Hi everyone. Have read up a bit online and talked to the vet, but wanted to ask anyone here if they've gone through a similar situation to ease my mind.

Mac is about 10 months and just got neutered a week ago from day. He had zero interest in his incision and left it alone the entire week. He was on trazodone for several days because he's a pretty high-energy dog as it is, and needed it to stay calm and refrain from jumping around. We stopped our usual 2 long walks for about 5-6 days as it healed as well.

Starting the other night, Mac's behavior has been nothing I've ever seen before. He barks at me constantly, runs away from me if I go near him while he's barking, can't seem to focus, gets hyperaroused and mouthy, and has tore apart every toy. He keeps "digging" into my couch and bed. This is not usual behavior for him. He loves to play, but I've never seen anything like this in him before. We started our usual walks again yesterday and he pulled like crazy, tugging and trashing the leash towards the end of the walk.

I'm wondering if this just his pent up energy from a week of no play, the fact that he hasn't gotten to play with other dogs, or side effects from the surgery and coming off the trazodone? I'm trying to give him as much structure as I possibly can but I'm hoping this behavior subsides.

Any insight would be wonderful if you went through the same thing post surgery.




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  • Toby (just turned a year old yesterday) was neutered a week ago and he is going crazy from no play time.  He did not have any trazodone, we are just keeping him contained in small spaces (a single room) or tethered at all times.  

    He is barking at us more than usual (and him and Riley are barking at each other) which is one of the ways he tells us he wants to play.  It sounds like what Mac is doing is a bit more extreme but it does sound to me like he just has pent up energy from  having to stay calm for a week.

    • Thanks for your repsonse. Yes, I think he is beyond stir crazy and dying for some dog time. I think he's also very bored of me and acting out. Of course I think the worst though and worry he's going to become a more aggressive dog post surgery. I'm hoping in several more days when he's fully healed he can get some good play time in and see if it helps even him out. 

  • So, the trazodone is to blame for a lot of this. It's a serotonin reuptake inhibitor, commonly known as an SSRI, and it has a fairly significant half-life, meaning it takes a while for it to leave the bloodstream. It's advised to taper it off rather than stopping it abruptly.

    "Can trazodone be stopped immediately?
    Trazodone may cause a discontinuation syndrome if abruptly stopped, symptoms include anxiety, agitation, and sleep disturbances. When the time comes to withdraw trazodone, the dosage should be tapered off slowly under a doctor's advice."

    It's commonly used as an anti-anxiety medication in dogs, and it kind of bothers me that your vet gave it as a way to keep your dog "calm and refrain from jumping" for a few days. I know there's nothing you can do about it now, but for future reference, it would be a better idea to manage jumping, etc. without drugs. :) 

    The huge hormonal changes from the neuter surgery may also be contributing, but I'm guessing that once the trazodone has completely cleared his system, the behavior will subside. 

    Can trazodone be stopped immediately? - Google Search
  • The neuter did not cause these behaviors. Lack of exercise perhaps. If it's been a week and everything looks good I'd walk him (as you've begun to do) and monitor his behavior over the next few days. If you see no improvement in his behavior with the walks, I'd check with the vet. 
    Did you wean him off Trazadone?  You should have (according to Google).  9813971501?profile=RESIZE_400x

    • I didn't wean him, so I think that could definitely be it. It sounds a lot like what he's displaying. I am totally to blame for not looking into it more, but I wish my vet would have explained a bit more about how, when, and how to stop using the trazodone. Because it's seemed to throw him into a frenzy. Appreciate the discussion here and hoping in a few days he will have it out of his system. Good to know for next time :)

      • Neuter recovery is typically not as big a deal as spay surgery, because it's way less invasive, and males typically recover faster and don't require medication other than maybe a pain pill the first day or so. But even females generally don't need drugs to keep them calm after surgery. In the past 15 years, I've had two males and 1 female neutered, and nobody was given any drugs other than pain meds. The only one who needed the pain meds after the first day was the female. 
        It took me 30 years of dog ownership to learn to question the vets, lol, so don't blame yourself. We live and we learn. :)

        • Our vet offered to give trazadone if Toby was REALLY off-the-wall crazy but said take him home and see how he is first and then if he is really unmanageable then we can talk about it.  Most dogs do just fine without it.

          I always question everything the vet does now, largely thanks to you, Karen lol :)  They probably hate me for it but I don't care, I look out for my dogs.

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