Fluoxetine for Dogs
Has your dog been an absolute nightmare when you’re gone? Or perhaps he’s been obsessively licking or chewing on himself with no end in sight?
These are behavioral problems that are tough to deal with.
In most cases, you will get results from a consistent behavior modification program.
However, sometimes a multi-faceted approach is needed, such as training plus medication.
What is Fluoxetine and What Is It For?
Fluoxetine (Prozac) is an SSRI used to treat depression in humans, and is sometimes prescribed for dogs.
It is used to treat issues like:
- Separation anxiety
- Compulsive behaviors
In most cases, it is prescribed on a short-term basis of 3-6 months during an aggressive behavior modification program.
Once the dog begins to improve, they will slowly be taken off of the medication. Unfortunately, like all prescription medications, there is a chance the dog will become dependent.
It can take anywhere from 4-6 weeks after starting this medication to see results, so do not quit giving this to your dog too soon due to lack of results!
A 2016 survey showed that 83% of vets had prescribed the drug to cats or dogs.
How Much Should I Give My Dog?
Fluoxetine is a prescription medication, and your vet will base their recommendations on the weight of the dog, and the severity of the condition.
Most prescriptions will start small before increasing dosage. It’s very important to follow the vet’s recommendations.
How Can I Get My Dog to Take a Pill?
Not the only one who finds it difficult to give your dog a pill?
When hiding in food, keep on changing the food you hide it in.
These are specially designed treats with a whole to stuff the pill into.
They come in different shapes for different shaped holes… but there’s no fooling some dogs.
Should You Ask Your Vet About Fluoxetine?
If your dog is having issues such as constant chewing or licking of himself, obsessive tail chasing, separation anxiety or has been diagnosed as depressed then you may want to talk to your vet about Fluoxetine.
This has become a favored treatment over previous interventions like shock collars.
Are There Any Side Effects?
Most of the time, side effects of medications like this are rare.
The most common side effects of this medication are dizziness, drowsiness, runny nose, nausea, and diarrhea.
Other possible side effects include changes in appetite, weight changes, and dry mouth. Some of the more worrisome side effects include tremors, shivering, peeling skin rash, seizure, fast heartbeat and muscle stiffness among other things.
Common FAQs about Fluoxetine
How Long Does Fluoxetine Take to Work?
It takes roughly 4-6 weeks for Fluoxetine to start working to its full capability. Most people report a significant improvement in behavior within 2 months of starting their dog on this (or similar) medications.
Can Fluoxetine Help Minimize Aggression?
Yes, it is possible to use Fluoxetine to help treat aggression in dogs. However, this will not cure aggression alone and needs to be followed up with by a behavior modification program of some sort.