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Thread: Took my aggresive dog off of prozac

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    Senior Member CavePaws's Avatar
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    Default Took my aggresive dog off of prozac

    It has made the home situation at least 80% better over the last six weeks - having her off of the meds. She has been on her best behavior. My theory is this, she took 10 mg for at least 6 months, then when 10 mg was not working any more for her she was bumped up to 20 mg for another 4 months. 20 mg is the highest the veterinarian felt safe to go up to. She was throwing up occasionally, licking the floor, walls, beds, inanimate objects obsessively, began growling non-stop at my other dogs. At one point on this medication she attacked our dog Puck, he needed stitches. I'm just no longer a believer in the wonders of prozac for canines. I thought it was great until she hit her plateau. I know it's an okay short term thing to rewire her brain, but as far as medication goes, I think I've rewired it as much as I can with this stuff. The frequency of her fights with our other dogs was getting too severe. It was becoming a weekly thing on this medication. For a long time I saw noticeable improvements - especially with people who she is shy around. However with dogs it has only become perhaps a 30% difference on the meds. I'm tired of waiting around for this to change with dogs she does not know. She just isn't a dogs dog. She has been pretty good lately. Not going for any of my dogs, occasionally growls, but that is the extent of it. No more crazy obsessive licking, no more throwing up. We are just going to continue with the natural route. There have been no studies proving this works for canines, and no studies supporting the claim that it does not cause organ damage over an extended period of time. It isn't worth her dying at an early age to make her sociable. 6 weeks is a long time for her to go without trying to get into scuffs. I'm a firm believer that it helped re-wire her thinking in some ways, short term usage was great. It just made her way too aggressive at 20 mg.

    Anyone considering prozac. It is a crutch. That is all it is, and there will be a point where you notice your dog is not improving. You will have to consider, is it safe to up my dogs medication and how long can they stay on that high of a dose?

    For me it wasn't worth it any more.
    Last edited by CavePaws; 08-14-2011 at 05:30 PM.

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    Senior Member Jack Monzon's Avatar
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    Interesting. Thanks for sharing.

    For what it's worth: A guy I know adopted a fear-aggressive dog 5 years ago. The dog was fear-aggressive and food-aggressive from the get-go. The behaviorist told him to put the dog down. The vet put him in touch with a trainer, who recommended Prozac. He's been on it ever since, and he said the difference was noticeable and took very little time to kick in. He's thrilled with the drug. The one time he ran out of Prozac and didn't get more, the dog started relapsing back. So it was good for him. I don't know the dosage they're on.

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    Senior Member minnieme's Avatar
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    My sister's dog is CRAZY HYPER....and also has dog-dog aggression since he was attacked twice. She feeds him the cheapest dog food she can find....I am confident some of his excess energy/rage would be less of an issue if she switched his food to something better. However, she wants to medicate him instead. No behavioral switches, no nutrition evaluations, no training classes -- drugs. Very frustrating.

    (not saying they're all bad, but jeeze, explore some other options first!)
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    Senior Member cprcheetah's Avatar
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    It is my understanding that depending on the reasoning for the prozac it is supposed to be a 'short' term drug only to help with behavioral modification. Aggression is listed as one of the unfortunate side effects. I am sorry you have had to go through this.
    Last edited by cprcheetah; 08-14-2011 at 07:23 PM.
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    Senior Member Tobi's Avatar
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    I'm really happy for you that she is so much better!!!

    I've never really liked scripts because they are usually just a cover for something that is possibly not even cured. thank you for this review of your experience with it!!!
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    Senior Member CavePaws's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by minnieme View Post
    My sister's dog is CRAZY HYPER....and also has dog-dog aggression since he was attacked twice. She feeds him the cheapest dog food she can find....I am confident some of his excess energy/rage would be less of an issue if she switched his food to something better. However, she wants to medicate him instead. No behavioral switches, no nutrition evaluations, no training classes -- drugs. Very frustrating.

    (not saying they're all bad, but jeeze, explore some other options first!)
    Completely and totally agree. You are not rehabilitating your dog unless you do behavioral modification with them. Medication is just a shortened route to the end result, it may change the end result for the better however.

    Quote Originally Posted by cprcheetah View Post
    It is my understanding that depending on the reasoning for the prozac it is supposed to be a 'short' term drug only to help with behavioral modification. Aggression is listed as one of the unfortunate side effects. I am sorry you have had to go through this.
    Yep. We took the chance because it is fear aggression with other dogs and dominance aggression at home. She was a very uptight, nervous dog, coming into puberty and really acting like a snot. Over all I think the medication was okay for very short term on a low dose...But once it was raised the side effects really reared their ugly head.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tobi View Post
    I'm really happy for you that she is so much better!!!

    I've never really liked scripts because they are usually just a cover for something that is possibly not even cured. thank you for this review of your experience with it!!!
    I hate scripts too. I hate medicating my dogs. I really hate having to take meds myself. >:| But poor Indi, I just couldn't keep giving her the pills and watching her throw up and become more freaked out...The reason she attacked our dog Puck was because I gave her the meds and she puked about ten minutes later...Poor Puck was right there and it was like she was being protective over her throw up. It was ridiculous. That incident just threw everything over the top for me.

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    Senior Member CavePaws's Avatar
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    double post
    Last edited by CavePaws; 08-14-2011 at 09:29 PM.

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    Senior Member CavePaws's Avatar
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    Interesting. Thanks for sharing.

    For what it's worth: A guy I know adopted a fear-aggressive dog 5 years ago. The dog was fear-aggressive and food-aggressive from the get-go. The behaviorist told him to put the dog down. The vet put him in touch with a trainer, who recommended Prozac. He's been on it ever since, and he said the difference was noticeable and took very little time to kick in. He's thrilled with the drug. The one time he ran out of Prozac and didn't get more, the dog started relapsing back. So it was good for him. I don't know the dosage they're on.
    Honestly, you can't just expect medication to fix everything without behavior mods. Sounds like his dog was very treatable and responsive to the meds and behavior modification. I don't mean to downplay his situation at all, but Indi was pretty severe in that her genetics are horrible and her start in life was just as bad. She has a "fight" record I don't even care to record, but her bite record is very small. I'm thankful she shows ridiculous amounts of warning signals to other dogs and does not just launch into attack mode. All of the fights she has actually been in with other peoples dogs have been a mistake on the other owners fault, with Indi on leash. With my dogs at home it was a different story and it was definitely not fear aggression...It was dominance aggression, her trying to be an alpha when really she is very insecure about her position being challenged. Prozac was horrible for that aspect of it. She got so much better with people though so I won't down play the drug at all for that. Aggression is such a complex behavior it is so hard to just diagnose exactly what is the cause.

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