Friday, May 29, 2015

Veterinary Highlights: Does Prozac Make Anxious Dogs FEEL Better?

I've read a number of articles on the use of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) in veterinary medicine. There is even research into using them as part of pain management but there doesn't seem to be much evidence of their benefit on that.

There does seem to be evidence, though, that dogs suffering from separation anxiety become more optimistic when on veterinary version of Prozac.

So many dogs suffer from separation anxiety these days and I cannot say I blame them. Some of them are being treated with medication. But what does it really do for them?

Until now it wasn't clear whether this treatment, when used together with behavior modification, actually improves the underlying emotion or simply inhibits the resulting behavior. Researchers at the University of Lincoln, UK, were evaluating whether the treatment can actually change the emotions.

As it seems, it actually does make the dogs FEEL better.

Which is awesome. Because if you can change the emotion, behavior changes along with it. Otherwise it wouldn't really much different from simply keeping the anxious dog sedated.

I wouldn't want my dog feel just as miserable, just not trying to do anything about it.

If the emotion becomes more positive, though, any behavior modification can be much more successful.

Suffering from anxiety problems myself, I know that when your anxious, stressed or upset, you can't really think straight and any perceived threats become blown out of proportion. The emotion overrides any rational thought. 

Knowing that SSRIs might actually change the emotion is an important finding.

Source article:
Pets on Prozac: Drug treatment can help anxious dogs

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