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Sedative after heartworm treatment?

Species: Dog
Breed: Boxer/Lab
Age: 2-5 years
Hello Dr. Marie,

I have a 2 and a half year old boxer/lab that is being treated for heartworm. She received her first injection two days ago on the 3rd. She seems to be doing okay. I can tell that she is very sore and not feeling herself. I know that she needs to stay rested and calm. Our vet said that if we know we are going to have people over, we should give her a sedative. I guess what I am wondering is how concerned should I be about her getting too excited and for how long??

Also would it be all right to give her some sort of sedative?

Thank you so much.


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Sorry to hear that Kenna has to go through heartworm treatment. It sounds like your vet is giving Immiticide injections which is the common treatment for heartworm.

There are a couple of reasons why we recommend to keep a dog quiet after Immiticide is given. One is because the injection can cause severe bruising which makes the muscles sore. (The muscles that will be sore are on the top of the dog's back, near the end of the back). So, we need to not have her move around too much and cause more pain to herself.

The other reason is that the medication will be killing worms that are living in her heart. If she is extremely active her heart rate will go up and this will cause more stress on her heart that is already dealing with a lot.

Regarding the sedative, this is really something you need to get your vet's ok to do. I am not legally allowed to advise medications online. Your vet may prescribe something to help you out. There really isn't an over the counter medication that would be safe and effective.

I hope the rest of treatment goes ok!

Dr. Marie.

---This question was asked in our Ask A Vet For Free section.---

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Disclaimer: Although Dr. Marie is a qualified veterinarian, the information found on this site is not meant to replace the advice of your own veterinarian. and Dr. Marie do not accept any responsibility for any loss, damage, injury, death, or disease which may arise from reliance on information contained on this site. Do not use information found on this site for diagnosing or treating your pet. Anything you read here is for information only.

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Dr. MarieDr. Marie is a veterinarian who practices in a busy animal hospital in Ottawa, Ontario. She created Ask A Vet Question as a resource for good, accurate veterinary advice online. Dr. Marie treats dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, and rats. She has been a vet since 1999.

Is an online vet visit just as good as a trip to your veterinarian? No! But, many times, asking an online veterinarian a question can help save you money. While Dr. Marie can't officially diagnose your pet or prescribe medications, she can often advise you on whether a vet visit is necessary. You can also ask Dr. Marie for a second opinion on your pet's condition.