Dog Separation Anxiety Symptoms, Causes, Medications - Pets WebMD
For dogs with separation anxiety, the most effective approach is usually a combination of behavior modification exercises and anti-anxiety medication.
Some researchers have investigated whether the effectiveness of clomipramine or fluoxetine can be enhanced when they are combined with other medications. Ogata and Dodman studied the effect of the concurrent administration of clonidine, a drug used for humans to reduce high blood pressure, with clomipramine. The owners of seven of ten dogs given a low dose of clonidine in addition to their regular clomipramine medication for separation anxiety reported an improvement in their dogs’ behavior. A combination of fluoxetine and clorazepate dipotassium was found to reduce signs of anxiety in nonaggressive dogs; however, these medications were administered concurrently with a behavior modification plan, which makes it difficult to assess the effectiveness of each component of the treatment.
3) Get your veterinarian in the loop. Although training can go a long way in preventing a dog from developing separation anxiety, and can also help with treatment, separation anxiety is not a training issue. First, your vet needs to rule out medical conditions that can contribute to anxiety. Second, many dogs with separation anxiety benefit greatly from medication in combination with behavior modification, and a licensed veterinarian is the only professional qualified and legally able to discuss whether your dog is one of them. Your vet can also refer you to a veterinary behaviorist, a veterinarian with advanced training in behavioral medicine.
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There are several pet meds to help reduce your dog's separation anxiety including over-the-counter products using natural pheromones or even prescription pet medications to help calm your dog's nerves.Regardless of the dog’s age or the reason for separation anxiety, the treatment protocol is essentially the same. Your veterinarian may or may not recommend medication in association with the behavior modification (training) plan. Clomicalm is the most commonly recommended medication for separation anxiety. This drug is a tricyclic antidepressant which serves to increase the dog’s receptiveness to the behavior modification protocol – it does not decrease separation anxiety by itself. Like any endeavor involving training, dealing with separation anxiety takes time and patience. You will not likely see results overnight, or even in the first month.For more information on the diagnosis of separation anxiety, and on other treatments (such as medications) for the syndrome, see the article entitled "Separation Anxiety in Dogs".Medications, including clomipramine (Clomicalm) and fluoxetine (Prozac, Reconcile) may be prescribed for separation anxiety. These medicines are used as antidepressants in people. In dogs, they are used for their anti-anxiety effects. Medications alone are unlikely to be effective in treating separation anxiety. For that reason, they are almost always combined with behavioral modification.