Fluoxetine for Dogs

Fluoxetine is much better known by the human formulation brand name drug called Prozac. In humans, this medicine is used to treat anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder and a variety of other related conditions. The same is true with pets as well. In the case of dogs, however, there is a separate veterinary formulation of the medicine that is designed to serve the same function. This medicine is called Reconcile, and it can be very helpful in moderating and controlling certain aspects of your pet's problematic behavior.

Fluoxetine Overview

Fluoxetine is technically an antidepressant drug. It functions by stimulating the increased production of serotonin in the brain. As more serotonin is produced, your pet's behavior becomes less aggressive and he is more inclined to be calm and happy. Because of the major concern that many pet owners have regarding aggressive behavior in pets, and especially because this behavior leads some dogs to be euthanized, fluoxetine is a great tool for pet owners everywhere.

This medicine is approved for veterinary use, but it's important that you only give your pet the veterinary formulation. Do not provide your dog any human Prozac. A veterinarian can provide you with a prescription for Reconcile or a generic formulation of fluoxetine.

Using Fluoxetine for Your Pet

Fluoxetine is available as a tablet, as a capsule, or in liquid form. Reconcile is generally provided in chewable tablet form only, and this tends to be the most efficient and effective way of transmitting the drug to a dog. Because of the wide range of potential dose sizes for Reconcile, it's crucial that you work closely with your vet in order to determine exactly how much of the medicine your dog needs. Fluoxetine is a powerful drug and should not be overprescribed. Generally, dogs receive no more than 1 milligram of medicine per pound, and the dose is provided once per day.

Side Effects and Risks of Fluoxetine Use

Due to the marginal risk of fluoxetine use causing seizures in your pet, it's a good idea to avoid this medicine if your dog has a history of having seizures. Typically, seizures as a side effect or result of fluoxetine use only occur when extremely high doses of the medicine are given, but it's nonetheless an important thing to watch out for when you give your pet this medicine.

Fluoxetine may also interact negatively with certain other medicines in your dog's system. Because of this, it's important that you inform your vet about any and all other medicines that he may be taking. This will ensure that you don't mix medicines in a dangerous way.

The most common side effects of fluoxetine include:

  • Gastrointestinal distress
  • Panting
  • Excitement or agitation
  • Loss of appetite
  • Temporary aggression

If you notice these or any other unusual behaviors or potential side effects to the medicine, take your pet in to the vet for an examination immediately. You may need to alter the dose of fluoxetine or to find a new drug instead.