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Old 01-31-2008, 10:23 PM
Bofinger Bofinger is offline
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Bo In Commentary:

Here’s a really depressing story, not because an animal was treated cruelly, but for what it says about the world we canines live in.

The makers of Prozac have launched their first ever antidepressant for dogs, a once-a-day chewable tablet flavoured with beef.

Huh? Beef flavored treats? Nobody said this drug was coming in a Flintstone vitamin delivery method. I’m starting to feel a bit anxious (wink, wink, nudge, nudge).

The product, known as Reconcile, received approval from the Federal Drugs Administration in the United States today for use on dogs suffering from separation anxiety from being left alone for long periods.

Eli Lilly, which makes the new drug, says that more than 10 million US dogs exhibit strange symptoms from being left alone too long.


Strange symptoms such as sleeping all day, begging for food all night and leaving the dirty dishes in the sink unwashed.

“Lilly research shows that 10.7 million, or up to 17 per cent, of US dogs suffer from separation anxiety,” said Steve Connell, Lilly’s manager of consumer services for companion animal health.

“We’re thrilled that our first product for dogs can help restore the human-pet bond.”


“We will make a boat load of money off of humanity’s disregard for its best friend,” he said. Quickly adding, “Please don’t print that.”

He said that in field studies of around 600 dogs, 73 per cent of dogs taking Reconcile and undergoing therapy showed better behaviour within eight weeks, compared to dogs receiving therapy alone.

Therapy? You mean even after taking the pill you have to sit on a couch with a Dr. Phil wannabe and listen to them bloviate about how bad you are? Well, if they let you on the couch, I guess it can’t be all bad.

In Britain, research among pet-owners carried out for Sainsbury’s Bank in 2003 indicated that 632,000 dogs and cats had suffered from depression in the previous year.

Nearly three times as many pets had suffered from behavioural problems that which could be linked to depression, often resulting in the animal damaging its home or becoming moody or aggressive, according to the research.

Symptoms included attacking furniture, reported by an estimated 1.86 million owners; moodiness, suffered by 1.8 million cats and dogs; loss of appetite linked to stress or emotional problems, 922,000; and incontinence, reported to affect an estimated 803,000 pets.

Eli Lilly warned however that Reconcile had shown side effects in a small minority of dogs, including anorexia, vomiting, diarrhoea, barking and fits.

Take Reconcile and a canine may stop peeing in the house and attacking the furniture as well as alleviating some emotional problems. In return, the dog could begin sticking its paw down its throat after eating, poop chocolate pudding in the house and start to have uncontrollable hissy fits.

You say it comes in beef flavor? That’s not a bad trade off.

(More up-to-date doggie news @ www.boknowsonline.com, a blog by a dog for all dogs)
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Old 02-01-2008, 12:05 AM
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shadowfacedanes shadowfacedanes is offline
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I have a dog who takes a medication for anxiety. It's not prozac, but I still don't know that I find it a comical matter. Her anxiety prior to this medication was causing life-threatening health problems.

(And yes, she's extremely well trained, exercised, etc....she just has anxiety.)
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Old 02-01-2008, 02:19 AM
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LilyoftheValley LilyoftheValley is offline
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Oh please... Are you kidding? Prozac for dogs? My vet told me I needed to get Gus on some doggie Prozac and I practically died laughing. Makes me think how dogs in the olden days lived without there expensive high quality clothing, food, collars, leashes, doggie beds... and Prozac.
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Old 02-01-2008, 06:57 AM
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i medicate my old dog during thunderstorm season. there is absolutely no reason for him to go through the stress and terror when there's medication available to make him feel less afraid. last year he took clomicalm and xanax. this year he'll be on prozac and xanax because clomicalm is contraindicated with his eye problem.

the veterinary behaviorists often recommend medication in combination with behavior modification. if the dog is so stressed that it can't see beyond that, you're never going to get anywhere.

i suppose it's funnier if you've never had a dog with a serious anxiety issue. i've seen dogs who've gone through second-story windows in terror, i've seen dogs who've torn up their feet and teeth clawing through kennels and walls, i've seen dogs put down because their people couldn't deal with their separation anxiety. how on earth is any of that funny?
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Old 02-01-2008, 07:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elegy View Post
how on earth is any of that funny?

I'm asking myself the same question, but not finding any answers. Of course I live with a dog who has, prior to medication, suffered stress related HGE...one case so severe they were not sure if she would come home with me again. So to those who thinks it's funny, just be thankful it's not your dog, and hope to God it doesn't ever BECOME your dog, because yes...anxieties can develop at any time. One trauma, one bad experience and you could get knocked off that perfect little high horse of yours and find out why medication can be invaluable and perhaps even a lifesaver.
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Old 02-01-2008, 07:14 AM
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and you don't even necessarily need a bad experience. some older dogs develop noise sensitivities without any bad experiences at all.
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Old 02-01-2008, 07:15 AM
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As a vet, I have multiple patients (cats and dogs) taking drugs for anxiety - I have cats and dogs that urinate around the house inappriopriately, I have dogs that cannot be left alone without trying to break out of the house (separation anxiety), I myself, like elegy, have a senior dog that was adopted that has SEVERE thunderstorm anxiety.

I don't think it's a laughing matter. I don't find it funny, I don't think it's comical, and I don't see anything humorous or satirical to be writing biting posts about.
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Old 02-01-2008, 07:59 AM
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It sounds funny, but its not.

Nor is it some indication of how irresponsible we are as a society.

Frankly, you have a distructive animal who can't be left alone . . . you still have to earn a living. So if its your living or your dog, the dog is, in most cases going to a shelter . . . where it will be destroyed, because no one wants a dog that destroys the house while they are at work (or hurts themselves in their crate, etc). If Prozac can help (and I've heard it does) then give the dang dog Prozac and save its life. That's a no brainer for me. That's the right thing to do. Yes, you should be behavioral therapy as well . . . but giving the dog Prozac may well be what saves its life.

Because it is not fair to ask ordinary people with ordinary jobs to deal with an animal that constantly and spectacularly destroys everything or hurts him or herself while you are gone. Frankly, a lot of people can't do it, no matter how much they love thier dog. If medication helps, then GREAT.
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Old 02-01-2008, 08:22 AM
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If only Prozac had worked for Conrad. We actually tried it, as well as one other anti-depressant/anti-anxiety med, for his separation anxiety, but it didn't work. It doesn't work in all cases.

I've been actually thinking of talking to my vet again about some kind of medication for Conrad as we make a big push to finally get his various issues under control (finally at the age of 8), with a behaviorist and classes, and a few months of medication may help as well.

It's really not that funny. Unlike a family member with a behavior problem, dogs with behavior problems are quite frequently euthanized.
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Old 02-01-2008, 08:49 AM
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Not funny at all...

Anxiety is a very real thing. Seperation anxiety can cause serious health issues like Shadowfacedanes has experienced, or bodily harm because they stop at nothing to try and get out of the house when their owners leave. Paws mangled from tearing at their crates to escape, diarrhea everywhere, some dogs will even go through glass windows. Seperation anxiety can be much more serious than a dog barking in its crate or a dog chewing on your new armchair. What about those cases where seperation anxiety can harm or even kill your dog?

Be grateful that your dog does not suffer from anxiety so great that it is a problem. I have used it for a foster we had and today she no longer has to take them. She is one of the lucky ones that used in conjunction with behavior modification she is able to be left alone for short periods (albeit in her crate) without seriously breaking down. Her experiences in life before rescue were horrendous and perhaps without them she never would have found the family she now has.

Go ahead, be a sceptic, and I hope you never have to experience anxieties so great that one day you will need it.
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