This Prozac isn't going so well.

Discussion in 'Dogs - General Dog Chat' started by milos_mommy, Jan 15, 2013.

  1. milos_mommy

    milos_mommy Active Member

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    So, a quick backstory for everyone who doesn't know:

    Milo, my 7 year old pet store/puppy mill JRT (mix?), has had a plethora of mental issues for his whole life. Anxiety, panic attacks, OCD, and aggression induced by all of this. We've managed it his entire life with some behavior modification and lifestyle adjustments. It's difficult, because my family is not on-board with a LOT of training, and as most of you know, it only goes so far when it's inconsistent.

    I'm expecting a baby in June, and my parents (whom I live with), paid for a behaviorist. I figured that if they were willing to pay someone just short of $1000, they'd LISTEN TO HIM (I was wrong). The dr prescribed prozac, as well as developed a behavioral modification plan.

    Milo started taking the prozac about 5 days ago. His behavior has improved very slightly, but I'm attributing that more to behavior modification than the meds. It certainly hasn't gotten worse. I know it's too soon to see much change.

    The problem is, since starting the prozac, he's been acting REALLY off. Not aggressive or anxious...just sad, lethargic, and not himself in a bad way. He'll actually go into the bedrooms to sleep and be away from the family, which is something I've never, ever seen him do. He hasn't played with toys AT ALL in five days, which is not like him. His appetite has greatly decreased - he will still take high value treats during training, but is uninterested in most average treats (he could stand to lose weight, not super worrisome on it's own). If he is around the family, his ears are back the entire time, his expression is just dull and sad. I've never, ever seen this dog look sad before. I've honestly never seen his tail stop wagging while he's awake, ever. It's been barely wagging at all. He doesn't want to do anything. Normally this is a dog crashing into the door and jumping to go outside, racing around with a toy, licking everyone's face, into everything...he's just lying around.

    I'm going to call the Dr tomorrow and ask, but I'm considering just halving the dose before even talking to them. He's on 10mg, and he's a 20 lb dog. When I was on prozac, I took 20mg, and I weigh 6 times that much. I don't know if he's on such a high dose because of the seriousness of his issues, or what.

    Has anyone had an experience like this? What did you do? Did the dog "get used to it" or did you need to change the dosage? It's breaking my heart to see him like this.
     
  2. Southpaw

    Southpaw orange iguanas.

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    Juno weighs 50lbs and is on 20mg a day, but I believe the vet mentioned we could go up to 30mg if it was needed. So 10mg might not be too far-fetched for his size.

    I didn't have any side effects with Juno. I'd definitely just talk to the vet and see what they think - it could just be something temporary as he gets used to the drug, he might need a tweak in dosage, he might need a completely different drug altogether.

    I HAVE heard of dogs reacting that way though, so I don't think it's terribly uncommon.
     
  3. monkeys23

    monkeys23 New Member

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    I've heard a lot of stories about dogs reacting that way... and the owners made varying decisions because of it. Obviously thats something personal to each person and their dog.

    Luckily when we tried drugs (clomipramine) for Scout she didn't have any icky side effects like that, but it also did zero things to help her. The thing that helps the most is more mental work, i.e. more training. She seems to be less weird when she's got more of a "job" to do.

    Anywho best of luck with Milo and his meds!
     
  4. milos_mommy

    milos_mommy Active Member

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    *sigh* Thanks guys. I think maybe if he didn't have such a...vibrant...personality, it wouldn't be so bad. Honestly I think if my other dogs had these side effects we wouldn't notice more than "oh he seems a little tired".

    I wanted to keep it up for another week and see if he improved, but my mom's really upset with it and really I am too. I guess I'll see what the vet says :(
     
  5. stardogs

    stardogs Behavior Nerd

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    In general, it will take a little while for a dog to adapt to meds. I know our local vet behaviorist mentions lethargy as a side effect, but he's always said that the dog usually adjusts to it and comes out of the lethargy after a couple weeks.
     
  6. CharlieDog

    CharlieDog Rude and Not Ginger

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    Proxac, iirc can take up to 90 days to kick in to see the positive side affects. I'd ask about perhaps a different drug, a generic, or decreasing the dosage before taking him off it cold turkey, which can also cause problems.

    It was nearly 70 days in before we saw a difference in Enzo, but the first couple of weeks yeah, she was a bit off in the exact same way. It helped her immensaly in her SA issues at home though, and once she was weaned off the drug the behavior mod still helped a lot, and she's much much better.
     
