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Anipryl Medication for Dogs

Updated April 17, 2017

Anipryl (selegiline hydrocholoride/L-deprenyl) is a medication for dogs available only by prescription. It is used to treat canine cognitive dysfunction syndrome and Cushing's disease. It comes in tablet form taken orally by your pet.

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Anipryl increases the levels of dopamine in dogs. Dopamine is a chemical found in the nervous system that assists in sending messages throughout that system. Higher levels of dopamine improve the cognitive processes in your dog.


Anipryl tablets are offered in sizes of 2, 5, 10, 15 and 30 mg. The starting dosage is usually on the low end, with adjustments made by your vet based on information such as response, symptom relief and tolerance to the medication. Directions for dosing should be followed. PetCare Rx recommends one whole tablet be given by mouth once a day, normally in the morning.

Reasons to Avoid Anipryl

Certain dogs should not take Anipryl. If your dog is pregnant or nursing, the effect of this drug is unknown. Therefore, it should be avoided if possible. Dogs that have a prior sensitivity to selegiline should not use this medication. Anipryl should never be used with ephedrine. Knowledge of your pet's medical history will be important to prevent any problems due to interactions.

Side Effects

Selegiline can cause vomiting, larger and more frequent bowel movements, increased thirst and urination, drowsiness, disorientation and hair loss. Your veterinarian should be notified of any of these side effects. Most of these will go away and are not considered serious. However, if they continue or are significantly impacting your pet, your veterinarian may change medications or dosage of this drug.


According to Long Beach Animal Hospital, studies of this medication show significant improvement in dogs treated with it for cognitive dysfunction disease. In fact, after 30 days, 80 per cent of dogs showed improvement. In Cushing's, the improvement in symptoms for dogs seems to be less uniform, though many respond positively.

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About the Author

Ellen Swanson Topness

Ellen Topness has been a counselor in the mental health field for more than 25 years. She has a Master of Arts in counseling. Throughout her career, Topness has enjoyed writing articles, poems and vignettes for pleasure. She also released a new ebook, "A Natural Disaster: Learning to Survive Myself."

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