Side Effects of Prozac for Dogs

Prozac for dogs was approved by the FDA in 2007. It's marketed under the name Reconcile, and is a reformulated version of the ingredient fluoexetine hydrochloride, the same chemical compound found in Prozac. Listed for use in dogs with separation anxiety, this drug is sometimes prescribed off-label for other canine emotional disorders as well, including aggression, obsessive-compulsive disorder and various phobias, such as fear of thunderstorms. While Prozac for dogs is sought by many pet owners whose dogs are experiencing behavioral problems, one must consider other factors when making the decision to administer this prescription medication. Simultaneous behavioral modification programs are essential to effectively retrain new behaviors. Additionally, this drug can produce a number of undesirable side effects.

Use of Prozac For Dogs

Reconcile is available in a chewable form with an appealing flavor similar to that of dog treats. It's to be administered once a day, but does not begin to take effect until 10 to 14 days after beginning treatment. For dogs determined to have serious disorders, like that of separation anxiety, other 'rescue' drugs like Xanax or Valium may be prescribed for the interim. It's highly recommended to introduce a behavioral modification program while your dog is on the drug. This will be effective at teaching new behaviors and potentially allowing you to use Prozac as a temporary fix, rather than leaving your dog on the drug indefinitely. Consider treating any underlying conditions that may be causing an emotional disturbance. Keep in mind that dogs have an entirely different physiological makeup from that of other species. What may seem like clinical depression could actually be a sign of something entirely different.

Interaction with Other Drugs

The chemical compound used in Prozac for dogs has been shown to potentially interact with a number of other drugs. Careful consideration should be taken when using this drug in conjunction with other medications, as interaction can cause interference with effectiveness or serious side effects. This drug may interfere in the following ways:

  • When combined with certain tranquilizers or other calming medications, effects may be enhanced or extended, leading to lethargy or overdose
  • May increase the blood levels of lithium
  • May increase concurrent side effects when used with other anti-depressant medication
  • Morbidity, or rapid decrease in health, may result when used with monoamine oxidase inhibitors

Side Effects of Prozac For Dogs

As with any other medication, there is a chance your pet will experience mild to severe side effects while taking Prozac for dogs. This drug is known to alter blood glucose levels and should be carefully considered for dogs with diabetes mellitus. The drug has also shown to produce aggression and/or biting in rare cases. This includes enhancing the side effect in dogs already experiencing the problem, or creating aggression in dogs that were previously non-aggressive. Other side effects to consider are the following:

  • Lethargy or over-calmness
  • Gastrointestinal disturbances
  • Anxiety
  • Irritability or aggression
  • Sleeplessness
  • Hyperactivity
  • Excessive panting
  • Loss of appetite