Prozac not good cure for aggressive dog — (Chicago Sun-Times)

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Chicago Sun-Times

August 31, 1997

Author: Dr. Kenneth Walker

A reader asks, “My dog’s aggressive behavior is driving me to the edge. Can I give him some Prozac?” I usually ignore questions about animals. But this one did arouse my curiosity. I decided to upgrade my knowledge, and found the answer in the Jan. 21, 1997, issue of the Medical Post. Dr. Peter Veville, a British expert on animal behavior, reported in the Medical Post that some families in the United States are giving Prozac to aggressive and badly behaved dogs. His advice? “Don’t do it.” Dogs, he claims, can suffer long-term psychological damage from being on Prozac. One dog, Jamie, a 3-year-old pointer, wanted to chase shadows all the time. After three days on Prozac, however, she began to attack other dogs. This aggressive behavior stopped when Prozac was discontinued. George, a 2-year-old Staffordshire bull terrier, suffered from “sustained rage assaults” on other dogs. The attacks stopped after Prozac therapy, but gradually resumed. When Prozac was discontinued, George became even more aggressive than before. Dr. Joanna Nakielny, of Eli Lilly pharmaceutical company, which makes Prozac, agrees that the drug is not recommended for animals. Dr. Kenneth Walker is a graduate of the University of Toronto and the Harvard Medical School. He is on staff at Toronto Western Hospital and Toronto General Hospital. Write to him care of Chicago Sun-Times Features, 401 N. Wabash, Chicago 60611.  Copyright 1997 Chicago Sun-Times, Inc. Record Number:  CHI1107899