Just like humans, dogs can suffer from anxiety-related disorders. There are various medications and training that your vet may recommend depending upon your dog’s situation. One of these medications is Prozac, generically known as Fluoxetine. The medication functions in dogs similar to that in humans.
What is Prozac?
Prozac, or generically known as Fluoxetine, is an SSRI antidepressant used to treat various behavioral disorders in dogs. SSRI stands for serotonin reuptake inhibitor and is most commonly used to treat anxiety-related disorders. This form of Prozac is approved for dogs by the FDA and is labeled to treat separation anxiety.
How Does Prozac Work in Dogs?
Prozac is essentially a psychotropic medication that changes your dog’s brain action by manipulating its neurotransmitters in a particular way. As an SSRI, the medication delays the body’s reuptake of serotonin, the neurotransmitter that is believed to stabilize mood, which results in serotonin persisting longer when released.
Prozac typically produces improvement in dogs around the four-week mark. However, the improvement may not be enough and your vet may suggest another medication in place of Prozac. Dosage is dependent on your dog’s size, age, and disorder. Your veterinarian will provide you with proper instructions specific to your dog.
What Does Prozac Treat in Dogs?
Prozac is used to treat a variety of anxiety-related disorders in dogs, including:
- Separation anxiety
- Thunderstorm phobia
- Generalized anxiety
- Compulsive disorders
- Destructive behavior
How is Prozac Administered in Dogs?
Prozac or Fluoxetine is administered to dogs in the form of a tablet, capsule, or liquid. It can typically be given with or without food. Your vet will provide full instructions on proper dosage and administration. It’s important that if administered in liquid form to measure very carefully.
What Are the Side Effects of Prozac in Dogs?
There are a number of side effects of Prozac in dogs. The most common side effects observed are:
- Decreased appetite
- Vomiting and diarrhea
- Weight loss
More severe side effects that may indicate an overdose include:
- Excessive vomiting
Just like any medication, follow your veterinarian’s instructions carefully and notify them of any issues or negative side effects.
Who Should Not Be Prescribed Prozac?
Dogs with certain pre-existing conditions should not be administered Prozac. It should not be used in dogs with a history or seizures or that are already on medications to lower the seizure threshold. Some dogs may be allergic to Prozac and should not be prescribed the medication. If your dog is taking MAOIs or NSAIDs, Prozac should not be given.
Additionally, the medication should be used cautiously in dogs with diabetes mellitus, liver disease, are under the age of 6 months old, or are pregnant. It’s critical to disclose your dog’s full medical history and medications to your veterinarian so they can properly treat the condition.