Email
Password
Remember meForgot password?
    Log in with Twitter

article imageProzac treatment improves dogs mood and behavior

By Brian Booker     May 15, 2015 in Health
There's a growing concern that people are becoming too reliant on mood-changing drugs, such as Prozac, and soon we might have to worry about dogs too. Researchers have discovered that the dog equivalent of Prozac and that it makes dogs more optimistic.
Researchers at the University of Lincoln (UK) have found that dogs who are treated with fluoxetine showed improvement in their mood and behavior. Fluoxetine is the active ingredient found in prozac.
The researchers published their study in BMC Vetrinary Research.
Specifically, researchers were exploring the issue of separation anxiety. Some dogs suffer from separation anxiety when their owners leave the home. Dogs may develop destructive tendencies, or resort to constant howling and barking, much to the ire of owners and neighbors.
Scientists have found that a combination of fluoxetine and behavioral modification treatment can help alleviate separation anxiety.
Researchers first recruited dogs suffering from separation anxiety, and then used a special behavior test to gauge whether dogs were feeling optimistic or pessimistic.
Next, researchers set up a controlled experiment using food bowls. A food bowl with food was placed in one location, and a food bowl without food was placed in another. The dogs were then taught which location was associated with food, and which was not.
Next, researchers placed bowls in ambiguous locations and measured whether the dogs were anxious or not. Those dogs that were treated with fluoxetine and behavior modification were more optimistic and their mood improved.
Before the study researchers were worried that drug treatments simply inhibited behavior, but did not improve the mood of the dogs themselves. If so, there would be some ethical questions as to whether animals should be treated with drugs.
Following the advent of newer and more accurate methods to measure the moods of animals, researchers are now confident that fluoxetine treatment is both encouraging behavioral change and improving the mood of treated dogs.
More about Prozac, Animal welfare, Drug treatment
 
Latest News
Top News