Why Did You Do That? Part 3

Hi all! It’s time for Part 3 (of 4!) of “Why did you do that?” This edition, the dreaded SEDATION.

But first… because look at that adorable guy. Don’t you just want to give him a snack?

Moving on.

One of my vets has recommended to you that we sedate your pet at the next visit. Maybe they just recommended an oral pill to give before coming to the clinic. Maybe your pet needs a procedure performed on him/her. Maybe your pet gets so upset in clinic that you need to hold him/her for my staff while someone gets a little needle in the bum (ideally the pet).

Obviously the vet is judging your pet, right? This must be a sign that you’ve slacked on the training, or that the staff is treating your beloved family member as a dangerous animal. Oh no! Cue the FEAR.

The problem with this scenario is that often we find ourselves anthropomorphizing our pets (I learned a fun new word! It means treating your pet and assuming emotional and other responses based on a human-type intellect). We assume our pet will be personally offended by this treatment. (spoiler: we, the pets, tend not to think that way)

The medication my vets are recommending is typically just a light anti-anxiety pill to give prior to coming to the vet. It will not knock them out, it’s more like a “one glass of wine” level of sedation (at least that’s how my dad likes to talk about it… what’s wine?). Even the best pets tend to experience some anxiety on entering the clinic, and even though it may seem unnecessary to you, helping them to relax, and allowing us to use less restraint and possibly less anesthetic is far better for the patient, and is the fear-free way of doing things (we’ve all heard that trendy term by now right?).

There are other reasons the veterinarians may prescribe something a little stronger. Maybe one glass of wine isn’t enough for your anxious pet. Or maybe we need him/her to lay very still for a procedure (as in for an ultrasound – trying to view the screen for a moving target yields a not-very-good ultrasound), and for this type of thing, trying to manually restrain them with no assistance, while fine for the occasional very relaxed retriever, is generally a recipe to cause more stress in a patient that is potentially already ill in one way or another.

The verdict (you probably know it’s coming by now): We are here to help your pets. Getting tired of hearing that yet? If there is something a vet has recommended that you aren’t sure about, please don’t hesitate to ask every question you can think of. And then google a few more to ask. And then let your pet ask a few (I can translate).

The happy, “wine”-filled road to your pet’s well being involves lots of communication. It’s a two way street. (too many street metaphors?).

One more. Let’s keep that traffic clear!


Dinner time.

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