Labradoodle & Goldendoodle Forum

Our vet subscribed fluoexetine for Yogi's separation anxiety, however, he said to give it to him 1-2 hours before leaving and to use it as needed not daily. 

I called the office back and questioned that I knew in humans it had to be taken daily and may take a few weeks to be effective.  His response was that it was a sufficient dose (20 mg) to have an immediate effect.  He only gave us 10 pills saying we would know if it didn't work.

I think it should be daily but not sure how to handle this with the vet since I asked once already.  Should I just give it to him daily until it runs out and then call them again?

Not only does he have separation anxiety, he is timid and aggressive-shy with my son (age 18).





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Hopefully F or one of the others who is more knowledgable than me will chime in. I recently started my dog on fluoxetine and the pharmacist told me it can take up to three months to be fully effective, and to expect at least three weeks before we saw any changes. So, I am pretty sure it is a longer acting drug. There are other medications out there that are faster acting. Did you get the actual medication from the vet? I had to get it from a human pharmacy. You could go to a pharmacy and talk to the pharmacist. They really are the ones who know, mine had to call the vet back because she'd calculated the doseage wrong.

I hope that F responds to this, because what your vet told you does not sound right to me at all. I don't think it works any differently in dogs than in humans, and the information you have about its use in humans is correct. It has to be taken consistently and daily and can take a few weeks to work; it also shouldn;t be stopped suddenly, but rather cut back gradually. I have never, ever heard of it having "an immediate effect" in anyone, regardless of dose. It is definitely not an "as needed" drug. Does your vet have much experience in using this medication in dogs? 

There should also be a behavior modification program used in conjunction with the meds. Even the drugs manufacturer recommend this.

Absolutely. Medication just "take the edge off".....

My Charlie is on Fluoxetine 20mg as well. She takes it daily in the morning with her breakfast.

Psychotropic medication in human ( I only know about the human use...) must be taken in consistent bases, and it takes few weeks to take effects. Also the person cannot get taken off of the medication suddenly, and need to be under the supervision if that person is to be off of that medication because it can cause complication.

I don't know of any psychotropic medication that works immediately like "Tylenol".

The same thing was told by my vet, that it must be given on consistent bases, it will take few weeks to take effects, and cannot be terminated without doctor's supervision.

I am not a vet or anything, But the information you received seems incorrect.

One of the example of how the psychotropic medication is misunderstood and misused in human is that often times parents would not give the child medication over the weekend, and states that child does fine without it over the weekend.

This is because if the child does not take the medication on Sat. that medication is still in his system( from the day before and day before that...) helping with symptom.  And, when the child gets back on the medication on Monday, it does not work and cause issues, because much less level of medication is in the child's system, and the medication he took on Monday is not yet to take effects.....

This is an example to show that psychotropic medication does not work like "Tylenol" and does not work on and off.... ( At least the ones I know.)

If you don't want to challenge / ask your vet about this, ( to be polite or not to ruin the relationship ) I would get a second opinion, and possibly use another vet for the anxiety issue.... or switch all together......

Thanks everyone.  Those were my thoughts also.  Taking the edge off is all Yogi really needs so I think this would be a good drug to try at least for his timidness.  The separation may need a bit more.  Will also work on behavior modification.

There are 3 vets in our clinic.  We've never had the one we had this time before.  I graduated from high school with vet who owns the clinic, I may give him a call tomorrow to discuss with him directly.  In the meantime, I'll keep Yogi on the medication.

Thanks, again.  Whoever F is, hoping to hear from them also.  :-)

Have you thought about consulting with a Behaviorist?   Our Murphy is an anxious dog, and he was demonstrating fear aggression and reactiveness.  We consulted with a Behaviorist at a Veternary Hospital in our area and she evaluated him, prescribed the med and dosage, and helped us to design a behavior modification program that we could work at home (with the help of our trainer).  It was only one two hour visit, and then my regular vet took over the monitoring and prescribing of refills with the Behaviorist as a consultant if that became necessary.  After a few months and with daily work on the behavior modification strategies, we were able to gradually reduce Murphy's dose....and now he doesn't need to take the meds.  Good luck.....getting the correct medication and advice to help with the design of Yogi's program are so important.

Yes, we did have one session with a behaviorist.  To be honest we haven't been fairthful in the training.  But I hoped with meds we would have more luck.  He is a sweet dog with just my husband and I. 

Our other doodle is 2 and is perfect in every way.  We were hoping for two the same.  Yogi is 7 months and proving to be a bit of a challenge.  And  he is one ornery bugger who keeps us laughing as he steals anything he can find!

We had a Beagle who was taking this and I recall the vet saying it would take a few weeks to build up  a blood level of med to become effective.  I cannot imagine a circumstance that would call for this medication to be used "as needed." There are other meds that can be used as an anti-anxiety that can be given for that purpose.

Finally got a chance to talk to the vet I know pretty well.  He agreed it needs to be taken daily and is changing the prescription for us.  Will let you know how things progress.  Thanks for confirming my thoughts.

I am glad that you were able to get professional confirmation!!

Good luck!!



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