Avoid the administration of Tranquilisers or Sedatives, to your pet before air travel. Here are the reasons why:
It is contra-indicated to administer tranquilisers or sedatives, to a domestic animal before flight. The mixture of altitude and sedation is not recommended by the veterinarians specialised in Pet Relocation by air . Verify the AVMA website (American Veterinary Medical Association): https://www.avma.org/public/PetCare/Pages/Traveling-with-Your-Pet-FAQs.aspx).
To insure their well being, do not give sedatives to your best friend before their flight. If absolutely necessary… take it yourself!
All sedatives reduce blood pressure. Have you ever climbed over 10,000 feet up a mountain? If so, you know the effect this has on you. Pets react in the same way. It is important to avoid giving a tranquiliser to a cat or dog prior to air travel. This medication will reduce blood pressure,.
Since the aircraft is already pressurized to 8,000 feet (whatever height they fly at) which is the highest a body can usually accept in comfort, any tranquilizers (including alcohol) further reduce blood pressure giving the effect of rising above 10,000 feet or more and, thus inducing altitude sickness. Your pet could lose balance, motor control, temperature regulation, regularity of breathing… etc. and feel sick (vomit), just as in humans. In extreme cases, especially with brachycephalic breeds which are predisposed to breathing problems, this will exacerbate the problem and could lead to death. The brachycephalic dog breeds (and many crosses) include Boxers, Pugs, Bull Mastiffs, Pekinese… etc. The brachycephalic cat breeds (and many crosses) include Persians, Himalayan, Chinchilla, Exotic Shorthair, British Longhair/Shorthair… etc. Tranquilizers are therefore contraindicated by all air transport veterinary authorities.
If absolutely necessary, the text from the yearly adapted IATA/LAR (Live Animal Regulations) clearly states: “Sedation shall be administered by a veterinarian or by a person who has had appropriate training or equivalent practical experience.”
It is often a requirement to sign a legal document to declare to the airline that your animal is not tranquilized or sedated. It is much better to train your pet to its travel flight kennel, simply by placing and feeding him daily in its travel kennel for a few weeks before departure. Read our advice on flight kennels in this chapter.
Instead of giving medication to sedate your pet during travel, we strongly suggest that you train your animal to its Travel Crate. You can purchase the Air Travel Crate from Manoir Kanisha and do this training yourself at home. You should plan to start this progressive method about 3 to 4 weeks before its flight. Or, we also offer to do this training for you while your pet is boarded at Manoir Kanisha. See our 6-STEPS-TRAVEL-CRATE-TRAINING Program at the following page:
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