I'm envious of people who have relaxed dogs. These are the pups you see at outdoor cafes lying comfortably while their owners sip drinks or enjoy a bite to eat. They're the ones that when taking walks care more about getting a "You're a good boy" glance from their owner than they do about the squirrel who just darted across their path. This is not my dog. Vincent is 100% spaz.
I knew to ask for a sedative after surgery. It was part of my pharmacologic arsenal and just as important as the antibiotic, anti-inflammatory and pain med. I know this because as day turned into night, he became restless. He had difficulty settling and staying asleep. Because the majority of healing process takes place during sleep, I believe that administering Trazodone before bedtime for the first couple weeks after surgery was an integral part of Vinny's recovery.
Now imagine this: It's Friday and you're excited because your dog had CCL surgery and today's the day you get to take her home. You get discharge instructions and get her settled inside. Things are going along smoothly and you think, "This isn't so difficult. What's the big deal?" And then the shift occurs. It's 2 AM, and everything is changing. Your once calm dog is now whimpering, howling, pacing and panting. Your efforts to console her aren't working. You're frantic and ask yourself, "Why is this happening? What am I doing wrong?"
The veterinary hospital is an hour or more away. You have no option but to wait out the night with hopes that the surgical center has Saturday hours. If they don't, it's going to be a very long weekend for you and your dog.
Stories like this aren't uncommon. I've read them countless times in CCL Injury Facebook groups. And for this reason, when I advise people, I ALWAYS recommend that they ask the surgeon for a sedative such as Trazodone. You might say, "But my dog is chill. She won't need it." My response remains the same. Every surgery is different, so even if your dog did well after a previous procedure or he/she has never had surgery, STILL ask for the medication. You'll be happy to have it and not need it versus being stuck without it.
Was Trazodone prescribed for your dog? Please share your experience with others by leaving a comment. Thanks!