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Caring for a Three Legged Dog or Cat

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Trazodone? What do "we" know?
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Santa Fe, NM

Member Since:
19 July 2016
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26 July 2018 - 1:26 pm
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So I took Roxy in for a new bandage this morning. The previous bandage had gotten very wet, at least in part from her chewing on it (which she didn’t do until it started slipping off). This caused some dermatitis on one/some of her pads, and she chewed the scab off the nail bed. So we’ve got a new bandage, due regardless, and the vet was nice enough not to scold me for getting it wet.

We talked about the options to keep the bandage dry and didn’t come up with much. I can’t leave her in the trailer all day. I can’t wrap her foot in plastic all day. I mentioned to the vet that the Roxinator is a champ at breaking out of her enclosure. The vet’s comment was “is she giving you a hard time?” – possibly the understatement of the century. Also a factor is that we had a “1,000 year storm” here Monday night. 

So the vet gave me some trazodone on the theory that if Roxy is doped up, she won’t break out. I have some doubts about that on general principles. She’s not breaking out due to anxiety. She’s breaking out because it’s fun and more interesting. I took the pills but I have some doubts about giving them to Roxy.

This is a damn smart group so I thought I’d ask. What do y’all think? Am I paranoid? (okay, yes. I’m asking about this specifically) or make the experiment and see what happens? 



Teri and the Roxinator (aka Houdini)

Right rear leg amp 7/12/16 due to OSA. Metastatic lesion on her right front leg, January 2017. Joined the Winter Warriors January 19, 2017. Run free my sweet girl.

On The Road

Member Since:
24 September 2009
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26 July 2018 - 2:31 pm
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Teri, I’m really sorry that the healing is having these, uh, complications! I imagine that storm must have been pretty terrifying to all of you in the RV. Yikes, like you really needed that. 

Regarding the Trazadone….it’s one of the few behaviorial-type medications we haven’t used with Wyatt. Nobody ever suggested it to us, maybe if they would have I might have tried it in the early days. Vets call it a “situational” medication, something that can be used on an as-needed basis. It’s not at all like a SSRI (i.e., Prozac) which needs to be taken every day for it to be effective. This article has a good explanation:


The second type is a situational medication, given only “as needed” for a specific problem.  Commonly used drugs of this type would include short-acting anti-anxiety meds like Xanax, Valium, trazodone, and even tranquilizers like acepromazine on occasion.  Meds like this are commonly used for problems like thunderstorm phobia or separation anxiety, and are only given at the time they are needed.  The anti-anxiety effects of these drugs are usually much more dramatic and they work very quickly, but side effects (most notably drowsiness) are also more pronounced… as with everything else, there are trade-offs!

Many of our members’ Tripawds have taken trazadone during amputation recovery, without any major side effects. As far as I know the drug did what it was intended to do.

What I would do if Roxy were mine (and as you know, we already have the male version of her), is I would start with the Trazadone but then get into a relationship with a veterinary behaviorist who can guide you in a more long-term solution that involves the medication and appropriate behavior modficiation techniques for Roxy’s needs. Usually they will start with something along the lines of Clomicalm and then work up from there if necessary. Hopefully it won’t be.

Good luck! Let us know what you decide. 

Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene | | |

Minneapolis, MN
Member Since:
23 April 2016
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26 July 2018 - 4:10 pm
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Shoot, Teri – I’ve missed whatever injury Roxy had that you are working on healing.

Pofi was given Trazadone – it took the edge off. The vets all said he was quieter when he was in their back rooms and kennels.  They just gave me some for Mia in case she needs it for her medical appointments, but we have not used it.  Pofi took it before PT treatments and surgical / diagnostic procedures when he had to wait his turn after an early morning drop off.  I would not say it doped him up in a significant way.  But did seem to ratchet things down a bit.

heartto Roxy.  

Lisa, Minneapolis

On October 27, 2016, nearly 6 months after amputation, and 18 months since his cancer likely started, we lost Pofi to a recurrence of Soft Tissue Sarcoma in his spine quite suddenly.  His canine sister also succumbed to cancer on March 1, 2019 - we lavished her with our love in the interim, but life was never quite the same without her only real canine friend. Cliff kitty had to leave us, too, suddenly, in August 2019. Lucia kitty grieved all these losses, but helped us welcome two new Lurchers into our home and our lives, Shae and Barley.

Blog: Pofi, Peripheral Nerve Sheath Tumor Amputation

Member Since:
22 August 2008
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26 July 2018 - 7:28 pm
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Trazadone is quite a bit safer than the other drugs and can work quickly.  Even dogs with heart disease, diabetes, etc can take it.  I use it a lot for noise phobias for fireworks and thunderstorms.  

