Pharmacological treatments for separation anxiety: they’re all the same, right? Puddin’ says “no!”

Pharmacological treatments for separation anxiety: they’re all the same, right? Puddin’ says “no!”

Separation anxiousness is an emotional and behavioral dysfunction that creates misery not solely in pets, but in addition their caregivers. Dogs with separation anxiousness usually vocalize, trigger destruction within the dwelling, injure themselves, and/or remove in the home when left alone. Each of those issues might be attributable to different points so it will be significant the canine’s well being, together with emotional well being, is correctly assessed with a veterinarian. Also, separation anxiousness is usually a part of a broader anxiousness difficulty with many of those canine experiencing noise sensitivity and social fears as properly.

The most profitable therapy plans embrace a layered strategy of habits modification, medicines, or dietary supplements, all centered on creating a way of calm within the canine when left alone. Although many canine are having a panic response and fast-acting medicines with sedative properties stands out as the most humane strategy within the preliminary levels, milder every day therapies that enhance serotonin will be extraordinarily efficient. In reality, a every day treatment Reconcile® (fluoxetine hydrochloride) is Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorized for the therapy of canine separation anxiousness. It is a meat-flavored oral prescription treatment sometimes given as soon as a day. When dosed appropriately, Reconcile chewable tablets scale back anxiousness with out affecting the canine’s persona or vitality ranges.

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If a canine’s anxiousness is managed with a product like Reconcile, is it secure to change to a generic to save cash? Will it have the identical therapeutic results? Approved generics have security report, however relapses in illness circumstances have been reported in individuals switching from brand-name to generic medicines.1 As a veterinary behaviorist who treats many canine with separation anxiousness, my expertise has been that product consistency may help keep therapy efficacy. In some instances, the swap from Reconcile to the generic or compounded treatment resulted in a relapse within the medical indicators of separation anxiousness. 

Puddin’, a 2 year-old feminine spayed Havanese canine, is an instance of therapy success correlating particularly with the model identify treatment Reconcile. Puddin’ was dropped at our clinic as a result of her caregivers reported home soiling and constant, intense vocalization when separated from individuals. The downside started quickly after they introduced Puddin’ dwelling from the breeder’s dwelling at 7 weeks of age.  After assessing Puddin’s well being and ruling out different behavioral points (e.g., incomplete home coaching, response to exterior noises) via webcam observations, Puddin’ was identified with separation anxiousness. The therapy plan included many layers aimed toward bettering Puddin’s panic and misery. After creating an enrichment, train, and habits modification plan, Puddin’ was began on Reconcile as soon as every day at authorized doses. 

At a 2-week follow-up dialog, Puddin’ was reportedly tolerating the treatment properly, and efficiently progressing via our preliminary habits modification steps. Improvement continued in a gradual and regular method over the following few months. Approximately 6 to 12 months after the preliminary appointment, Puddin’ was nonetheless being administered Reconcile every day and noticed to be calm and resting for as much as 6 hours alone within the dwelling. 

At the 14-month mark, Puddin’ was switched abruptly from Reconcile to generic fluoxetine by one other veterinarian as a perceived comfort and cost-saving measure for the household. Our clinic was contacted by Puddin’s household after the reemergence of home soiling, and intense whining and barking on the exit door when Puddin’ was alone in the home. There have been no different notable modifications within the family. Questioning shortly revealed the correlation between the treatment swap and worsening of separation points. Puddin’ was positioned again on the Reconcile and the habits modification plan was restarted. Although it took over a month, Puddin’ was in a position to be left alone once more for over 6 hours. At our 2 year-recheck, Puddin’ was in a position to be efficiently weaned off medicines. 

Separation anxiousness is a quite common and treatable downside. Talk to your veterinarian first in the event you suspect your canine could have this or different behavioral points. Also, ask about any potential negative effects earlier than switching from a reputation model to generic formulation, and inform your veterinarian in the event you suspect a relapse after a formulation change.


  1. Margolese, H. C., Wolf, Y., Desmarais, J. E. & Beauclair, L. Loss of response after switching from model identify to generic formulations: three instances and a dialogue of key medical concerns when switching. Int Clin Psychopharm 25, 180–182 (2010).

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