Fluoxetine For Dogs: Uses, Dosage, And Side Effects

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Fluoxetine is an antidepressant and anti-anxiety drug for dogs that is often referred to by the brand names Reconcile or Prozac–the human form of the drug. It works by inhibiting reuptake of the neurotransmitter serotonin. Fluoxetine has several uses for treating conditions in dogs such as behavioral problems, separation anxiety, fear, and aggression. The medication is meant to be prescribed alongside behavior modification training. As a dog responds to behavior modification, dosage of the drug is weaned away. Fluoxetine is for short-term use until a condition is manageable without it. There are some side effects that can be harmful to dogs, and the drug can react badly with other medication. You’ll need to see your veterinarian for a prescription and follow their instructions closely. Here is what you should know about the uses, dosage, and side effects of fluoxetine in dogs.

Uses Of Fluoxetine For Dogs

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Fluoxetine can be used to treat several conditions in dogs. It is usually prescribed with a behavior modification program until the condition being treated is under control. Then the drug is weaned away until a dog can manage the condition without the use of medication. Here are some of the conditions that fluoxetine is used for in treatment of dogs.

Dosage Of Fluoxetine For Dogs

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Dosage of fluoxetine for dogs will vary based on the condition being treated, the size of the dog, and the dog’s response to the drug. It is important to follow your veterinarian’s instructions closely, as overdose of fluoxetine can cause seizures in dogs. Typically the drug is given in a dosage of 0.5 to 0.9 mg per pound orally once per day. So, for example, a 30 pound dog would probably get somewhere between 15 and 27 mg per day. Fluoxetine is usually available in 10 mg or 20 mg tablets, and your veterinarian will let you know how to give a precise dose.

Side Effects of Fluoxetine In Dogs

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There are some side effects associated with the use of fluoxetine in dogs. Most of these are moderate. Here are a few side effects that are common.

  • Lethargy
  • Loss of appetite
  • Sore throat
  • Insomnia
  • Dry mouth
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Panic attacks
  • Restlessness
  • Panting
  • Aggression

Some side effects that can occur are more serious. If you see the following symptoms, contact your veterinarian right away.

  • Seizure
  • Muscle twitches
  • Stiffness
  • Confusion
  • Loss of balance or coordination
  • Fast heart rate

As with all medications, an allergic reaction is rare but possible. This can lead to anaphylaxis, which can be deadly. If you see signs of an allergic reaction, get to an emergency veterinarian right away. Additionally, overdose of the medication can cause seizures, and abruptly stopping the drug regimen can lead to withdrawal symptoms. Always follow your veterinarians guidelines for administering fluoxetine.

Your veterinarian should be aware of any other conditions your dog has or medications your dog is taking. Certain conditions may worsen with fluoxetine use. Do not give your dog any medication, even over-the-counter drugs, without consulting your veterinarian. Fluoxetine does not always mix well with other drugs and can cause life-threatening side effects. Medicine for pain, arthritis, or inflammation can cause your dog to easily bruise or bleed when mixed with fluoxetine. MAO inhibitors can cause a deadly condition called serotonin syndrome when combined with the drug. Other medications can have consequences if they are mixed, as well, so ask your veterinarian before giving your dog additional medicines.

Has your dog ever taken fluoxetine? Was it effective? Let us know in the comments below!