Monday, November 19, 2007

Prozac For Pets

National Geographic article: Can Animals Benefit From Behavioral Drugs?

Twenty-five percent of animals are euthanized because of behavioral problems. That has led to a wider use of drugs that are helping some dogs. But Prozac? Haven't we heard enough complaints from people who have taken this drug?

Take a look at the use profile and side effects of this drug:

Fluoxetine (Prozac®)
Veterinary & Aquatic Services Department, Drs. Foster & Smith, Inc.

Fluoxetine is an antidepressant of the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) class. It is used to treat behavior problems including obsessive compulsive behavior such as constant licking in dogs and cats, and feather picking in birds. It is also used to treat aggression. It may take 1-4 weeks before you see an effect.

It may cause aggression in some previously unaggressive animals.

Contact your veterinarian if your pet experiences stomach upset, tiredness, anxiety, restlessness, panting, irritability, jaundice (yellowing of the gums, skin, or whites of the eyes), vomiting, or a persistent lack of appetite while being treated with fluoxetine.

Sounds like intestinal and liver problems, besides the fact that the drug can cause exactly what people are hoping it will remove.

The natural health alternative for people to avoid this drug has been Nutri-Calm. For those prone to depression and panic attacks, the formula has a lot of beneficial ingredients.

As deficient as most pet foods are in nutrients, they could use a dose of the stress vitamin B's and C that this formula provides. It would provide another avenue to try before putting pets on drugs that may be for life. Since it comes in tablet form, it can be cut for cats and smaller dogs, since the recommendations are based on a 150-pound person.

Having a pet requires commitment and like a child, it needs to be trained to be social. There are people who are excellent at doing this. In our area, Cheryl Faulkenburry is the one to see at Center Hill School. She's got a lot of help online and does phone consultations also.

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