The moment I heard strict rest, I knew it wasn't going to fly.
Not with Cookie. She needs minimum of three hours of activity a day to be content. After the last event we reduced it to two hours and she was already bouncing off the walls. Getting no exercise at all? That was not happening. Not without her jumping out of her skin and losing her mind. She'd be extremely wound up, frustrated and likely depressed.
Right there and then I voiced this concern.
Cookie on strict rest was not going to happen without some serious chemical help.
I know that mind games and training games are supposed to tire a dog out just as well as physical exercise. But I also know, from the few days last Winter when temperatures dropped so low that even Cookie couldn't spend more than 10 minutes outside, that no amount of those could cut it. And that was only one day at the time AND she was getting a few of the ten-minute runs outside.
As much as I hate drugs, this wasn't happening without some.
The orthopedic specialist wasn't overly surprised and suggested a drug she uses often in her patients as well as for her own dog - Trazodone. That sounded good. Of course, being a diligent mom, I asked about potential side effects to which I was told there weren't any.
When I came home, though, I looked it up and, of course, there are side effects listed. I was supposed to start Cookie on this right away but I wasn't going to do that until I had a chance to discuss the side effects issue. And I wasn't able to get hold off anybody.
I went and asked every vet I know.
Some of them never heard of it, some of them had another preference but most thought it was a good drug. Some of them directed me to an article which I have already found myself. They all tried really hard to help me out.
From all that digging I gathered that Trazodone for this purpose seems to be a drug of choice for most surgeons. It also seems to be a drug of choice for many veterinary behaviorists. Trazodone is an antidepressant but it has also been used to calm post-surgical dogs. From the three choices available for our purpose, I did like this one the most.
More importantly, I was able to get hold off Jasmine's vet and it turned out that he's been using it for many of his post-op patients for 11 months now. He discussed the potential side effects with me in detail and we covered every last one of them. From his own experience, he had only one complaint where the owners felt the dog was too sedated and instead of having the dose adjusted they opted to withdraw the use all together.
Sedation was the least of my worries.
I was finally comfortable enough to try giving one dose and see how it goes. We did that in the morning, just in case something did crop up, so it would be easy enough to see the vet.
Cookie was prescribed 75 mg every 12 hours.
About 40 minutes later it seemed to have kicked in. My concern was that Cookie seemed unsteady on her feet. I was worried that the dose might be too high for her and that being this wobbly she might further injure the muscles we were trying to treat.
Also, about 7 hours later the effect seemed to have worn off completely. And there were still 5 hours to go. I felt the dosage and distribution should be reconsidered.
There were some technical difficulties contacting Cookie's vet but Jasmine's vet, as always, was there for us again. He said that often it takes a couple of days to get things on an even keel and that'd he leave things as they are for now.
I didn't want to arbitrarily make any changes to how the drug was prescribed before talking to Cookie's vet about it.
We continued the Trazodone as prescribed while I was trying to get hold of her.
The second day the effect seemed about the same but by third day, instead of things leveling out, the effect of the drug seemed to have worn off after five hours instead of previous seven.
I was convinced we needed to make adjustments.
Finally I made it through the technical issues and got to talk to Cookie's vet. I explained my observations and concerns and we agreed on adjusting the administration to 3x daily while looking for minimum effective dose.
We started with 50 mg 3x daily. But that was not enough so we ended up giving 75 mg 3x daily which now seems to be the ideal dose and distribution for Cookie.
I have to say that I'm quite thankful for this drug.
Other than the unsteadiness the first two days, Cookie hasn't been having any side effects. And this drug helps her to remain at peace with the sudden lack of exercise and fun.
She isn't going crazy, isn't jumping out of her skin, isn't frustrated and isn't depressed. She still can get quite bouncy when she gets outside in the cold weather but knowing what things would have been like otherwise, the Trazodone seems to be doing exactly what we needed.
Cookie remains clear headed and can still enjoy her puzzles and training games.
She doesn't seem overly sedated. She's still curious, interested in things and excited about things. But she is able to cope with the activity restrictions.
Use of trazodone to facilitate postsurgical confinement in dogs
From The End Of A Lead Line To Casa Jasmine: Meet Cookie, Our New Adoptee
And So It Begins Again(?) Our First Health-Related Heart Attack With Cookie
I Didn't Know I Could Fly: Why Cookie Wears A Harness Instead Of A Collar
C.E.T. Oral Hygiene Chews For Dogs CAN Be A Choking Hazzard
Our First Health-Related Heart Attack With Cookie: The Knee Or The Foot?
Creative Solutions And An Incidental Product Review
Too Young For Pot: Cookie's Snack With A Side Of Hydrogen Peroxide
Taming Of The Wild Beast: Cookie's Transition To Civilization
Staying On Top Of The Ears: Cookie Is Not Impressed
Putting The Easy Back Into Walking
Cookie's Ears Are Still Not Happy
The Threat Of The Bulge Is Always Lurking
Today Is Cookie's Three-Months Adoptoversary
Cookie Meets The Electric Horse Fence And Her First Chiropractic Adjustment
Why Examine Your Dog's Vomit?
Why Is That Leg Still Not Happy? Cookie's Leg Keeps Getting Sore
Cookie Too Is Insured With Trupanion
Does Being Insured Mean Being Covered? Our First Claim With Trupanion
Is Cookie's Leg Finally Getting Better?
Is Cookie Going To Be Another Medical Challenge Or Are We Looking To Closely?
The Project That Is Cookie: Pancreatitis Up Close And Personal
Pancreatitis: Cookie’s Blood Work
Another Belly Upset: Pancreatitis Again Or Not?
Happy Birthday, Cookie
Incontinence? Cookie's Mysterious Leaks
Who's Training Whom? Stick And Treat
Don't Just Stand There, Do Something? Cookie's Mysterious Bumps
Cookie's Mysterious Bumps Update
One Vomit, No Vomit
Happy One-Year Adoptoversary, Cookie!
Cookie's Leaks Are Back: Garden Variety Incontinence Or Not?
Cookie's Leaks Update
Don't Panic, Don't Panic: Know What Your Job Is
The Continuing Saga Of Cookie's Leeks: Trying Chiropractic Approach
Cookie's Minor Eye Irritation
Regular Wellness Exam: Cookie's ALT Was Elevated
Cookie's Plantar Paw Pad Injury
How Far To Take It When The Dog Isn't Sick?
Cookie Has Tapeworm Infection
Cookie's Elevated ALT: The Ultrasound and Cytology
Cookie's ALT Update
The Importance of Observation: Cookie's Chiropractic Adjustment
Sometimes You Don't Even Know What You're Looking at: Cookie's Scary "We Have No Idea What that Was"
Living with an Incontinent Dog
Summer Dangers: Cookie Gets Stung by a Bald-faced Hornet
To Breathe or Not To Breathe: Cookie's Hind Legs Transiently Fail to Work (Again)
Figuring out What Might Be Going on with Cookie's Legs: The Process
Figuring out What Might Be Going on with Cookie's Legs: The Diagnosis
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