This is Babe. And This is Babe on Benzodiazepines.

I wrote recently about Babe’s anxiety and the various ways we try to manage it.

I didn’t mention in that post that Babe’s treatments began simply enough. We used herbal remedies and over-the-counter options, like Composure chewable treats. When those had no effect, we started her on fluoxetine (commonly known as Prozac). Since it can take some time before becoming effective, we had her on fluoxetine for a long time — almost a year in total — before giving it up as ineffective as the herbal remedies.


Finally, Babe’s vet recommended that we try using alprazolam (commonly known as Xanax) on an as-needed basis for her fears.

That’s what we’ve been doing for about 5 months. We use the meds sparingly, averaging 1 pill every 2 weeks and only giving it to her when she is inconsolably distraught and in danger of injuring herself. (Prolonged use of benzos can decrease the effectiveness rapidly and is only used when anti-depressants are not working.)

The problem with the alprazolam is that it has more of a sedative effect than an anti-anxiety effect. So Babe might still be scared out of her mind, but can only groggily alert me to her fears. The positive result is that she’s too sedated to possibly hurt herself (once she almost fell out of a third floor window). The negative result is that she’s still terrified.


Fortunately, she’s not alone and she always calms down eventually, so she can curl up next to me and nap at the end of the day.

8 responses to “This is Babe. And This is Babe on Benzodiazepines.”

  1. I feel so bad for her and I really hope that it’s something she’ll eventually grow out of as she gets older. It’s so hard to treat pets for their fears, much harder than humans.

    • Thank you so much for your thoughtfulness! Yes, I completely agree; if we could just talk to her like a person maybe we could rationalize with her.
      Unfortunately, Babe is 11 and this is something that has actually developed over time 🙁 But soon we’ll be moving out of the city and we think getting somewhere quieter will be just what she needs! In the meantime lots of snuggles!

      • She doesn’t look 11 at all. She still looks rather pup-ish. Poor baby, hopefully, she can hang in there a while longer.

  2. It’s such a helpless feeling when they’re so scared. How wonderful that you are doing so much to try to alleviate her anxiety and fear. She’s such a sweetie patootie.

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