Prozac...anyone have experience?

Discussion in 'Dog Health Care' started by Scooter, Sep 26, 2009.

  1. Scooter

    Scooter New Member

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    Zoe has always been sensitive to loud noises, but now it seems to have escalated into a true phobia. Two weeks ago we had a thunder storm, which are very rare here. She freaked out and ran for several blocks before I could chase her down. Ever since then she has been very afraid outside. Any time I walk her she reacts to sounds that never bothered her before (some I can't even hear!) She shakes and pulls on the leash to go home. We tried tranquilizers during the 4th of July but they were ineffective. After talking to a trainer and our vet, we are going to put her on dog Prozac and try some desensitization training.

    Does anyone have their dog on it? Can we just put her on it for a few months until she gets over this (which I pray she does) or might she need to be on it forever? Any side effects?

    Thanks!
     
  2. Laurelin

    Laurelin I'm All Ears

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    I tried Summer on Prozac and it was awful for her. It cured her issues but she became like a zombie. I took her off shortly after because it was so bad. For example she'd loved agility beforehand but we went to class while she was on prozac and walked the whole course. She just slept all day long.

    On the other hand, I know people that it does work for.
     
  3. Fran101

    Fran101 Resident fainting goat

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    In the beggining with kenya and her very shy and AHHH! RUN AWAY fear issues, the vet let us try prozac and it was horrible. same issue as laur, all kenya did was sleep all day. she didn't want to play or move and wasn't even excited about anything

    it was like.. sleep, eat, sleep.

    I took her off it. it was awful, yes, she was much calmer around new people, but she wasn't herself
     
  4. Scooter

    Scooter New Member

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    Thaoks for the responses. Can I ask you both- how long did you have your dogs on it before you decided to take them off? And, when you took them off it, did they return to their "old" selves?
     
  5. dogsarebetter

    dogsarebetter EVIL SHELTIES!!!!

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    I had Ruckus on prozac for noise phobia, extreme reactivity, and aggression. He was on it for 3 months and we could never tell he was on meds! We had to switch to amitriptyline (elavil) and it has worked like a charm.

    I am in the same boat as you in that I do not want to give it forever. But with Ruckus it looks like a very real possibility that he will be on it for ever. I have forgotten once and he was horrible just from one day without it. On his meds he is a different dog for the better. I was worried about starting my dog on amitriptyline but i was so glad that i did. Amitriptyline is NOT approved for use in dogs, but it is one of the most common anti anxiety medications for dogs. The effects of it with the liver, etc are relatively unknown in dogs.
     
  6. Fran101

    Fran101 Resident fainting goat

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    It took us 3 weeks, we thought the first week was just her adjusting... so we gave it 2 more weeks and we were like, no..enough is enough
     
  7. dogsarebetter

    dogsarebetter EVIL SHELTIES!!!!

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    I just wanted to add what a miracle a drug like prozac/amitriptyline/etc can be.
    Ruckus was NEVER seen wagging his tail his whole life. he had it tucked very low to the ground. When we put him on medication (he was about 1 1/2 at the time) his tail went up, it wags, and oh boy is it a pretty tail :)
     
  8. elegy

    elegy overdogged

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    harv took it briefly as a last ditch attempt to calm some of the symptoms from his brain tumor (all night pacing type stuff). it didn't help, but i don't know that anything would have. i think the neurologist was just humoring me.

    but prior to that he took clomipramine (generic clomicalm) for general noise phobia and specifically thunderstorm phobia. he also took xanax when it looked like a storm was coming. it worked great for him. he had no side-effects that i could tell, and he definitely felt better. the xanax took some tweaking to find the right dose (too much made him dopey, the right amount made him calm but not sleepy) but it absolutely helped his thunderstorm issues.
     
  9. Laurelin

    Laurelin I'm All Ears

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    I couldn't do it to her past a week. She was really visibly miserable so I pulled her off it. It took about a week and a half to get her back to 'normal'. I almost wonder if the dosage was just too high but I wouldn't do it to her again. Her SA is much more bearable now that she's not really ever alone.
     
  10. MH<3dogs

    MH<3dogs New Member

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    How much money do these drugs normally cost?
     
  11. dogsarebetter

    dogsarebetter EVIL SHELTIES!!!!

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    I spend about $12 a month, or every month and a half. but i have a vet who is also a friend, so she lets me have it at her cost.
     
  12. Scooter

    Scooter New Member

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    Thanks so much for all the advice and comments. I was really on the fence until this morning. I took Zoe on an hour walk- it's a very calm, sunny morning here. She was nervous the entire time- she never relaxed. Noises that used to never affect her (we live near a golf course, and she jumped when someone hit a ball) and just being "out" in general seemed to terrify her. It just made me want to cry- this is really turned into a full blown phobia.

    I'm going to try the prozac, but I also bought a desensitization tape of thunder storms, and I have been corresponding with a local trainer who thinks she can also help. Hopefully we can get Zoe feeling confident and happy again.
     
  13. dogsarebetter

    dogsarebetter EVIL SHELTIES!!!!

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    sorry to hear about her phobia.
    but good luck with the meds and training!
     
  14. pawzaddict

    pawzaddict New Member

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    I would try other options before going for a med that people are given as well. Ever talked to someone who took prozac? lol Does your vet have any other suggestions for you?
     
  15. elegy

    elegy overdogged

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    i took it. it worked great for my anxiety. it gave me dry mouth for awhile but that resolved.

    i'm not sure why it matters that people are given the same drug (though there is a veterinary version of it called reconcile that's far more expensive). there's a ton of crossover between human and veterinary medicine from anesthetics to pain meds to antibiotics to heart medications and on and on.
     
  16. Bailey08

    Bailey08 New Member

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    I put Bailey on Clomicalm for a couple of months for anxiety having to do with a move we were making. It's my understanding that Clomicalm is very similar to human Prozac.

    He experienced no side effects. In fact, he was on that and Benedryl at the time, and was still full of energy! :)

    If you do put your dog on it, please follow the vet's advice about starting and stopping the medication. Prozac should *not* be stopped cold turkey.

    I hope it helps your furry friend!
     
  17. Scooter

    Scooter New Member

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    Thanks all. When the mediciation comes in and I go to pick it up, I'll have a consulation with the vet.
     
  18. pawzaddict

    pawzaddict New Member

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    Everybody and everything reacts differently to meds so it may work fine, I just have personally NEVER heard of giving prozac to a dog. I am used to clomicalm being the RX

    I think clomicalm is only made for animals, but it could be similar to prozac.

    I am just iffy on giving human meds without lots of research, and Benadryl does not tire animals out like it does humans ;) The tiring ingredient does not react in a dogs system.
     
  19. dogsarebetter

    dogsarebetter EVIL SHELTIES!!!!

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    Prozac is approved for use in dogs. Elavil is not. I have never heard of Clomicalm myself.
    also they have use Xanax now in dogs. I do not think its approved for canine use either.
     
  20. lizzybeth727

    lizzybeth727 New Member

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    I would also try all other options before using drugs.

    For one thing, if she's that nervous being outside, an hour long walk is way too much for her to be able to handle. There are times when "flooding" (putting the animal in the situation that scares them until they get used to it) works, but it is an extremely risky training method for dogs because more often than not it makes the phobia much worse.

    Since this is a behaviorial problem and not a health problem, you should talk to a behaviorist before turning to medicine to fix the problem. Of course that's not to say that behavior problems aren't sometimes caused by medical problems, so a thorough check-up is definately a good idea when odd behavior problems crop up suddenly. But assuming she's healthy now, I'd work with a behaviorist before turning to meds to solve the problem.
     

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