What should we expect with our medicated dog?
October 27, 2011 9:00 AM   Subscribe

So we finally broke down and put our dog on clomipramine. What to expect?

We've had a lot of separation anxiety issues with our adopted puggle Apple. We got her at almost three years old and her history is cloudy. She has awful separation anxiety that manifests itself in very loud, sustained barking the second we leave. Otherwise, she is almost as perfect a dog as you could ask for. We, along with our building's management and the NYC Department of Environmental Protection (both of whom have sent us letters) are at the end of our rope.

We have a DAP pheromone diffuser, training and conditioning techniques from an on-call behaviorist, a Kong and all the good stuff. We've tried two different collars: the vibration one had no effect and the spray one way too much for her nerves. Even the behaviorist thinks it is time to medicate.

So, it came down to medicating the little thing. The vet has us doing 1mg of clomipramine colloid twice a day with a potential 1mg updose every two weeks until things are good. She's been on it for a few days now she already seems less nervous and skittish and getting less barky.


So is there anything we should watch out for that the vet may not have mentioned? Googling has proved practically useless due to the controversy w/r/t medicating pets. She's been more gassy and she smells ...different... (she used to smell like Doritos, now she smells like bread) but that's about it.
posted by griphus to Pets & Animals (3 answers total)
Have you tried a pressure jacket? That's the only other thing I can think of beyond meds.

I believe keeping track of elimination patterns is important when it comes to medication, and observing breathing when you're around her and she's sleeping could tell you if she's over-sedated. And, of course, making sure she's still interested in food and moving around.

Good luck!
posted by batmonkey at 9:55 AM on October 27, 2011

We have a beagle that is going on 9 that we got at around age 6. We think she had a crummy life before we got her; as a result she was supremely nervous and her outlet was to shake to the point of seizure and to throw up repeatedly each time either my wife or I was away from the house for longer than usual (overnight or a long work day). She also did this each time we had to kennel her if we were traveling. Our vet prescribed clomipramine - one pill in the a.m. and one in the p.m. - and she has been on it for greater than a year. It took time for her nervousness to abate, and as it did we have stepped down the dosage to only one pill per day. Now, I can be away for several days at a time and we do not have any issues. She still has her moments during thunderstorms or fireworks but by and large she is a way more chilled out but still fun and happy dog. And the last time at the kennel the owners noted how much more she was socializing with the other dogs and the staff.

One thing that our vet was careful about was making sure that the pills did not have an adverse affect on her kidneys; apparently that can be an issue. We have taken her in a couple of times since she started the medication for blood tests to ensure that all the numbers were okay. So perhaps a follow up with the vet after she has been on the pills for a while to make sure that her body has adjusted would be good. Otherwise, as batmonkey said you should make sure she is still up for walks and for playtime and that she still likes to eat. Those were thankfully not an issue for ours.
posted by AgentRocket at 10:04 AM on October 27, 2011 [2 favorites]

Definitely look into Thundershirt. We sell it at the clinic I work at and it works wonders. You may be able to take her off of the clomicalm by using it. Side effects of clomipramine found in this FAQ.
posted by bolognius maximus at 11:21 AM on October 27, 2011 [2 favorites]

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