Dog Restless After Sedation: Why Is It Acting Strange?

Is your dog restless after sedation? It’s not uncommon for it to exhibit restlessness as a side effect of sedation.

While sedation is often necessary for medical procedures or to calm anxious dogs, the recovery period can sometimes leave them feeling disoriented and uneasy.

Understanding why your dog is restless after sedation can help ease their transition and provide them with the care they need.

I will explore the variety of reasons behind this issue and offer tips to help calm your dog and ensure their recovery process is as smooth as possible.

Why Is My Dog Restless After Sedation?

dog restless after sedation

Restlessness in dogs after sedation procedure can be seen as a side effect. It disrupts a dog’s natural sleep patterns, causing them to feel disoriented and restless as the sedative wears off.

Additionally, certain sedative medications can induce temporary feelings of anxiety or agitation in dogs, leading to restlessness.

Sedation is commonly used to calm dogs during medical procedures or to alleviate anxiety.

However, different dogs may react differently to sedatives, and restlessness is a potential side effect.

Your pet’s blood, blood pressure, and heart rate may need to be tested by your veterinarian to ascertain whether any adverse effects from the drug cocktails they received during surgery or dental operations.

What Are The Side Effects Of Sedation In Dogs?

The side effects of sedation can vary depending on the specific sedative used and the individual dog’s natural reaction. Here are some common side effects you may notice in your canines.

Appetite Changes

Some animals won’t eat prior to the procedure at night, but they must eat the next morning.

Appetite changes are commonly observed as a side effect of sedation in dogs. After sedation, some dogs may experience a temporary decrease in appetite.

The sedative medications can affect the dog’s appetite and temporarily reduce its interest in favorite food.

In this case, I try to give my pooch something pleasant and easy to digest, like mushy white rice or boiled chicken breast.

Call your veterinarian if your dog doesn’t eat within 24 hours of the treatment.

Bowel Movement Habit Changes

Dogs who have had anesthesia frequently have changes in bowel habits.

Constipation or diarrhea are possible effects of general anesthesia on the digestive system.

These changes are usually temporary and should resolve as the sedation wears off and the dog’s body returns to its normal state.

Still, changes in bowel patterns might be brought on by the stress from the treatment and the healing process.

If your dog exhibits these signs, it’s crucial to keep an eye on their bowel motions and, if required, seek advice from your veterinarian.

Not only after sedation, your dog might also suffer from diarrhea after heartgard, so check their poop frequently.

Walking Wobbly

Seeing your dog acting different after surgery? Most common ones are walking wobbly or experiencing unsteady movements.

This is often due to the effects of the sedative medications on the dog’s coordination and balance. The sedation can temporarily impair their motor skills, making them appear wobbly or unstable on their feet.

You must visit your veterinarian if you observe your dog walk or act strangely for more than 24 hours or more than a day after being under anesthetic procedure.

I notice my pooch appears a little stumbling, drowsiness, swaying, and swerving. After a local anesthesia, your pet could also feel anxious. This typically only lasts for a few hours.

Hiding Or Having A Clingy Attitude

It’s not unusual for a dog to display strange behavior following anesthesia, such as hiding or becoming too attached.

This may be because of how it affects their brain and entire body, which can lead to confusion and disorientation. A dog’s tendency to hide could be a sign that it needs protection and comfort in a small, enclosed area.

Clinginess, though, may indicate that they need confidence from their owner. It’s crucial to keep a careful eye on your dog’s behavior and provide them with the appropriate love and care to aid in their recovery.


Is your dog making weird noises after anesthesia

This excessive vocalization is extremely common. Some dogs may exhibit increased agitation or vocalization, including whining, whimpering, or crying, due to the sedative medications.

Even while it may be upsetting for pet owners, it usually passes in a few hours. Some animals cry and wail as a result of poor pain management.

Other signs that my dog showed include hesitation while moving, heavy breathing, a drooping head, increased crying when the dog’s wound is gently handled, licking the incision site, and so on.

If you suspect your furry friend is feeling painful despite taking the prescribed medication, speak to your private veterinarian.

To know more about your pet tearing up, you can refer to this guide.

