Prozac For Treating Your Dog Suffering With Depression

(redirects here from fluoxetine)

This article covers information for the drug Prozac for dogs (also known as “fluoxetine”), the dosage for dogs, information about side effects, safety guidelines and more.

Fluoxetine, better known as “Prozac” is one of the most popular SSRI drugs on the market. SSRI is an abbreviation for the term “Selective Serotonin Re-uptake Inhibitor”, meaning that it traps more serotonin between the synapses. Serotonin has many functions as a chemical in the body including the regulation of intestinal movements, but its most well-known function is its effects on mood in humans and animals. Serotonin contributes to feelings of happiness and well-being, which makes it one of the most commonly prescribed drugs for both depression and persisting anxiety. It is also marketed for separation anxiety in dogs under the brand name “Reconcile”.

Prozac dosage for dogs

You should administer 0.5 mg per pound every 24 hours. In severe circumstances you may choose to increase the dose to 1 mg per pound. Do not exceed this dosage as overdoses of SSRI drugs can lead to serotonin syndrome.

Is Prozac safe for dogs

Fluoxetine, and brand names Prozac, Reconcile etc. are for the most part safe for use in dogs. You will need to take your dog to the vet first for a check up because there are several physical illnesses which may cause depression and anxiety in your dog. The other reason is because Prozac is a prescription drug, meaning you can’t just walk into a pharmacist’s and buy it OTC. However, you should be aware that SSRIs may be addictive when used regularly in higher doses, and also that the mental changes in your dog could cause unpredictable behavior.

Safety precautions

  • Do not stop medication suddenly after sustained periods of use
  • Be ready for unforeseen changes in behavior, for example, lashing out at strangers
  • Be ready for serious side effects (though rare) such as seizures, vomiting and aggression
  • NEVER administer with MAOI drugs or grapefruit juice as this may be fatal

If you plan on treating your dog for longer periods of time with Prozac, be aware that you shouldn’t ever suddenly stop administering the drug, and should you plan to take your dog off of medication you will need to decrease the dosage gradually over time rather than going cold turkey. The reason being that benzodiazepines become physically addictive after sustained periods of use. Your vet should be able to help you with the tapering process. Also remember to stop medication and seek professional advice immediately if you notice any serious side effects such as those listed above.

Uses of Prozac for dogs

Prozac, like other drugs of its class, can be used in dogs to treat:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety (particularly separation anxiety)

Side effects of giving prozac to your dog

More common side effects of SSRI drugs include a loss or gain in appetite, constipation or diarrhea, fatigue or insomnia, lowered libido, blurry vision/hallucinations and sweating. You should seek medical attention right away if you notice blood in your dog’s vomit or stools, or if your dog appears to not be urinating.

An overdose can lead to serotonin syndrome, which requires urgent attention. Look out for the following symptoms in your dog:

  • Twitching
  • Profuse sweating
  • Shivering
  • Confusion

Information about prozac for dogs
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