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Separation Anxiety and Fluoxetine


Drs. Foster & Smith Educational Staff
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Help for Separation Anxiety Fluoxetine
Does your dog panic and whine when he sees you put on your jacket? Does he bark excessively and irritate your neighbors when you are gone? Has he hurt himself trying to get out of the house to get to you?
Your dog likely has separation anxiety, a behavioral problem that can be treated quite effectively with a combination of behavior modification and medication. See your veterinarian for a definitive diagnosis and treatment recommendations.

Your veterinarian may prescribe fluoxetine hydrochloride, a commonly used antidepressant to help ease the negative behaviors associated with your dog’s separation anxiety. Fluoxetine increases the effectiveness of serotonin, a chemical in your dog’s nervous system that helps with communication between nerves. Fluoxetine is available in tablet and capsule form.

Your veterinarian will instruct you to use fluoxetine in combination with specific behavior modification techniques based on your dog's unique behavior(s). Treatment may require several weeks or months. Follow your veterinarian’s directions; give the full course of Fluoxetine as prescribed and follow through with behavior modification at every possible instance. While Fluoxetine has few side effects, your dog may experience temporary appetite loss. You can usually restore your dog's appetite with hand feeding or a short-term change in food.

As always, keep your veterinarian involved in your dog's treatment. Consult your veterinarian if your dog’s condition does not improve or worsens after beginning treatment with Fluoxetine, and do not hesitate to ask questions at any stage of treatment.
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