Anxiety Treatment With Amitriptyline For Dogs

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Read on to learn about the use of amitriptyline for dogs, information such as the dosage, safety guidelines and side effects are included within this article.

Amitriptyline is a tricyclic type antidepressant drug, effective in the treatment of anxiety. Tricyclic type medication is considered outdated, and has largely been replaced by SSRIs, however, they are still used in certain situations. Amitriptyline is available by prescription only and therefore requires a veterinary visit before you are able to use it.

Amitriptyline dosage for dogs

The initial dosage of amitriptyline typically prescribed for dogs is 0.5 to 2 mg/lb body weight to be administered twice a day (every 12 hours). The dosage may be adjusted by your vet depending on your pet’s reaction to the drug.

Is amitriptyline safe for dogs?

Amitriptyline is a generally safe substance to give to dogs, however, it may not be suitable for all dogs as it can agitate certain medical conditions and react with certain medication. More details can be found below.

Safety precautions

  • Do not use this medicine without a veterinary prescription
  • Never use MAOI type substances during treatment (selegiline, Preventic Collars, etc.)
  • Notify the vet of any medical conditions your pet suffers with, particularly liver, heart and/or kidney disease, diabetes, thyroid disease, stomach and/or intestinal disease and a history of epilepsy
  • Notify the vet if your pet is pregnant or lactating
  • Notify the vet of any other medication your pet is taking

You should not administer tricyclic antidepressants to dogs who have been in contact with MAOIs up to 14 days beforehand. Amitriptyline may also interact with (or increase side effects of) other medication including many which have not been listed. For this reason you should never administer new substances without professional approval.

Uses of amitriptyline for dogs

Amitriptyline is a tricyclic antidepressant which may be used to treat:

  • Anxiety
  • Behavioral problems

It is often used as an aid for treating separation anxiety.

Side effects of amitriptyline when given to dogs

Speak to your vet if your dog experiences unforeseen side effects of amitriptyline or experiences symptoms such as fatigue, incoordination, nausea, dryness of the mouth and/or eyes, constipation, panting, headaches and unexpected weight loss.

If your dog suffers any serious side effects, discontinue use of the drug and seek emergency veterinary care. Possible serious side effects may include seizures and allergic reactions.

Wikipedia article about the chemical amitriptyline for dogs
Clomipramine for dogs (another tricyclic antidepressant)