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Diazepam for Dogs

By Evan Ware, DVM, DVM

Last reviewed: 6/16/2022

Commonly prescribed for: Seizures, Anxiety, Appetite Stimulant

Species: Dogs


Basic Information

Diazepam is a benzodiazepine tranquilizer that is used in veterinary medicine to sedate, reduce anxiety, promote behavioral changes, or induce muscle relaxation. Diazepam is also an anticonvulsant and can be administered to some species to stimulate appetite.

Veterinary Medicine Uses for Diazepam

In veterinary medicine, diazepam can be prescribed for dogs, cats, reptiles, sheep, horses, and goatscan alter the form of the drug for oral, intravenous, or rectal administration.

Diazepam commonly is administered as a sedative, muscle relaxant, anticonvulsant, or anti-anxiety medication for dogs and cats.

Diazepam also can be used to treat behavioral problems, such as aggression, excessive grooming, territorial spraying, and terror caused by loud noises. When treating dogs for aggression, diazepam can produce a reverse outcome, causing amplification rather than suppression of aggressive behaviors.

As an anticonvulsant, diazepam can be used in veterinary medicine to treat seizures, whether due to toxic shock or status epilepticus. However, since dogs develop a tolerance quickly, diazepam is not typically selected to continually manage seizures.

While not an analgesic, diazepam is commonly administered to sedate horses prior to surgical procedures. In adult horses, diazepam often can be paired with another medication to produce the necessary level of sedation.

Diazepam also can be administered to horses as an anticonvulsant, whether alone or as part of an amalgamation of other medications. It also can help with breeding behaviors, particularly for withdrawn stallions.

Potential Side-Effects of Diazepam

Common side-effects include impaired coordination and lethargy. Aggression, excitement, or marked behavioral changes are unusual side-effects. While rare, hepatic toxicity also has been reported in some cats.
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Popular Diazepam Dosage Forms

Dosage options starting at $0.84 per dose

Diazepam: Rectal Gel

Diazepam: Rectal Gel

Medicated viscous gel for rectal use.

Diazepam: Rectal Suppository

Diazepam: Rectal Suppository

Medicated, semi-solid preparation inserted into the rectum.

Diazepam: Nasal Gel

Diazepam: Nasal Gel

Medicated viscous gel for nasal use.