Trazodone is a generic drug that comes in brand names including Leptro and Desyrel. It can be used not only in dogs but also cats to treat behavioral problems.
According to veterinarians, behavioral problems are one of the biggest reasons animals are euthanized, particularly if the behavior is dangerous, but trazodone may be able to help this.
Veterinarians and animal behavioral specialists have been putting a lot of recent emphasis on the idea of training, and also the use of drugs to help animals who do have behavioral problems.
Trazodone, which is an antidepressant, is one such option and it’s classified as a serotonin antagonist reuptake inhibitor or an SARI. It changes serotonin levels in the brain to help when they are unbalanced, and it can be obtained by prescription from a veterinarian. It’s not officially approved by the FDA for use in animals, but it can be prescribed legally by vets, for these extra-label purposes.
In animals and dogs, in particular, trazodone is used to help treat conditions such as separation anxiety and other anxiety-related conditions. It can also be used to ensure animals rest properly after surgery. It’s not used very often in cats, but it may be used for cats who are anxious about traveling to the vet, as an example.
Trazodone is considered safe and effective in animals when a vet prescribes it and used properly, however, there are potential side effects, which will be discussed below.
Trazodone is available in generic and brand name options, and some of the common dosages include 50, 100, 150 and 300 mg.
The trazodone dosage for dogs ranges but a general guideline is around 2.5 mg per pound per day and up to 15 mg per pound given every 24 hours. On average the trazodone dosage for dogs is 3.5 mg per pound, per day, and lower doses are usually combined with other medications that aim to modify problematic behaviors. In most cases, a veterinarian will start an animal on the lowest possible dosage of trazodone to make sure side effects are minimized.
The trazodone dosage for dogs may be increased after three to five days until the objectives are reached.
In a cat, although it’s not frequently used, the trazodone dosage may range from 50 to 100 mg.
How long a dog or cat takes trazodone depends on what the condition is that the drug is being used to treat, as well as whether or not there are adverse side effects.
It’s important that trazodone is stored safely away from pets and that dosage instructions are followed exactly because if a pet takes too much, it can cause seizures or coma.