Tranquilizers and sedatives are sometimes given to dogs in order to relax them for medical procedures or grooming, according to Pet Education.com. Generally, the sedative or tranquilizer is injected directly into the muscle or given intravenously, depending on the setting. Both may be used together before giving the dog general anesthesia for surgical procedures.
Tranquilizers used to relax dogs and other animals prior to a surgical procedure include diazepam, which is also known as Valium, and midazolam. Another tranquilizer that is sometimes used as a preanesthetic is acepromazine. Tranquilizers differ from sedatives in that they do not provide any pain relief.
By contrast, sedatives not only relax the animal but also provide pain relief or analgesia. One such drug used in dogs is Domitor, also known as medetomidine hydrochloride, which is sometimes given to relax the dog for a minor procedure. It is generally administered intravenously, although it may be injected into the muscle.
When a dog must be unconscious for a procedure, general anesthetics are used. These anesthetics block the sensation of pain, while preventing the dog from moving during the procedure. Most relax the muscles. One general anesthetic, Telazol, is useful in sedating the dog for short procedures.