It is not the strongest sedative so if you have a dog that is young and otherwise healthy and not anxious or sick then I still sometimes use acepromazine alone or with the trazadone.  The main side effect is oversedation and inability to walk well so it is best to start low and work up to higher doses but I would agree with your vet and try the trazadone first.


Livermore, CA

Member Since:
18 October 2009
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26 July 2018 - 8:57 pm
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I don’t have experience with trazadone but I do have one dog with OCD and one with separation anxiety.  I really have worked on behavior modification instead of meds.  I do know in some cases meds are necessary, and maybe you need to start with meds and work on the behavior. 

The strategies I’ve work with Elly to help with her sep anx might help Roxy with her boredom.  If you are interested I can get the book title….I’m not near where the book is right now.

The other thing I thought I would mention are there are some calming essential oils and some supplements that are supposed to help calm.  I was going to try the oils with Elly but I can’t because it interferes with Nose Work (her worst sep anx is waiting in the truck between turns at NW class and events).  I haven’t tried the supplements yet.

And just for a smile… Obie had an allergic reaction to something one day which lead to a panic attack. It was the only time in my life with dogs that we had an emergency right when we had a vet appointment.  Anyway- after a benadryl shot didn’t calm him down the vet asked me if she could give Obie just a tiny, tiny amount of ace to help him calm down.  I think they gave him the smallest amount the could cut from a pill.

This was him 8 hours later- a groovy pug!

Obie-on-Ace.jpgImage Enlarger


Tri-pug Maggie survived a 4.5 year mast cell cancer battle only to be lost to oral melanoma.

1999 to 2010


              Maggie's Story                  Amputation and Chemo

Santa Fe, NM

Member Since:
19 July 2016
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27 July 2018 - 9:09 am
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Son of a gun. My whole reply disappeared! ack. I’ll try and remember what I typed…

Thanks everybody, I appreciate the input. I hesitated to post since this is so very minor relatively speaking. But the collective information bank here is hard to resist. 

I hate giving Roxy any more drugs than I need to. Yes, she’s young and healthy but I’m as paranoid as any other former tripawd parent. Goes with the territory. 

I gave her one of the trazodone this morning based on y’all’s reassurances and fixed the enclosure (again). Didn’t get chased down the road for a change, that was nice. But I didn’t feel like I could justify calling in sick to work. If I gather some energy and/or the caffeine kicks in, I might go home at lunch to check on her. We’ll see.

Lisa – updates have been posted on Isa’s blog.

Karen, love the picture of Obie. I love pugs – so much character in such a cute little package!

Thanks again everyone! Best. Group. Ever. heartheart


Teri and the Roxinator and Angel Isa

Right rear leg amp 7/12/16 due to OSA. Metastatic lesion on her right front leg, January 2017. Joined the Winter Warriors January 19, 2017. Run free my sweet girl.


Member Since:
22 February 2013
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27 July 2018 - 11:01 am
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I want to quickly say that Ive read your recent vlog qnd wanted to respond to I jad a chance to fully focus….and when I could stop chuckling 😂

I KNOW you don’t  want to give Roxy a drug like that and understand  completely! I think to give it a trial  run at the mildest dose will give you a good indication  of how you want to proceed.   I agree, this isn’t  anxiety, it’s  sheer boredom with a very smart and alert girl!

It sounds like you are pretty much in the middle of nowhere  and she has absolutely  no stimulation  as far as   mailmen, or pesky noisy neighbors,  etc. when you are gone.  The “mobile home” is too snall for her to find interesting things to do… jump on counters and sniff out cookies, etc.  She probably  does see an ocassional critter out there that she wants to get out and “play” with😎

Is there any doggy day care that’s  accessible?

Lots of love to you

Sally and Alumni Happy Hannah and Merry Myrtle and Frankie too!


Happy Hannah had a glorious additional bonus time of over one yr & two months after amp for osteo! She made me laugh everyday! Joined April's Angels after send off meal of steak, ice cream, M&Ms & deer poop!

On The Road

Member Since:
24 September 2009
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12 May 2019 - 11:28 am
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So Teri did you ever try Trazadone with Roxy? Would love to hear how it went.

We needed it for Wyatt Ray recently, and two pills at 50mg didn’t do anything to him. We could have gone up to 3 but didn’t want to zonk him out totally so just put it in the box of other sedatives that have never done the best job with him.

Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene | | |

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