Treating Separation Anxiety with Clomipramine for Dogs

Age: 8 Months
Tags: Puppy 101, Health

Treating Separation Anxiety with Clomipramine for Dogs

Separation anxiety is a psychological disorder that can affect your pet’s behavior but with Clomipramine dogs have been shown to be calmer. This type of anxiety mostly occurs when dogs are left alone. There are a number of different reasons for it but it is a treatable condition. If you think your dog has separation anxiety, it is important to take it to be examined by a vet to rule out any possible medical causes for its behavior.

The Causes of Separation Anxiety

The cause of separation anxiety centers around the bond you, the owner, have with your dog. Dogs become very attached to their owners and can become distressed if they leave them. Dogs are pack animals so form a special bond with their owners and families, i.e. their new ‘pack’. Below are some factors that can contribute to the development of dog anxiety:

  • Naturally nervous disposition
  • Not socialized properly
  • They have a stronger bond with you than the rest of the family
  • They have been moved around to different homes
  • Genetic disposition to stress

The Symptoms of Separation Anxiety

Separation anxiety will be most evident when you are leaving the house. If your dog is distressed or anxious all the time, his condition might be something other than separation anxiety. With this particular type of anxiety, there may be certain triggers for your dog’s behavior to change, for example you put on your coat or shoes. Once your dog is aware you are leaving, the signs of separation anxiety will start to show. Symptoms may include:

  • Barking
  • Whining
  • Howling
  • Licking
  • Destructive behavior, such as chewing furniture
  • Loss of appetite
  • Diarrhea
  • Urinating inside the house

What is the Best Treatment for Separation Anxiety?

Usually, the treatment for separation anxiety is behavioral training, possibly with medication to make your dog calmer immediately. Your vet might recommend enlisting the help of a professional dog handler to help your pet overcome separation anxiety in the long term. If your dog is particularly stressed, however, they might prescribe Clomipramine to ease some of its anxiety in the short term.

What Is Clomipramine?

Clomipramine is one of the few drugs that is safe for both humans and animals to use. It is sold under the name Clomicalm and can only be prescribed by your vet. The drug belongs to a class of drugs called tricyclic antidepressants. It is thought to affect the levels of serotonin, which is a type of ‘chemical messenger’ found in the brain. It works by calming your dog and can be used in conjunction with behavior training.

Potential Side Effects of Clomipramine?

There are potential side effects associated with Clomipramine. These include a loss of appetite and drowsiness.

Clomipramine should only be given in the dosage prescribed by your vet. It shouldn’t be given to animals with heart problems, glaucoma or dogs with seizure disorders.

Separation anxiety is curable. It is a long-term process but with the right training and the help of Clomipramine, your dog will be able to lead a normal life.

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