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Old 01-15-2013, 08:30 PM
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Default This Prozac isn't going so well.

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.
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Old 01-15-2013, 08:51 PM
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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.
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Old 01-15-2013, 08:57 PM
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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!
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Old 01-15-2013, 09:12 PM
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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
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Old 01-15-2013, 09:33 PM
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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.
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Old 01-15-2013, 09:43 PM
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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.
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Old 01-15-2013, 09:45 PM
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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.
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Old 01-15-2013, 09:56 PM
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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.
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Old 01-15-2013, 09:59 PM
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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.
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Old 01-15-2013, 10:06 PM
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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.
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