Is Prozac OK for Lab? — (Dallas Morning News)

SSRI Ed note: Vet advises against using prozac for dog, saying such drugs can increase aggression in pets. Also notes that training is the most important thing.
Original article no longer available

Dallas Morning News

12:50 PM CDT on Friday, May 14, 2004

By SHAWN MESSONNIER / The Dallas Morning News

Dear Dr. Shawn: I have a 3-year-old Labrador named Sam. He has what his doctor calls separation anxiety and thunderstorm phobia. He wants to put him on Prozac. Is there anything natural I can prescribe? I’ve read of the side effects of Prozac in people, and they can include suicide. Is it safe to use this on Sam?
Answer: This is an excellent question, and timely.
Far fewer pets are diagnosed with “behavior” issues than people. However, side effects can occur in pets treated with human medications. Increased aggression can be seen in pets treated with drugs often prescribed for humans.
I prefer a natural approach (flower essences, herbs, homeopathics, pheromones) for most behavior problems.
No matter which approach is used, it is imperative that training also be used in order to limit the amount of time the pet is taking the supplement or medication. If we don’t retrain the pet to act properly, no therapy will be effective long-term.
Dear Readers: I will be taping my new radio show live 3 to 5 p.m. today at Stonebriar Centre, with a book signing at Barnes & Noble afterward. The show will be broadcast at 7 p.m. Sunday on KLIF-AM (570).
Send questions to Dr. Shawn Messonnier at Paws & Claws Animal Hospital, 2145 W. Park Blvd., Plano, TX, 75075, e-mail him at, or visit him on the Internet at 

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