(Valium® is another name for this medication)
Use: Diazepam is used in animals as a sedative, for seizures, and to cause muscle relaxation. It is also used to cause bladder relaxation to allow urination. It has also been given as an anti-anxiety agent for behavior problems.
Side Effects: The usual effects are drowsiness and sedation. Dogs will sometimes get excited from Diazepam instead of becoming sedated. Higher doses in any species can cause difficulty breathing.
Precautions: Cats may develop a fatal liver problem when given Diazepam by mouth. It is not predictable which cats will have this reaction. If your cat already has liver problems, you should discuss this with your veterinarian. As Diazepam is cleared from the body by the liver and kidneys, it should be used very carefully in pets with liver or kidney disease.
Directions: Dogs and cats usually receive this medication once or twice daily by mouth. If your veterinarian decides to use Diazepam by mouth in your cat, you should watch the cat for any signs of the fatal liver problem that oral diazepam can cause. If you cat stops eating or acts depressed, you should stop giving the Diazepam and notify your veterinarian immediately. Sometimes your veterinarian will prescribe a solution of Diazepam that is inserted into the animal’s rectum during a bad seizure. Make sure your veterinarian demonstrates this technique for you so that you will know how to do it if the need arises.
Remember: Diazepam should be protected from light and moisture and stored at room temperature. Diazepam solutions should not be stored in plastic and should not be mixed with any other drugs. Diazepam is a controlled substance and you will need to get a new prescription every 6 months if your pet is on long term therapy.
Storage: Keep in the original container. Keep out of the reach of children and pets. Capsules and tablets may be stored at room temperature. Some liquids should be stored in the refrigerator (see the prescription label.) Store all medicines away from excess heat and moisture. Do NOT store in the bathroom.
If you miss a dose of this medication you should give it as soon as you remember it, but if it is within a few hours of the regularly scheduled dose, wait and give it at the regular time. Do not double a dose as this can be toxic to your pet.