (anti-anxiety drug) which can be dosed at 0.01 - 0.025 mg/lb 2-4 times daily. Practically speaking, that would be 1-2 mg 2-4 times daily. This benzodiazepine should be safe and might give Huli a feeling of well-being.

Percocet contains the potent narcotic oxycodone plus acetaminophen. The same concerns for morphine apply to oxycodone. This drug should be avoided if possible in a dog with respiratory disease such as heartworms.

Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.

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