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Prozac for Dogs

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 
  • Aggression
  • 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: 

  • Lethargy
  • Decreased appetite 
  • Vomiting and diarrhea 
  • Trembling  
  • Restlessness 
  • Panting
  • Incoordination 
  • Weight loss 

More severe side effects that may indicate an overdose include: 

  • Seizures 
  • Aggression 
  • 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.

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What are Corticosteroids for Dogs?

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    What are Corticosteroids for Dogs?

    Corticosteroids (a.k.a steroids or cortisone) are steroid hormones that are naturally generated in the adrenal glands. Corticosteroids are vital in the body for a variety of reasons, including stress response, immune system response, inflammatory regulation, nutrition metabolism, and blood electrolyte balance. They can be administered orally, which is the most usual and easy method for pet owners, or intravenously or subcutaneously by a veterinarian for quicker absorption.

    What Do Corticosteroids Treat in Dogs?

    Corticosteroids are routinely used to treat a wide range of ailments in dogs, but the dosage and length of therapy vary depending on the type of your dog’s ailment. Low doses are often used to treat inflammation-related conditions such as joint pain, allergies, respiratory conditions, and skin issues/dermatitis. Higher doses are often used to treat autoimmune disorders such as Lupus and Addison’s Disease.

    How Do Corticosteroids Work?

    Corticosteroids function by replicating natural hormones generated by the adrenal cortex, which decrease chemicals that activate the immune system’s inflammatory response and act as an immunosuppressant when administered in high doses.

    What Corticosteroids Are There?

    Prednisone, prednisolone, dexamethasone, triamcinolone, and methylprednisolone are the most often given corticosteroids which are also synthetic corticosteroids. Corticosteroids in this form are the most commonly prescribed type and are several times more effective than the naturally occurring versions present in the body and often have a significantly longer half-life. Due to their increased potency and duration of action, synthetic corticosteroids must be used with caution to avoid serious side effects.

    What Do Corticosteroids Cost for Dogs?

    The cost of corticosteroid treatment for dogs is determined by multiple different factors, including the length of treatment, the dog’s size, the exact medication used, and how it’s administered. For example, 30 tablets of oral prednisone to take at home is only around $6-$10 from Chewy based on the dosage but it may cost around $50-$150 for an injection at the vet.

    What Are The Side Effects of Corticosteroids in Dogs?

    Photo Credit: Whole Dog Journal

    Corticosteroids in dogs can cause various side effects which vary depending on whether it’s used short term or long term. Short term is often used as an allergy treatment and side effects may include:

    • Excessive panting
    • Increase lethargy
    • Increased appetite 
    • Increased thirst and urination
    • Nausea and vomiting
    • Worsening skin infections 

    Long term usage is that which lasts for multiple weeks or months and side effects may include:

    • UTIs
    • Obesity as a result of increased appetite
    • Development of thin skin, thin coat, and blackheads
    • Muscle weakness as a result of metabolic breakdown of muscle tissue
    • Cushing’s disease
    • Behavior changes such as anger, aggressiveness, depression, and anxiety
    • Stunted growth in young dogs
    • Hypertension
    • Lack of healing
    • Digestive tract ulcers
    • Kidney issues
    • There is also a chance of pre-diabetic dogs developing diabetes during treatment and then reverting back to pre-diabetes once treatment is complete

    Side effects may be reduced by lowering the dosage, discontinuing treatment, or using an alternate steroid or treatment. Due to the commonality of side effects, corticosteroids are usually used just at the beginning stages of an allergic reaction while being gradually tapered off in an effort to reduce the chance of side effects. 

    If your dog is displaying any side effects of corticosteroids, you should inform your veterinarian as they may want to change treatment or lower the dosage.

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    Antibiotics for Dogs

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      What Are Antibiotics?

      Antibiotics are one of the most commonly recommended treatments for dogs that are used to treat bacterial infections. Infections that they treat include infections of the skin, mouth, eyes, ears, urinary tract, lungs, and other organs. They can also be used to prevent infections in high-risk situations, such as after a big incision or abdominal surgery. Antibiotics come in a variety of shapes and sizes, as well as distinct classifications. Each class fights microorganisms in a different way.

      How do Antibiotics Work?

      Bacterial antibiotics target your dog’s harmful cells while leaving the healthy ones alone. Antibiotics may prevent bacteria from building cell walls, stopping them from reproducing, depending on the treatment. Antibiotics can also starve bacteria by preventing them from converting glucose to energy, which is essential for all living cells.

      What Are the Side Effects of Antibiotics in Dogs?

