Side Effects of Anipryl for Dogs

Anipryl, also known as L-deprenyl or selegiline, is a medication used to treat canine cognitive dysfunction syndrome (CDS) and Cushing's disease, two conditions that affect older dogs and cause senility and geriatric behavior, such as dementia, personality changes and frequent confusion. Reactions to the drug vary and it can take from one week to a few months until the affects of anipryl can be noticed. Some dogs respond very well to this medication, with some owners calling it a 'miracle' medication for their pets suffering from senility, while others will need alternative treatments for their symptoms.

Uses for Anipryl

Anipryl is an FDA-approved drug to treat CDS and Cushing's disease, also known as Pituitary Dependent Hyperadrenocorticism (PDH). These two conditions can develop in elderly dogs by affecting the brain and its chemicals, but may also affect middle-aged dogs as well. Both of these diseases cause geriatric behavior, such as dementia, loss of memory, disorientation, confusion, personality changes, changing sleep schedules, frequent pacing and bathroom accidents in the house. 

These kind of geriatric symptoms generally appear between the ages of 6 and 10, but they can begin at any age and in all breeds of dog. Anipryl can relieve some of these symptoms through daily treatment by increasing dopamine levels, which is believed to improve cognitive function.

Side Effects of Anipryl

Some dogs suffer from side effects due to Anipryl, which can include:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Hyperactivity
  • Loss of appetite
  • Lethargy
  • Hearing loss
  • Itching
  • Shaking

Inform your veterinarian of any changes in behavior or adverse side effects with Anipryl. These side effects, and the symptoms of Cushing's disease and CDS, may be caused by other health issues, and only a veterinarian can rule out any underlying causes of geriatric behavior. Hearing and vision loss or arthritis may be causing symptoms similar to those caused by CDS and Cushing's disease, such as confusion, lack of interaction, changes in sleep patterns and personality changes. Neurological and physical tests can be conducted by your veterinarian to determine the precise cause of geriatric behavior. Your veterinarian should begin these types of tests during yearly exams around the age of 7.

Administering Anipryl for Dogs

Anipryl comes in tablet form and must be taken daily. Follow veterinarian dosage and scheduling instructions in order to provide the most effective treatment for your pet.

To receive an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment options from your vet's office, tell your veterinarian about all changes in your dog's health, any medication your dog is currently taking and any reactions your dog may have experienced in the past while taking medications of any kind. If Anipryl is an appropriate medication for your dog, he may see an improvement in behavior in as little as two weeks, though reactions will vary from dog to dog. 

Because older dogs are often taking other medications, ask your veterinarian about any potential drug interactions with Anipryl. The drug Mitaban, used to treat itchy skin caused by mites, is an example of one drug that cannot be taken with Anipryl.