Fluoxetine (trade name Prozac) is often used to combat depression in humans. Researchers have found that the animal equivalent of Prozac can be helpful in the treatment of separation anxiety for man’s best friend, as well, and now there is a better understanding of how it actually works.
Lexi was a dog that suffered from separation anxiety. Her owner reported that Lexi would become extremely upset when left alone, and would howl loud enough to disturb her neighbors. After enrolling Lexi in a study where she would receive daily medication and behavior management therapy, her owner found that it made a huge difference!
Researchers worked with dogs in this study that were identified as having problems with separation anxiety. There had been some question as to whether the drug worked by improving mood or just inhibiting the negative behavior, but careful studies have helped determine that the medication does work by improving the animals’ moods, which in turn will help to improve their behavior issues. It also seemed that the combination of the drug and behavior modification training worked better than training alone. Researchers noted that both factors are essential for effective treatment, but it’s definitely good news to see that this drug therapy was beneficial to the pets involved in the study.
It’s great to see that this research study had a positive impact on the pets and their humans! Prozac has been used as a treatment in humans for some time, and it’s nice to see that researchers have been able to work with companion dogs to determine that a similar therapy can benefit them, as well! Read more about this research here.