Prozac For Pets Promises To Help With Separation Anxiety - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

4/26/07-Tyler

Prozac For Pets Promises To Help With Separation Anxiety

From the makers of Prozac comes a medication for dogs with separation anxiety.  Prozac had previously been prescribed to dogs for treatment and now a drug called Reconcile made especially for canines is on the market.  Doctors say, while it's effective, don't count on Reconcile to do all the work.

"I actually came home one day and I had a ton of mail and bills on the coffee table and they were shredded," said Rachel Hatt, whose dog has separation anxiety.  

Hatt says her one-year-old jack russell terrier named Jack suffers from separation anxiety.   "Right now he's probably chewing on the pen that I saw on the counter that I did not pick up and he might be after the toilet paper," said Hatt.

Veterinarian David Post says many dogs suffer from separation anxiety.  He says dogs that suffer from it usually tear things up, bark a lot or lick themselves over and over in one spot. "Other signs of anxiety are not being able to eat very much, quietness, lethargy, things like that," said Post.

But before handing out a prescription for Reconcile, Post recommends a training plan. "We give them significant training tips on how to alleviate the anxiety on the dogs before they use drugs and then we move to the drugs in combination with training," said Post.

Doctor Sharon Phillips say she's excited to have a medication on the market to help out with this common problem.  "The thought process is that once your start weaning them off that, they start learning new behaviors. And with those learned behaviors they don't have to stay on those medications forever," said Phillips.

Rachel says she's not sold on the idea of putting her dog on medication.  "I don't know, Prozac for a dog?" asked Rachel. She says she'll give a jack a little more time before she puts him on Reconcile.    

Reconcile is for dogs six months or older.  Veterinarians say animals are usually on it between six to nine months. But some will have to be on it for the rest of their lives.      

Oralia Ortega, Reporting.  ortega@kltv.com

 

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