My dog is on Prozac…

11 Mar

…so i don’t have to be. Does this look like a dog who needs “mood enhancers?”

SANY3179It all started Saturday afternoon. The sun was shining and there were a million people in the neighborhood of the shop for a special Murder Mystery day. It was standing room only for six hours and I was late getting out to give Sabu her mid-afternoon potty walk. Everything looked fine, she behaved as normal, but when I went out to leave for the day I saw that she had removed the fur from a quarter-sized area on her left hip. No hair and the skin was inflamed and she was in distress. Sigh.

Sabu has done this before, licked a hole in herself until the skin turned black and fell off in a huge nasty scab, so I braced myself for another episode of yuck. I watched her closely all evening to keep her from licking, but you know how sly dogs can be.

By Sunday morning, she was depressed and in obvious pain from her self-inflicted wound. Out on our morning walk we spied one of our neighbors and wandered over to say hey. Sabu did not want to be petted and as soon as Lara saw the hot spot and Sabu’s odd reaction to her she said, “I know just what this is – I had Ruger [her 12-year-old black labrador] in to the vet on Thursday for this same thing. It’s “large dog anxiety disorder.”

Well, huh. I had no idea it was a “thing” and that it had a name. She was nice enough to give me a few antibiotic pills to tide us over until I could get Sabu to the vet today, which worked a treat.

So off to the vet’s office we went this AM to get an In Person diagnosis and to get Sabu’s shots and license updated. Sabu was less than thrilled to be there and adamant that the vet tech Would.Not. be taking her temperature in any orifice, thankyouverymuch. Not even a muzzle would induce her to let anyone near her sore spot. Sigh.

When the vet came in and tried to get a closer look and Sabu resisted by jerking away, growling, howling, yipping, etc. She Was.Not.Going.To.Be.Examined.

It was at this point that the vet said, “Rather than overstimulate her further today, I’m going to recommend an antihistamine that has Mood Enhancing side effects because I believe she would benefit from it.” He then went on to explain that when I picked the prescription up at the pharmacy the word “Prozac” might be tossed around and I was not to get excited about it…At which point I started laughing.

“My dog is going to be on Prozac! That is hilarious! I’ll be blogging this for sure!”

Really, I have no problem with better living through chemistry and for those who have chemical imbalances that can be corrected with a pill, I say, “take the pill and be happy!” I just hadn’t considered it for my no-doubt-about-it neurotic dog.

While she was “in the back” getting her shots the vet techs shaved the area around the hot spot so they could see how bad it was and recommend treatment if needed. The dog howled the entire time like they were pulling out her toenails. I was so embarrassed. She is a Drama Queen for sure!

She’s had her first dose of Doggy Happy Pills (hidden inside a powdered sugar donut hole because I’m a cool Dog Mom that way) and is now sacked out like she hasn’t slept for a week. Admittedly she’s had a long day – a trip to the vet, a visit at the dog park with four other big dogs, a long walk on the beach and dinner half an hour late.

From PetcareRX (bold mine):

Doxepin, belonging to the group of tricyclic antidepressant drugs, is a psychotropic agent known for its anxiolytic and antidepressant properties and anticholinergic and sedative effects. Doxepin is recommended for the treatment of depression and/or anxiety. The medication is effective for the treatment of noise phobia, depression, anxiety and obsessive compulsive disorders (OCD) in canines like acral lick dermatitis.The active ingredient, doxepin, is a strong antihistamine, effective against the dopamine receptors in the central nervous system. The analgesic action of the medicine is triggered by the sodium channel blocking activity of the active ingredient, Doxepin Hydrochloride.

The commonly observed side effects include low blood pressure, high blood pressure, drowsiness, rapid heart rate, dry mouth and constipation. In rare instances, doxepin turns urine blue-green in color.

Stay tuned for reports about Sabu’s urine color 🙂

The pharmacist gave me two full sheets, typed small, of precautions and advisories. I told her the medication was for my dog, but she gave them to me any way. The list of side effects for people is pretty disturbing, and if they affect my dog I’m not sure what I’ll do. I mean, if she jumps into the creek, is that a “suicidal action” or just a dog being a dog?

Maybe I’m over-thinking this one. She seems fine at the moment, resting quietly, staring off into space, so I have to assume the drugs are working as she has left the hot spot alone for several hours now.

Stay tuned for updates…


Posted by on March 11, 2013 in Anxiety, Dogs


Tags: ,

21 responses to “My dog is on Prozac…

  1. behindthemaskofabuse

    March 11, 2013 at 9:00 pm

    wow i’ll be interested to see how this goes, my dog licks obsessently, althouogh he’s on a low does of prednisone for allergies and that seems to be helping a lot. i wonder if your pooch will be groggy until he adjusts to the meds?

    • Sofia Leo

      March 12, 2013 at 9:22 am

      She seems a bit slower after two doses, but really, that still leaves her on the high end of OMG Crazy Dog energy. I don’t know what it’s like to live with a “normal” dog – Sabu, and Old Dog before her, is so over-the-top-insane-with-energy that if she acted like other dogs I’ve seen I might be checking to see if she’d died. Really. This is a hyper dog. I’m thinking it would be nice to have a mellow dog that actually listened to my commands in a timely manner, one that I could take for a walk without being braced backwards against her pull the whole time. I’ll let you know how it works out.

