I’ll revisit the topic of sedatives in a bit- I have a guest post coming up in the near future about thunderstorm phobias and it will fit right in with that discussion. In the meantime, just to clarify some points that were made in the discussion yesterday:
- The dangers of sedating a pet for air travel are, by and large, not as much of a problem for travel by car, when the pet will be presumably monitored much more closely. I have been known to prescribe sedatives for pets going on a long road trip, though of course it depends on the situation.
- Rescue Remedy, Feliway, and other similar over the counter products that don’t have sedating side effects aren’t ones I would have a problem with owners using for traveling pets. The biggest problem with those products is just having them not work.
Good? Good. Now, onto the other noteworthy mention in the comments about human medications and pets: indeed, there are many human medications that are also used for pets. If it’s a medication that is not FDA approved for veterinary use, it’s considered “off label”; quite a few human drugs are used in this way.
Now, that doesn’t mean you can pull a toddler dose of a medication off WebMD and use it on your dog. Many drugs are dosed very differently for dogs versus cats versus humans, due to differences in the way the body processes the medication. Others are downright dangerous: take for instance the human RN who came to me with a limping cat. She attempted to treat him at home for several days, but the cat just got worse. “What were you treating him with?” I asked. “Tylenol,” she replied. “Just infant drops.” The cat died.
Just off the top of my head, I can also recall the woman who put her dog in a near coma with Soma, the guy who took his dog’s Baytril and ended up hallucinating, and the other guy who gave his rottie a GI ulcer with Advil. Not good. And don’t miss this doozy- eek!
When in doubt, ask. It’s what we’re here for. Oh, and note to the guy who keeps “losing” his dog’s Tramadol? I’ve got my eye on you.