Boxer owners should avoid the use of the drug Acepromazine for their boxers, especially if the dog will
be unattended and/or unable to receive emergency medical care if it is needed. It is also a drug
commonly used in anesthetic protocols and it should not be used in the Boxers.
This drug is the most commonly prescribed tranquilizer by veterinarians either for air or car travel. This
drug is a tranquilizer, often used as a pre-anesthetic agent.
In the Boxer, it may cause a problem called first-degree heart block, a potentially serious arrhythmia of
the heart. It may also cause a profound hypo tension (severe lowering of the blood pressure) on the
“Recently, on the Veterinary Information Network, a computer network for practicing veterinarians, an
announcement was placed in the cardiology section entitled "Acepromazine and Boxers." This described
several adverse reactions to the drug in a very short time span at a veterinary teaching hospital. All the
adverse reactions were in Boxers. The reactions included collapse, respiratory arrest, and profound
bradycardia (slow heart rate, less than 60 beats per minute). The announcement suggested that
Acepromazine should not be used in dogs of the Boxer breed because of a breed related sensitivity to
the drug.” (Wendy Wallner, DVM, July, 1997)
Christa Cook states:
“ If your vet needs more than your word that you do NOT want your dog treated with this drug, tell your vet
to get out their "Handbook of Veterinary Drugs". Every vet has one. Tell them to go to the section on
ACEPROMAZINE. In this section (1993ed) there is this section:
"Prolonged effects of the drug may be seen in older animals. Giant breeds, as well as greyhounds,
appear quite sensitive to the clinical effects of the drug, yet terrier breeds appear more resistant. Boxer
dogs, on the other hand, are predisposed to hypotensive and bradycardic effects of the drug."
This should be enough of a warning for your vet.
Discuss this with your vet now, if you have not done so. Do not wait for an emergency situation to occur
because you may forget then. Some vets are still unaware of the very possible fatal effects of the use of
Acepromazine in Boxers.”
When opening a new file at your veterinarian, you should always ask that a warning be posted in the file
of your dog for Allergic reaction to Acepromazine. Better be safe than sorry.