Clomipramine for Dogs

Clomipramine represents a prescription drug that is recommended for treating obsessive compulsive disorders in dogs. In addition, this medicine is also prescribed for dogs that suffer from separation anxiety. Unlike other behavior modifiers that are prescribed for pets, despite being approved by the FDA only for use in humans, Clomipramine is primarily intended for dogs, and has been accepted by the FDA for this purpose.

Pharmaceutical Mechanism of Clomipramine

Behavioral problems appear as a consequence of unbalanced serotonin levels in the brain. This particular chemical is responsible with the well-being feelings, so lower levels always lead to an abnormal behavior. Clomipramine acts as a tricyclic antidepressant and restores the serotonin levels to normal values. One of the main benefits of this drug is that it does not alter the personality or the memory of the dog, as it is not a sedative.

Availability and Recommended Dosage

Clomipramine is available in two forms, with the following concentrations:

  • Capsules: 25mg, 50mg, 75mg
  • Tablets: 20mg, 40mg, 80mg

The tablets and capsules with lower concentration are recommended for smaller dogs, while the ones with the greatest concentration are for bigger dogs.  The recommended dose ranges between 0.5 and 1.8mg per pound every day, and is calculated in concordance with the severity of the symptoms. However, you need to keep in mind that this drug is not effective right away and a few days may be needed before symptoms start to alleviate. If the symptoms get worse or if complications appear, you have to contact the veterinarian immediately, so the dosage is reduced. As an alternative, the veterinarian may decide to prescribe another medicine.

Clomipramine Contraindications and Interactions

This drug is not recommended if your dog follows a treatment based on a MAOI (monoamine oxidase inhibitor), such as Anipryl or selegiline. Also, Clomipramine is not recommended if your dog used a Preventic Collar within the last fortnight. Make sure that your dog is not given the following types of drugs while following the Clomipramine treatment:

  • Antidepressants
  • Antihistamines
  • Anxiety medication
  • Muscle relaxants
  • Pain relievers
  • Sedatives

For a full list of drugs that can interact with Clomipramine you have to consult the veterinarian.

Side Effects of Clomipramine

In case Clomipramine is administered at the same time with MAOI. the effects of the MAOI will increase dramatically, leading to such reactions as:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Difficulty urinating
  • Fever
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Muscle stiffness
  • Seizures
  • Swelling of the face, lips or tongue

Some of the signs listed above indicate an allergic reaction. If your dog is allergic to this drug, the treatment needs to be stopped immediately. Other times, the side effects are not related to interactions between drugs. For example, the following adverse reactions may also be noticed:

  • Constipation
  • Dry eyes
  • Dry mouth
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea
  • Weight loss

Lowering the dose or finding an alternative drug may help alleviating these symptoms.

Clomipramine Overdose Symptoms

In case a dose has been missed, you should not administer a double dose to your dog, as this may lead to complications. Instead, you are recommended to give the following dose according to the schedule. Some of the symptoms caused by an overdose include:

  • Agitation
  • Confusion
  • Drowsiness
  • Fainting
  • Fatigue
  • Hallucinations
  • Low blood pressure
  • Seizures

Should you notice any of the aforementioned symptoms, you are highly recommended to contact the veterinarian immediately.