The first tranquilizer, reserpine, was discovered by a veterinarian. Since that time dozens have been used for canines as well as for humans. But tranquilizers do not have as predictable results in dogs as they have in humans. We usually start with a small dose and increase it daily until the dose is established for a certain dog. These tranquilizers are prescription drugs and those that give the best mileage are usually the most expensive. They are a great help with pets that can’t stand noises, such as fireworks, and for nervous dogs that don’t like to travel.
Tranquilizers are also effective to prevent motion sickness but we prefer hometown, which dries the secretions that are the indications of the first stage of car sickness. Sometimes small doses of phenobarbital are given with the hometown. These are prescription preparation and your veterinarian will make helpful suggestions on a choice for your dog.
All dog owners should know how to administer the common drugs used with dogs, how to give their pets medicine in liquid, capsule, tablet, or pill form, how to apply the standard bandages, how to take the temperatures of dogs in short, how to handle all the little problems of caring for a sick or injured pet.
Your veterinarian will diagnose your dog’s condition, prescribe the proper medication, and tell you the kind of care and attention your pet needs. That alone is not enough to restore the dog to health. In most cases, you will treat your pet at home, and it is your responsibility to carry out the veterinarian’s instructions. The most effective drug ever prescribed will not help your pet if you cannot manage to get more than 5 percent of the dose down its throat. If you allow the dog to remove the bandage the veterinarian has applied for and permit it to expose an open wound to infection simply because you don’t know how to reapply it, you can hardly expect a quick and satisfactory recovery.
Your veterinarian will outline a course of treatment for your sick pet, but the way you carry out his or her instructions and the care you give the dog will usually determine how effective the treatment will be. If you can give the kind of intelligent cooperation that your veterinarian has a right to expect, your pet’s chances for recovery will be greatly increased.
Here let us stress the importance of reading the directions for any medication (and that the prescribing veterinarian should make those directions clear should be obvious). Five days after we had prescribed a pet, the client phoned to ask a strange question. She didn’t mind the 2 P.M. dose but for the 2 A.M. one – did she really ha veto set the alarm and get up? The directions on the container seemed clear to us: “2 tablets A.M. and P.M.” She had overlooked the word, “tablets” and had been giving the dog one tablet at 2 A.M. and one at P.M.
Another client had taken the last pill in a container herself and as they appeared to be helping her, she studied the label for information to refill the prescription. To her horror, she discovered that the pill was the last of 25o we had given her to treat worms in several litters of puppies. She phoned in distress and we were happy to tell her that the medication would not harm her but that we presumed she had the cleanest gastrointestinal tract in the state of Connecticut. The pills had been dispensed in a container identical to the one her pharmacist used to fill her M.D. prescription. Always read the directions.
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