How does the treatment of depression work in dogs?

Depression in dogs can be difficult to diagnose, but it is believed that dogs suffer from depression. Depression can lead to loss or weight gain, lethargy, and multiple behavioral problems. For more information about the symptoms of depression in dogs, go to What are the symptoms of depression in dogs?

How is dog depression treated

There are many ways to treat depression in dogs. You can classify most treatments as pharmaceutical (using drugs) or non-pharmaceutical (natural or without the use of drugs).

Before deciding on treatment, it is important to understand why your dog is depressed. Find out more about the causes of depression with this article "Dog Depression: How to Detect and Treat It." It is also important to consider your dog's daily schedule, the reasons why your dog might be depressed, assess what you are willing to do to help your dog, understand your dog’s overall physical health, consider your dog’s personality and determine what your dog really likes. to do.

Some natural things you can do to help your dog get depressed can include maintaining a routine, ensuring consistency in training and rewards, spending time playing, interacting and training your dog. Considering the benefits of getting another dog, it can be a good option depending on the personality of your dog.

There are medications that can be used to treat a depressed dog. Many of them are the same medicines that are used in medicine to treat depression.

Behavioral disorders in dogs are often the cause of veterinary visits. Ideally, the focus should be on learning and behavior. However, there are experts working in the field of animal behavior, who increasingly use drugs used to modify human behavior for use on pets. Please discuss the use of any medication with your veterinarian.

Pharmacological treatment of depression in dogs may include drugs such as:

  • Fluoxetine (Prozac®) – Fluoxetine, also known under the trademark Prozac®, is currently one of the most commonly prescribed drugs for people in the United States. It is used to treat depression, bulimia, anorexia nervosa (eating disorders), obsessive-compulsive disorder, certain sleep disorders (cataplexy, narcolepsy), panic disorders, and premenstrual dysphoric disorder. Prozac® works by changing chemicals (serotonin) in the brain that can become unbalanced and lead to depression and other behavioral abnormalities. There are several brands of fluoxetine, including: Prozac, Prozac Weekly, Sarafem, Rapiflux, Selfemra, Prozac Pulvules, and Reconcile. Reconciliation is a product created specifically for dogs.
  • Paroxetine (Paxil®) – Paxil®, Paxil CR® and Pexeva®, also commonly known as Paroxetine, is a drug commonly used to treat depression, anxiety disorders, obsessive compulsive symptoms, and post-traumatic stress. frustration. Paxil® is classified as a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), which acts by changing chemicals (serotonin) in the brain that may become unbalanced, leading to depression.
  • Sertralin (Zoloft®) – Zoloft® is another drug that acts by altering chemicals (serotonin) in the brain that can become unbalanced and cause symptoms. Zoloft® and Lustral®, also known under the common name “Sertralin”, are the drugs commonly used to treat human depression. It is one of the most commonly prescribed drugs for people in the United States. In dogs, sertraline is used to treat various behavioral problems, including aggression, fear-based behavior (for example, storm phobia / noise phobia), anxiety-based behavior (for example, separation), and compulsive disorders (such as dermatitis, acral lysing / lichen granuloma). and obsessive pursuit of the tail).
  • Clomipramine (Clomicalm®) – Clomipramine, also known under the trademarks Clomicalm® and Anafranil®, is approved for the treatment of behavioral disorders in dogs classified as anxiety about separation. It has also been used to change aggression aimed at dominating the owner in dogs. Some vets used this drug for depression.
  • Amitriptyline (Elavil®) – Amitriptyline HCl, commonly known under the trademark Elavil®, is commonly used to treat separation in dogs, as well as excessive grooming and sometimes depression.
  • Alprazolam (xanax or niram) – alprazolam, better known as xanax®, is used for dogs as a remedy for anxiety and as a muscle relaxant. It is commonly used in dogs for storm phobias and is sometimes used to treat depression.
  • Trazodone (Desirel) – Trazodone HCl, also known as Trazodone under the trademarks Oleptro® and Desyrel®, is used in dogs with behavioral problems or various problems associated with anxiety, including fears and anxiety associated with veterinarian visits and hospitalization.

After you start your dog with drug therapy, it is important to understand that this will be a long process (months). These are not drugs that you just start and stop. Side effects may occur, and the drug may be stopped or reduced, until the side effects are reduced and attempts are made to reduce the dose. Do not stop or start taking medication without the guidance of your veterinarian.

How to find out which option is best for your depressed dog

Natural procedures work best. The treatment that works best for your dog will depend on your dog. What may work well for one dog may not work at all for another dog. The best treatment is to determine the cause of the depression and find solutions to make it better. You can start with a natural treatment and switch to medication if this does not help.

How to find out if the treatment works

Some dogs may need weeks of consistent changes to get rid of depression. Improvement may occur slowly, but often it is a gradual change. The best way to find out if the treatment works is to see positive changes in your dog, so that they are more interested in you and your family and do what they like to do, such as eating and playing.

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