I am so excited to announce some very exciting news!
After nearly two years my sweet baby angel Charlie is sleeping through the night, drug free!
That’s right, Charlie Bear is no longer Trazzy Chazzy!
I highly suggest you do a quick read through of my previous post (linked above) to get an understanding as to why Charlie was on Trazadone. But, the important thing to understand here is that he was on a lot of drugs to sleep.
250mg of traz for my sweet little 40ish pound English Springer Spaniel. That’s a lot…
We have been weening him off for about a year. I took him down about 25mg every month or more. Then, once we were at 25mg a night I talked to the vet on how to fully get him off this stuff.
We went down to 25mg every other night for two weeks. And then, about two weeks ago, we stopped! It was really as simple as that!
I will say, it was tough. I was really scared to cut him off. When Charlie wasn’t sleeping we were all miserable. Charlie wasn’t sleeping. I was up with him on the couch, constantly afraid we was going to hurt himself or bloat and die.
I was really afraid that would happen again.
But, I cut down on his dosage really, really slowly. This was by no means a cold turkey kind of deal. By the time he was completely off the drugs it was a really smooth transition!
So, now that Charlie’s trazadone experience is over, I do have a few thoughts on the whole process we have been through these past two years:
1. No more wetting the bed
That big lug needed those drugs. But he would sleep so soundly, because we knocked him out, that he would pee the bed. It was awful, and made him smell bad, but overall it was better than him freaking out at night. Since he’s been off the drugs he doesn’t pee the bed anymore!
2. No more grumpy Chaz
Again, related to the “sound sleeping,” Charlie would often wake up sort of groggy. Now, I will say this happened more towards the beginning when the dose was higher, but he would often time wake up a total grump. And by that I mean that when he “woke up” the drugs wouldn’t be totally worn off yet. Which would sometimes result in him being sort of a jerk to his brother and sisters. Ok, let’s face it, he was only a jerk to Owen.
It was almost like he was still dreaming sometimes. Like a weird little zombie dog. I know it was just because he was still hopped up on the trazodone, but I never really liked it. I’m so glad we don’t have to deal with groggy Chaz any more.
3. No more rushed bed time
In the same vein as the morning grumps, we used to have to make sure we gave Charlie his drugs about 5 minutes before bed. That way the drugs didn’t kick in too soon and make him a grump before bed. But we also didn’t want to give it to him right before bed, because then he wouldn’t be sleepy when we first put him in his box.
It wasn’t a huge deal, but it was one more thing to keep track of before doggie bed time. And with four dogs, bed time really can be a circus. I’m glad to have one less piece of the puzzle.
I gotta say, I am so proud of my boy. It’s been really hard dealing with this for the last couple of years! Every time we went away – which granted, wasn’t often – I had to make sure he had his pills at my in-laws. I had to make sure we had emergency pills in the car, just in case we stayed somewhere (which never happened, but I was anxious, ok??). Then the whole decreasing the dose thing took a lot of time, patience, and planning.
I’m proud of myself, too! I was really cautious in weening him off. I just wanted to cut him off cold turkey. I was sick of cutting up little doggy pills and sticking them in peanut butter. It was annoying, and it was hard to admit to myself that my little angel wasn’t perfect.
But we did it! We made it through!
So, tonight, raise a glass to my strong, well-adjusted Charlie dog! And I’ll make sure to give him a kiss right on the snoot before bed.
What’s the hardest thing you’ve ever had to go through with your dog? Let me know in the comments!