With significant advances in the understanding of dog behavioral problems, veterinarians and animal behavior specialists have been placing a greater emphasis on treatment options. When accompanied by an appropriate behavior modification program, both Clomicalm and Prozac have been used to successfully treat moderate to severe cases of separation anxiety. Familiarizing with both these drugs will help dog owners better understand how they work and how they affect their canine companions.
Also known by its generic name clomipramine, Clomicalm is a tricyclic antidepressant (TCA) drug. Clomicalm is a veterinary formulation approved by the Food and Drug Administration for use in dogs, explains veterinarian Dawn Ruben in an article for Pet Place. Prozac, also known by its generic name fluoxetine, is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressant drug with a history of treating depression in humans. Its FDA-approved veterinary formulation is known as Reconcile.
Clomicalm comes in 20, 40 and 80 mg tablets offered in color-coded packaging. The tablets are oblong in shape and light brown in color. Meat components are added to the clomipramine hydrochloride tablets for better taste. The tablets are given either once a day or the daily dose is divided in two separated doses per veterinarian's recommendation. Reconcile consists of once-daily, chewable fluoxetine hydrocloride beef-flavored tablets which come in 8, 16, 32 and 64 mg tablets. Both products are meant to be used with an accompanying behavior modification program. Dog owners should always consult with an experienced veterinarian regarding the health and treatment of their dogs.
Clomicalm slows the reabsorption rate of the neurotransmitters serotonin and norepinephrine, allowing their levels to rise in the brain. This drug is mainly used to treat separation anxiety. Prozac, on the other hand, works by strongly blocking the reabsorption of serotonin allowing more serotonin to be available for extended periods of time. This drug is mainly used to treat anxiety and compulsive behaviors, according to Benjamin L. Hart, a certified applied animal behaviorist, in an article for DVM360.
Different Side Effects
Unfortunately, tricyclic antidepressants such as Clomicalm tend to block histaminic, cholinergic, and alpha-1 adrenergic receptor sites along with neurotransmitters. This causes unwanted side effects such as dry mouth, sedation and hypotension. Because selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors such as Prozac have no anticholinergic, antihistaminic, and anti-alpha-1 adrenergic activities, side effects are minimized, explains Karen L. Overall, certified applied animal behaviorist in an article for The Atlantic Coast Veterinary Conference.
Improvement in 47 percent of dogs treated with clomipramine along with a behavioral modification program demonstrated clinical improvement in one week compared to 29 percent of dogs receiving behavior modification alone, according to the Clomicalm manufacturing company, Novartis Animal Health, in an article for Pet Place. On the other hand, improvement was seen in 42 percent of dogs treated with Prozac along with a behavior modification program within the first week. After eight weeks, 72 percent of dogs treated showed significant improvement, according to a study conducted by veterinarian Barbara Sherman Simpson, et al. and published in the 2007 issue of "Veterinary Therapeutics."
- Petplace: Clomipramine
- Pet Place: Fluoxetine
- DVM360: Psychotropic Drugs: Why, Where, When and How
- Atlantic Coast Veterinary Conference: Pharmacology and Behavior: Review of Commonly Used Drugs
- Pet Place: ClomicalmVeterinary Therapeutics; Effects of Reconcile (Fluoxetine) Chewable Tablets Plus Behavior Management for Canine Separation Anxiety; Barbara Sherman Simpson et al
- Veterinary Therapeutics; Effects of Reconcile (Fluoxetine) Chewable Tablets Plus Behavior Management for Canine Separation Anxiety; Barbara Sherman Simpson et al
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Adrienne Farricelli has been writing for magazines, books and online publications since 2005. She specializes in canine topics, previously working for the American Animal Hospital Association and receiving certification from the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers. Her articles have appeared in "USA Today," "The APDT Chronicle of the Dog" and "Every Dog Magazine." She also contributed a chapter in the book " Puppy Socialization - An Insider's Guide to Dog Behavioral Fitness" by Caryl Wolff.