      Antibiotics can come with a variety of side effects ranging from mild to severe. It’s important to take note of any side effects of antibiotics your dog may be experiencing during treatment and report it to the prescribing veterinarian. Side effects of antibiotics include:

      Allergic Reaction

      While allergic reactions can happen, they are more on the uncommon side for dogs but that doesn’t mean it can’t happen. They may occur immediately after taking (anaphylaxis) them or later on. If your dog is showing any signs of an allergic reaction, it’s best to stop the medication immediately and take them to the vet or emergency vet depending on the severity. It’s important to take note of the signs of an allergic reaction:

      • Swelling of face or muzzle
      • Seizures
      • Skin rash or hives
      • Difficulty breathing
      • Vomiting
      • Diarrhea
      • Excessive salivation

      Gastrointestinal Problems

      Gastrointestinal problems are a common side effect of antibiotics. This includes nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, and loss of appetite. These commonly occur within the first few days of taking the medication. GI problems may be helped with taking food with antibiotics.

      Antibiotic Resistance

      The chance of antibiotic resistance is why most vets and human doctors prescribe antibiotics with caution as overuse can deem the body resistant to antibiotics.  It happens when germs grow resistant to the antibiotics used to kill them. As the germs multiply, the illness worsens and becomes more difficult to cure. Vets try to prevent this by prescribing the most appropriate antibiotic for the bacterium, selecting the appropriate dose, and advising on the optimum treatment duration. This is why, even if your dog looks to be getting better, it’s vital to stick to the antibiotic treatment plan.

      Microbiome Imbalance

      Antibiotics can kill healthy bacteria in the body. The essential bacterial microbes in a dog’s body, such as in the GI tract and skin, play an important role in maintaining the body’s homeostasis. They improve the dog’s immune system, digestion, and even the production of important vitamins and minerals. To help counteract this, your veterinarian may suggest probiotic supplements.

      Neurological Issues

      Certain antibiotics, such as Metronidazole can induce ataxia (drunk gait), dilated pupils, head tilt to one side, nystagmus (involuntary fast eye movement), and even seizures in certain dogs.

      What are the Different Types of Antibiotic Medications for Dogs and What Do They Treat?

      Antibiotics are not one-size-fits-all. Different types of antibiotics are used to treat different things. So what are the different types of antibiotics and what conditions do they treat?

      Amoxicillin

      Amoxicillin (Amoxil®, Amoxi-Tabs®, Amoxi-Drop®, Bimox®, Moxatag®, Novamoxin®) is a broad-spectrum antibiotic that belongs to the aminopenicillin family and is used to treat bacterial infections. It’s most typically used to treat infections of the skin, lungs, and urinary tract.

      Metronidazole

      Metronidazole (Flagyl®) is an antibacterial and antiprotozoal antibiotic that is used to treat anaerobic bacterial and protozoal illnesses including Giardia and Trichomonas. It’s a common treatment for diarrhea and other gastrointestinal problems. It’s use to treat Giardia is considered off-label.

      Clindamycin

      Clindamycin (Antirobe®, Cleocin®, ClinDrops®, Clintabs®) is an antibiotic used in dogs and cats to treat a variety of bacterial illnesses. Wounds, pyoderma, abscesses, bone, and dental diseases, and toxoplasmosis are all common uses. Its use to treat toxoplasmosisis and some other infections is considered off-label.

      Amoxicillin-Clavulanic Acid

      Amoxicillin-clavulanic acid (Clavamox®), often known as amoxicillin and clavulanate potassium, is a synthetic penicillin-type antibiotic that is used to treat infections caused by gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria. It’s used to treat infections of the skin and soft tissues, as well as periodontal (gum) disease. The clavulanic acid has been added to the amoxicillin to protect it against enzymes that may break down the antibiotic before it can kill the bacteria.

      Enrofloxacin

      Enrofloxacin (Baytril®) is a fluoroquinolone antibiotic that is used to treat bacterial infections.

      Gentamicin

      Gentamicin (Gentocin®, Genoptic®, Gentak®) is used to treat and prevent bacterial infections in dogs and cats, including respiratory infections, wound infections, pneumonia, bloodstream infections, bladder infections, and skin and ear infections.

      Sulfamethoxazole Trimethoprim

      Sulfamethoxazole Trimethoprim (brand names: Co-trimoxazole®, Primsol®, Bactrim®, Sulfatrim®, Novo-Trimel®, Septra®) is a mixture of antibiotics that act together to treat infections. Sulfamethoxazole Trimethoprim is commonly used to treat infections of the urinary system, skin, respiratory tract, and digestive tract as well as ear infections, kennel cough, coccidiosis, and pneumonia.

      Doxycycline

      Doxycycline (Vibramycin®, Oracea®, Monodox®, Periostat®, Doryx®, Acticlate®) is an antibiotic that can be used to treat bacterial infections in dogs. It’s a broad-spectrum antibiotic, meaning it can combat a variety of bacteria. Tick-borne disorders such as Lyme Disease, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, and ehrlichiosis are commonly treated with the drug in dogs. It is also used to fight heartworm disease and periodontal (tooth and gum) disease in small animals.

      Cephalexin

      Cephalexin (Rilexine®, Keflex®, Vetolexin®)  belongs to a class of antibiotics called  first-generation cephalosporin. It’s used to treat multiple infections in dogs including skin and soft tissue infections, bone infections, respiratory tract infections, ear infections, and Urinary Tract Infections (UTI). It’s effective against many different bacterias including E. coli.