What To Do When Dog Acting Weird Days After Anesthesia

i had surgery and my dog is acting weird

When a dog is acting weird days after anesthesia, it’s important to address any concerns and provide appropriate medical care. Here’s a list of what you should do.

  • Contact Your Veterinarian: Reach out to your veterinarian technician and describe your dog’s symptoms and behavior.

They will be able to provide veterinary care guidance based on your specific situation and advise on the best course of action.

  • Follow Post-Anesthetic Instructions: Ensure you are following the prescribed medication schedule, dietary recommendations, and activity restrictions.
  • Encourage Hydration: Make sure your dog has access to fresh water at all times. Encourage drinking by offering water in different bowls or even using a pet water fountain to make it more appealing.
  • Offer Palatable Food: If your furry friend is experiencing a loss of appetite, try applying a small and frequent diet of palatable and easily digestible food.
  • Minimize Physical Activity: Avoid strenuous exercise or activities that may put unnecessary strain on your dog’s body.

How Do I Calm My Dog Down After Sedation?

After your beloved companion has undergone sedation, it’s important to help them calm down and recover comfortably. Here are some steps you can take to help them feel at ease after sedation.

  • Create a quiet environment: Choose a calm and quiet space in your home where your dog can rest undisturbed. Close the curtains or blinds to reduce outside noise and create a peaceful atmosphere.
  • Limit stimulation: Minimize any stimulation that could cause your dog to become excited or anxious. Keep other pets, children, and visitors away from your pet until they have fully recovered.
  • Provide a cozy resting place: Make sure your dog has a comfortable bed or blanket to lie on. Offer a familiar and soft spot where they can relax and feel secure.
  • Provide gentle reassurance: Spend some quiet time with your canines, offering gentle petting and soothing words. Your presence and comforting touch can help them feel safe and secure.

Tips For Smooth Recovery

While your veterinarian will give detailed aftercare instructions for caring for your dogs after surgery, here is some general healing advice.

  • Regularly switch up your toys, games, and activities to keep things exciting.
  • Keep the surroundings exciting while also being welcoming for your dog. This can be as easy as adding a fresh blanket or shifting their kennel to a room’s different side to provide a different view.
  • Play sessions should be brief and pleasant to avoid overworking your pups, as they require energy for recovery.
  • Limit the animal’s time alone in the early stages of recovery to prevent problems or your dog from licking or scratching at stitches. Following the surgery, they could also feel more apprehensive or stressed than usual.

Frequently Asked Questions

dog pacing after surgery

How Do Dogs Feel After Sedation?

After sedation, dogs may feel groggy, disoriented, and lethargic. The effects can vary depending on the individual animal and the type of sedative used. 

It is common to experience temporary changes in behavior, coordination, and appetite. With proper care and monitoring, you can help your dog recover and return to its normal selves within a short period of time.

Can I Give My Dog Water After Sedation? What Do You Feed A Dog After Sedation?

Yes, you can give your dog water after sedation. As for feeding your dog after sedation, it’s best to start with small, easily digestible meals. Boiled chicken or rice can be a gentle option.

Still, it’s crucial to follow the specific post-sedation instructions provided regarding feeding recommendations for your dog.

What Are Anesthesia And Sedation For Dogs?

Anesthesia involves a deeper level of unconsciousness, often requiring the administration of multiple medications to induce a complete loss of sensation and consciousness.

Meanwhile, sedation refers to a milder form of relaxation or sleepiness achieved through the use of anesthetic drugs, allowing for less invasive procedures or calming an anxious or restless dog.

The Bottom Line

The issue of dog restless after sedation is a common occurrence.

By implementing the tips shared in this article, such as using puzzle toys, engaging in enrichment activities, and providing a calm environment, you can help ease your beloved pet’s restlessness and aid in its smooth recovery.

Remember to follow the post-operative instructions provided by your veterinarian and reach out to them if you have any concerns. With your care and patience, your dog will soon be back to their lively and playful self.


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Hi I am Mitchell. Dog Growth is a blog about dog caring and training where I share my experiences to my community. Hope you enjoy it!

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