Muscle Relaxer Effects in Canines

Are you worried about your beloved dog’s muscle pain and discomfort? You’re not alone! Many pet owners experience the same concerns, now more than ever given our rapidly evolving understanding of canine health. Whether your pup is suffering from stiff joints or a pulled muscle, there are safe methods to help relieve their symptoms. Before trying out any kind of relaxer for your furry family member, it’s critical that you understand the effects it could have on them– both physically and mentally.

Muscle Relaxer Effects

Muscle relaxers have a sedative effect, acting as depressants in the central nervous system. The skeletal muscle relaxant, Baclofen, is used to help humans with spinal injuries, multiple sclerosis, and other diseases of the spinal cord. Baclofen affects the spinal cord nerves, decreases muscle spasms, relieves pain, and improves muscle mobility. This drug is an effective relief for humans, but it can be deadly for dogs. This drug has a narrow margin of safety and severe poisoning can occur from just a small dose. Immediate medical treatment is necessary for your dog’s health and safety if they ingest this drug.

Baclofen Poisoning Symptoms

Contact your veterinarian and Pet Poison Helpline immediately if your dog has ingested Baclofen. Just a small amount can put your dog’s life at risk. Potential signs of poisoning to watch out for include:

  • Abnormal vocalization
  • Walking drunk
  • Severe sedation
  • Agitation
  • Slow heart rate
  • Low blood pressure
  • Tremors
  • Seizures
  • Difficulty breathing


If your dog has ingested Baclofen, contact your veterinarian and Pet Poison Helpline at (855) 764-7661 for life-saving advice. Transport your dog to the veterinary clinic for treatment right away. The treatment options for this condition might involve inducing vomiting and administering IV fluids. An antidote called intravenous lipid emulsion is given for fat-soluble poisons. In cases where your pet is having seizures, anti-seizure medications will be provided to help manage the symptoms. In severe cases, a mechanical ventilator will be used to help with difficulty breathing. After immediate treatment is given, aggressive symptomatic and supportive care will help stabilize your pup. Remember to always properly store medications so your pet cannot get their paws on it.