Dog anxiety medications can assist in the treatment of chronic separation anxiety symptoms in dogs. A word of caution though, there are a lot of natural therapies and over the counter medicines that are designed and tested for human use and these should never be given to your dog. Many people think that if a medication has worked for them, it will work for their dog too. This is not the case and you may risk causing permanent damage to your dog or at the very minimum, make him sick.
There are many dog anxiety medications available through prescription from your veterinarian. There are also a number of natural remedies available online which do not require a prescription. Always consult with your veterinarian before buying and using these types of medications or natural remedies for your dog.
Anything you give your dog outside of his normal diet has the possibility of causing harm, so be sure what you decide to give your dog will not harm or make him suffer either now or in the longer term.
In this article we will look into the three most commonly prescribed dog anxiety medications and how they work. They are;
Dog Anxiety Medication – Clomipramine.
Clomipramine is a tricyclic antidepressant approved for veterinary use in dogs. Clomipramine is available by prescription only. Clomipramine is most commonly used to treat behavioral disorders such as obsessive compulsive disorder, dominance aggression, dog anxiety and urine spraying.
What are the benefits of clomipramine?
Clomipramine results in increased serotonin levels within the brain. Increased serotonin levels help to decrease the sensation of anxiety and stress.
What are the risks associated with clomipramine?
Clomipramine may cause loss of appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, elevation of liver enzymes and sedation. Clomipramine should be used with caution in dogs who have any pre-existing seizure disorders.
Are there concerns about long-term use of clomipramine?
Clomipramine is metabolized primarily in the liver and long-term use can cause an increase in the liver enzymes. It is recommended to have the liver enzymes monitored through blood tests both before and during administration of clomipramine.
Clomipramine is a type of drug that may need may need to be taken for several weeks before therapeutic effects are noticed. It will need to build up in your dogs system and then the levels will need to be monitored.
Fluoxetine is also known as puppy Prozac. Fluoxetine is a Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor, or SSRI, which are a group of drugs used in humans to address depression, anxiety disorders, compulsive disorders, and difficulty in managing aggression. In the veterinary world fluoxetine is one of the few drugs approved by the FDA for use in the treatment of separation anxiety in dogs. Fluoxetine is a prescription drug and is not available over the counter.
Use and Benefits of fluoxetine?
Fluoxetine is commonly used in behavioral modification. It’s primarily used to treat separation anxiety, and a lot of behaviorists use it to calm dogs enough to work in a number of behavior problems. Fluoxetine is an adjunct therapy meaning that is used with the presence of another. In other words this medication would be used in conjunction with behavior modification training to gain best results. Fluoxetine will allow you to get the dog calm enough to train it and to address its behavior problems.
Are there risks using fluoxetine?
The main risks of fluoxetine are gastrointestinal upset and the risk of negative interactions with other drugs. Pet owners just need to make sure that, if they see more than one vet for some reason, all their vets know their pet is on fluoxetine.
Are there concerns about long-term use?
Fluoxetine is not really intended for long-term use. It is generally prescribed for short-term use, just until the behavioral modification treatment shows progress. A few months of use is considered a normal time. A few dogs may not respond well to behavior modification treatment and may have to take fluoxetine for a prolonged period, perhaps a year, but this would be an exception to the rule.
Any other things to know?
The only real issue is to that you must tell your vet that dog is taking fluoxetine. If you attend your vet and there is a new vet attending your dog, you must inform them as other medications the vet might prescribe might not mix well with fluoxetine. Drug interactions are the main cause for concern with this drug.
Alprazolam is also know as Zanax. It is basically a sedative type of drug and has the ability to calm when anxious feelings occur. It is not FDA approved for use in animals, however many dog owners report that it has been an effective sedative.
Use and Benefits of alprazolam?
Alprazolam is a mild tranquilizer used to reduce anxiety in dogs. It is classified chemically as a benzodiazepine tranquilizer. It is usually prescribed for situations when severe anxiety is triggered by and outside influence, for example when a thunderstorm is about to hit.
Precautions and Side Effects.
While generally safe and effective when prescribed by a veterinarian, alprazolam may cause side effects in some animals.
Alprazolam should not be used if the dog has muscular weakness or eye conditions such as glaucoma. Alprazolam should be used with caution in animals with liver disease.
Alprazolam may interact with other medications. Consult your veterinarian to determine if other drugs your pet is receiving could interact with alprazolam. Such drugs include other central nervous system depressants, digoxin, phenytoin and theophylline.
The most common side effect is excessive sedation and loss of motor control, but these effects occur at doses greater than those needed for its anxiety-reducing effect.
In some animals, alprazolam may cause over excitement or worsen aggression.
Are there concerns about long-term use?
Alprazolam has been know to be addictive which means long-term treatment can lead to physical dependence, which can result in undesirable behavior changes if the drug is abruptly discontinued.
Learn more about other ways to treat dog anxiety on our article titled Dog Anxiety Treatment. We hope this article has helped you understand a little more about dog anxiety medications.