  7. Laurelin

    Laurelin I'm All Ears

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    Summer went on prozac and she was that way exactly. It was terrible. She wouldn't do anything. I took her to agility and she went from one week running and having a blast to the next barely even walking the course. She wouldn't chew any chews. Wouldn't eat. Wouldn't run and play with the other dogs. She literally just laid there and seemed out of it for the entire week she was on it.

    I pulled her off of it. :/ I'm not sure if trying longer would have been a better idea but I just couldn't stand it. It was even worse than seeing her go through SA.
     
  8. milos_mommy

    milos_mommy Active Member

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    Yeah, I'm not sure i could take another few weeks of this, even if he could. It's not like he's sleeping more or less intense, he's like...an empty shell practically.
     
  9. Laurelin

    Laurelin I'm All Ears

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    I always wondered if they gave Summer too much of a dosage. It took well over a week after I pulled her off of it for her to return to normal fully.

    I would definitely talk to the vet. I'm just not comfortable with the result I saw with Summer. I didn't want the panic attacks but I also didn't want a dog that did not seem to enjoy anything.
     
  10. joce

    joce Active Member

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    Honestly if its going to be to the baby or dog point I'd leave it. And most people have an adjustment period where they are lethargic and it may be weeks or months till they adjust. Being in the hospital setting we throw people on the big dose instead of starting small.

    Let the dog be calm. This may be his non neurotic self and the way he can be so be can stay in the household with the baby.

    Just be careful. Dogs don't metabolize like we do(think pigs are closest) so you can't compare weights at all.
     
  11. sassafras

    sassafras mushinois

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    If he's only been on it 5 days, I would try to wait it out. Most dogs who have this type of reaction will acclimate within 10-14 days or so.

    There are lots of other options for drugs as well. So if he continues to just feel awful on it, ask about alternatives.
     
  12. milos_mommy

    milos_mommy Active Member

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    Honestly, if it came down to him not adjusting to the meds and staying like this, I'd be more comfortable putting him down than keeping him drugged like this. He's not calm. He's very clearly uncomfortable and miserable. And he's not generally neurotic outside of certain situations except episodically....it's not like he runs around anxious and high strung normally.
     
  13. PWCorgi

    PWCorgi Priscilla Winifred Corgi

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    I would wait it out for a while and see if he adjusts. It's pretty early to give up, especially since it has so much potential to change his life for the better.
     
  14. Grab

    Grab Active Member

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    I would probably wait out the adjustment period if my dog were normally highly anxious. Most times they come out of it once they regulate. But then lethargic dogs don't bother me that much.
     
  15. ericag

    ericag New Member

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    My dog just started Prozac

    My dog (16 lb doxen) just started Prozac 2 weeks ago, and I'm seeing similar side effects. He is usually high energy, now he seems sleepy and I have to coax him for his morning walk. The good news is that he seems less aggressive toward my husband (he's bitten him before). I have read a lot of information, and it seems that these side effects are common. While I'm not thrilled with the lethargy, I've read that these changes will pass when the dog adjusts to the drug- up to 90 days. It's a trying time for any pet owner, but I want to see it through, as the alternative is a dangerous dog, which isn't healthy for anyone.
     
  16. milos_mommy

    milos_mommy Active Member

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    I didn't see the newest comment on this. It took about 2 weeks, but Milo did adjust to the meds. He is back to his happy self and is no longer lethargic, although he definitely isn't as energetic, he is still playful and far from lethargic (he also just turned 8, so his age might have something to do with that).

    90 days seems like a long time, but I would definitely advise waiting two weeks at least to see if side effects such as lethargy subside.

    His aggression and OCD issues have also seen an amazing improvement on Prozac
     
  17. SaraB

    SaraB New Member

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    Classic acted the same way on prozac, didn't get better for 6 weeks, still acted lethargic/wall staring, etc. So we switched him to clomicalm and that was the ticket. His anxiety related behaviors improved but he returned to his normal goofy self. Certain meds don't work for certain dogs. I was told by our behaviorist that if it changes their personality like that, the dose isn't quite right. It might not be the amount but the schedule, 10mg broken into two doses has a different effect than 10mg given once a day. Also, dogs metabolize drugs differently than humans do, so the doses aren't going to be relatable.
     
  18. Saeleofu

    Saeleofu Active Member

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    Gavroche is 53lbs and takes 10mg a day. He never had the lethargic stage, but we also started giving it MONTHS before we knew he'd need it so that it would be working by the time winter came around. Sadly not everyone has the luxury of knowing WHEN your dog is going to need it (or you need it all the time). It stopped his teeth grinding, plus has shown some other benefits. I'm going to leave him on it year-round now.
     

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