      • behindthemaskofabuse

        March 12, 2013 at 9:49 am

        wow you are describing my dog, with the high energy, i wonder if the energy comes from stress too, like adrenaline? our dog walks well on a leash after lots of training, but he is a very needy dog.

        i hope Sabu does calm down in a healthy way. it’s likely she is stressed with all you’ve been through and the changes that came with it, out dog too.

      • Sofia Leo

        March 12, 2013 at 9:58 am

        It’s amazing the energy Sabu has! If I could bottle it, I could make a fortune! Or just keep it for myself 🙂 The irritating thing is that she has training and will follow commands, but only if there are NO distractions. If a cat wanders by, or a child or another dog, well, all bets are off and she’s a maniac again. She just needs a delay built into her Crazy Switch.

      • behindthemaskofabuse

        March 12, 2013 at 10:00 am

        i feel your pain!! our dog is trained too but he only listens if he feels like it which he often doesn’t…lol

        his breed (wiener dog) is very intelligent…too smart, it drives me nuts!

        it sounds like Sabu is very clever too…if you do find a way to bottle the energy, i would pay for some! ha!

      • Sofia Leo

        March 12, 2013 at 8:51 pm

        Too smart, is right! That dog can reason, I swear! Why, oh why, didn’t I get a big ol’ goofy labrador? Oh, yeah, I LIKE smart dogs. Maybe not that smart, though…

      • behindthemaskofabuse

        March 12, 2013 at 9:05 pm

        ahaha! i wonder what would happen if we put smart Sabu with my smart Lowryder??

      • Sofia Leo

        March 15, 2013 at 8:51 am

        Chaos and world domination, no doubt! 🙂

      • behindthemaskofabuse

        March 15, 2013 at 8:54 am

        that sounds about right!

  2. Jenny

    March 11, 2013 at 9:13 pm

    Gee so the new move got to Sabu, our cats freaked out when we moved out of the house into the RV but they got over it pretty soon thanks to catnip and getting them stoned! They would not go into the casita for the longest time either because of the cool tile floors. They are getting used to it more and more and do not freak out anymore in the RV and when Daddy turns the motorhome on they go to their special places for the ride. Hope she feels better soon….blue green pee? that’s a new one to me. When my cats get certain shots they sleep for 2 days or when I put the flea killer drops on them, they are very droggy.

    • Sofia Leo

      March 12, 2013 at 9:19 am

      I think everything was fine until that day, when a Perfect Storm of stressors happened all at once. I’ll be doing my best to keep it from happening again, and hopefully the drugs will even her out enough that she can deal in a more appropriate way. Guess I should be glad she didn’t shred my car or break a window or something. In my defense, she did have a fresh beef bone she could have licked on instead…

  3. JackieP

    March 11, 2013 at 9:53 pm

    I’m sure she was just upset because of all the different people and having to stay in the car for a longer period of time. She’ll be ok. My little dog sam has problems too. dry skin being one of them so he licks alot. To get him groomed last time I had to take him to the vet to be medicated so they could groom him. He is super afraid of being groomed. Hope things get better with her soon. poor thing

    • Sofia Leo

      March 12, 2013 at 9:16 am

      She’s much better today – donut holes are helping things along 🙂 She’s only been to the groomer twice as I usually do it myself over a period of days, but sometimes there isn’t enough warm weather or sunshine to get a Real Bath in and it’s easier to have it done by professionals. She was a bitch there, too. We have some work to do on her (my?) attitude…

  4. notyourvictim

    March 12, 2013 at 4:47 am

    Until you get her spot examined, dogs don’t like the taste of neosporin with pain reliever, if you can get that onto her, she might stop licking the spot and making it worse. Poor little one, moving is hard on them.

    My dog developed separation anxiety and would howl any time I wasn’t home. If I took her out to the bar with me, she would lose her shit and shriek in a way I can’t even describe! She’s fine being left at home now, but still not great about me wanting to pee at the bar (I have given her up and now take her with me.) I’m hoping my trip to Europe next week won’t be too traumatic for either of us and she has too much fun with the dog sitter and all those other dogs to be sad.

    • Sofia Leo

      March 12, 2013 at 9:14 am

      Sabu will lick anything off that spot, doesn’t matter how foul it is – I’ve tried, believe me! The antibiotics the neighbor gave me stopped the licking overnight and now she’s leaving the spot alone entirely. Poor girl! I’ve been a Super Bad Good Dog Mom, letting her sleep on the couch and giving her lots of attention and love. Short work day today and it’s raining, so the shop should be slow enough that I can get out to her in a more timely manner. Gonna have to figure out something else for the coming warmer weather…

  5. Awana

    March 12, 2013 at 11:53 am

    …doughnut holes would do it for me…

  6. El Guapo

    March 12, 2013 at 12:15 pm

    As long as she’s feeling better…

  7. Not Quite Alice

    March 12, 2013 at 4:49 pm

    Aw. I’m sorry. I have a dog that on and off has anxiety, and “cuts” she chews all the fur off of her front paws. She’s a unique one, but I Love her. Hope Sabu starts feeling better.

    • Sofia Leo

      March 12, 2013 at 8:44 pm

      She seems fine today, galloping along the beach being an idiot. I’ll be vacuuming up sand for days…

      • Not Quite Alice

        March 13, 2013 at 9:17 am

        lol, but at least she is happy today 🙂


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