Puppy Prozac: Vets say meds can help troubled pets - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

New

Puppy Prozac: Vets say meds can help troubled pets

"Mental illness in dogs is way more common than we like to think," said Dr. Travis Wodiske with Family VetCare.  (Source: CBS 5 News) "Mental illness in dogs is way more common than we like to think," said Dr. Travis Wodiske with Family VetCare. (Source: CBS 5 News)
Wodiske says one out of every six dogs suffers from canine separation anxiety. (Source: CBS 5 News) Wodiske says one out of every six dogs suffers from canine separation anxiety. (Source: CBS 5 News)
If the anxiety symptoms are severe and persistent, anti-depressant and anti-anxiety drugs - given daily - can help, Wodiske says. (Source: CBS 5 News) If the anxiety symptoms are severe and persistent, anti-depressant and anti-anxiety drugs - given daily - can help, Wodiske says. (Source: CBS 5 News)
MESA, AZ (CBS5) -

Does your dog seem down in the dumps?

Perhaps it's a little on edge.

Well, he or she could be suffering from mental illness.

Veterinarians said, just like people, pets can suffer from depression and anxiety.

But there is medication that can help.

"Mental illness in dogs is way more common than we like to think," said Dr. Travis Wodiske with Family VetCare. "In fact, one out of every six dogs suffers from canine separation anxiety."

Roxy, a nine-year-old pitbull-lab mix, was one of them.

She was fine as a pup - but, a change in family dynamics during a divorce made her snap.

"Eating curtains, tearing up door frames - if she accidentally got locked in by herself, she would completely destroy a door," said Roxy's owner, Amber Benning.

Those are classic symptoms of separation anxiety which Wodiske said can occur at any time, in any dog - but is most common in pound puppies that are used to having people around.

"All of a sudden, they go to their new forever home and that person goes to work - they just don't know how to deal with that," he explained.

If the symptoms are severe and persistent, anti-depressant and anti-anxiety drugs - given daily - can help.

"These medications, Prozac, Clomicalm - they can take up to four to six weeks to just actually take effect," Wodiske pointed out.

So he recommends medication coupled with training or behavior modification.

Professional dog trainer Mark Siebel with Doggie Steps Dog Training said exercising your pup before you leave can help with anxiety.

He also advises giving them a job to do - like a treat-filled chew toy or rawhide for them to gnaw on.

"It keeps them focused," Siebel explained. "Ultimately, it also gets them mentally and physically tired, better chance they'll take a nap when the owner's  gone."

He also recommends desensitizing your dog to signs of your pending departure.

"I would probably avoid having a big farewell when you leave," said Siebel. "Try not to create triggers - such as visually picking a purse up or the sound of keys."

For some dogs, simple training does the trick.

But for others like Roxy, medication was a necessity.

"She was on the Clomicalm for a while," Benning said. "Then when she moved in with us, I have a dog … same size … a lot of the separation anxiety seemed to go away. But the meds in the meantime helped big time."

Wodiske said dogs that suffer from situational anxiety, during the 4th of July and when traveling, can benefit from Xanax or Valium - taken before a stressful event

Wodiske and Siebel both say psychotropic drugs should be used as a last resort. 

So if your dog's behavioral problems can't be fixed with training - see your vet.

Copyright 2013 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

  • Trending StoriesTrending StoriesMore>>

  • Severe reaction to new sandals leads woman on a painful path

    Severe reaction to new sandals leads woman on a painful path

        One woman wants to warn people about her painful path, the result of a severe and debilitating allergic reaction.  She had no idea what she was allergic to until she visited a fourth emergency room in two weeks.    

    More >>

    One woman wants to warn people about her painful path, the result of a severe and debilitating allergic reaction. She had no idea what she was allergic to until she visited a fourth emergency room in two weeks.    

    More >>
  • 'The Phantom' serial killer of children out of prison, living in Tucson

    'The Phantom' serial killer of children out of prison, living in Tucson

    Thursday, April 27 2017 12:17 AM EDT2017-04-27 04:17:43 GMT
    Friday, April 28 2017 11:32 PM EDT2017-04-29 03:32:02 GMT
    Convicted killer William Huff was spotted riding his bicycle through a Tucson neighborhood. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)Convicted killer William Huff was spotted riding his bicycle through a Tucson neighborhood. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)

    William Huff terrorized Sierra Vista during the spring and summer of 1967. Despite a sentence of 40 years to life, the Arizona Board of Executive Clemency voted to release him from prison into home arrest. Family members of the victims are concerned for the safety of the community, as are new members of the Clemency Board. CBS 5 Investigates videotaped Huff riding a bike through his Tucson neighborhood. There are no restrictions placed on his proximity to children.

    More >>

    William Huff terrorized Sierra Vista during the spring and summer of 1967. Despite a sentence of 40 years to life, the Arizona Board of Executive Clemency voted to release him from prison into home arrest. Family members of the victims are concerned for the safety of the community, as are new members of the Clemency Board. CBS 5 Investigates videotaped Huff riding a bike through his Tucson neighborhood. There are no restrictions placed on his proximity to children. 

    More >>
  • BREAKING

    1 dead, NWS issues tornado warnings for ETX

    1 dead, NWS issues tornado warnings for ETX

    Saturday, April 29 2017 11:07 PM EDT2017-04-30 03:07:50 GMT

    Severe thunderstorm warnings were issued Saturday for multiple East Texas counties.

    More >>

    Severe thunderstorm warnings were issued Saturday for multiple East Texas counties.

    More >>
  • NewsMore>>

  • LA peace parades mark 25th anniversary of Rodney King riots

    LA peace parades mark 25th anniversary of Rodney King riots

    Saturday, April 29 2017 11:10 PM EDT2017-04-30 03:10:16 GMT
    Saturday, April 29 2017 11:10 PM EDT2017-04-30 03:10:16 GMT

    The 25th anniversary of the Los Angeles riots is being commemorated with peaceful marches and calls for a better future.

    More >>

    The 25th anniversary of the Los Angeles riots is being commemorated with peaceful marches and calls for a better future.

    More >>
  • Samantha Bee's show briefly upstages correspondents' dinner

    Samantha Bee's show briefly upstages correspondents' dinner

    Saturday, April 29 2017 11:10 PM EDT2017-04-30 03:10:08 GMT
    Saturday, April 29 2017 11:10 PM EDT2017-04-30 03:10:08 GMT

    The annual dinner of the White House Correspondents' Association is taking place Saturday night without its traditional star.

    More >>

    The annual dinner of the White House Correspondents' Association is taking place Saturday night without its traditional star.

    More >>
  • Thousands brave weather to protest Trump climate policies

    Thousands brave weather to protest Trump climate policies

    Saturday, April 29 2017 11:10 PM EDT2017-04-30 03:10:03 GMT
    Saturday, April 29 2017 11:10 PM EDT2017-04-30 03:10:03 GMT

    Thousands of people across the country are marking President Donald Trump's hundredth day in office by marching in protest of his environmental policies.

    More >>

    Thousands of people across the country are marking President Donald Trump's hundredth day in office by marching in protest of his environmental policies.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly