Monday, December 21, 2015 - 12:30
Vets: Dogs frightened by firework blasts may need animal tranquilizers
With the Netherlands' tradition of fireworks over New Year's fast approaching, many pet owners are looking for ways to help ease their pets' anxiety caused by the loud bangs and flashing lights. Veterinarian Erik Dirks from Breda warns pet owners not to give their dogs any medicine with acepromazine as active substance. According to him, these medicines are not dog-friendly, AD reports. The best known, freely available brand of these medicines is Vetranquil. "What this drug does is relax the muscles of the dog", Dirks explained to the newspaper. "The owner thinks: Bello is nice and quiet. But that is absolutely not the case. It relaxes the muscles, but the senses are strengthened enormously." This results in a very stressed out dog with no way to show it. According to Dirks, dogs under the effect of this substance also have a hard time regulating their temperature, which could result in hypothermia or even death. An animal tranquilizer may still be the only way to go to calm your pet, but if you decide to give your dog medicine to calm him during the New Year's fireworks, only do so in consultation with a veterinarian, Dirks appeals. Alemlo veterinarian Herman ter Keurs is calling on people in his neighborhood to not set off fireworks between 10:00 p.m. and 11:00 p.m. on New Year's eve to give pet owners an hour of quiet to take their pets out. He made and handed out a thousand flyers with this request in his own neighborhood 't Nijrees. "I really do not expect that it will be completely silent. But if it's calmer than last year, we already achieved a lot", he said to Tubantia. Veterinarians at Dierenkliniek de Wetering in Amsterdam began selling a CD with firework bangs and claps of thunder meant to help train pets to be less sensitized to the loud blasts. Though not necessarily a treatment that will work for all dogs and cats, several owners reviewing the CD at online retailer MedPets claim it helped bring down their animals' anxiety levels.