Anti-anxiety medicines for dogs

Written by megan smith
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Anti-anxiety medicines for dogs
Dogs can experience anxiety, but medication can help. (dog image by Krzysztof Gebarowski from Fotolia.com)

It's natural for dogs to experience anxiety at some point, whether during thunderstorms or when going to the veterinarian. But for some dogs anxiety is more commonplace and can lead to destructive or harmful behaviour. For example, some dogs feel extremely anxious whenever they are separated from their owners, and this anxiety can result in damage to the physical environment or injury to themselves. However, there are many anti-anxiety medications veterinarians can prescribe to make your dog a happier, calmer pet.

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Clomipramine Hydrochloride

Veterinarians commonly prescribe clomipramine hydrochloride to dogs experiencing anxiety. This drug is sold as the trademarked tablet called Comicalm. The medication helps to regulate the levels of serotonin in a dog's brain. The brain produces serotonin, which is a neurotransmitter. It helps many different systems function and serotonin disruption has been known to cause psychological conditions in animals and humans. Dogs that are prone to seizures should not take this drug because the drug can worsen the condition. Male dogs used for breeding also should not take clomipramine drugs because there is a risk of testicular disorders.

Amitryptiline

Amitriptyline is an anti-anxiety drug used in humans, but it is approved for dogs as well. This drug increases the neurotransmitters in a dog's brain and helps regulate behaviour. Amitriptyline comes in pill form and is given orally. Your veterinarian will prescribe the dosage, which should be followed carefully because an overdose could be fatal. Some dogs can have an allergic reaction to this medication and symptoms include coma, dry mouth and fast heartbeat.

Fluoxetine

Fluoxetine is a drug sold as the trademarked pill called Reconcile. Fluoxetine helps serotonin to be absorbed by more nerves in the brain and works over a long period of time. Giving your dog one dose will not relieve its anxiety. Results can take up to two weeks. In addition, there can be side effects, which include loss of appetite, stomach problems, insomnia or laziness.

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