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To determine the pharmacokinetics and efficacy of trazodone following rectal administration of a single dose to healthy dogs.


6 healthy adult dogs.


Each dog received a single dose of trazodone (approx 8 mg/kg) per rectum. Trazodone tablets were crushed into a powder, mixed with 5 mL of tap water, and injected into the rectum via a red rubber catheter. Sedation scores were assigned, and blood samples were collected for determination of plasma trazodone concentration at predetermined times before and after drug administration. Pharmacokinetic parameters were estimated by noncompartmental analysis.


Plasma trazodone concentration remained below the detection limit for 1 dog even though it became moderately sedate. Median (interquartile [25th to 75th percentile] range [IQR]) maximum plasma trazodone concentration and volume of distribution and clearance corrected for bioavailability were 1.00 μg/mL (0.66 to 1.40 μg/mL), 10.3 L/kg (7.37 to 14.4 L/kg), and 639 mL/kg/h (594 to 719 mL/kg/h), respectively. Median time to maximum plasma trazodone concentration and elimination half-life were 15 minutes (range, 15 to 30 minutes) and 12 hours (IQR, 7.99 to 12.7 hours), respectively. All dogs became mildly or moderately sedate, and the extent of sedation was maximal at a median of 30 minutes (IQR, 30 to 60 minutes) after trazodone administration. No adverse effects were observed.


Rectal administration of trazodone may be a viable option for sedation and treatment of anxiety in dogs for which administration of sedatives and anxiolytics by other routes is contraindicated. Further research is necessary to better elucidate the pharmacokinetics and efficacy of trazodone following rectal administration and determine optimal dosing.

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research