May 10, 2023




Fluoxetine for Dogs and Cats: Uses, dosage & Side effects

Dogs and cat

As a pet owner, you want what's best for your furry friend. Sometimes, our pets may develop certain behavioral issues, like separation anxiety, that require medication. In these cases, Fluoxetine, or Prozac, may be prescribed to help manage your pet's symptoms. 

Fluoxetine is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) medication commonly prescribed to dogs and cats. In this blog post, we'll explore the uses of Fluoxetine, appropriate dosages for pets, and the potential side effects you should be aware of before treating your four-legged family member. 

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Uses of Fluoxetine in pets 

Veterinarians commonly prescribe Fluoxetine(Prozac) for various behavioral issues in dogs and cats, such as:

  • Aggression

  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)

  • Separation anxiety

  • Noise phobia

Fluoxetine is also used in combination with other behavioral modification therapies to help treat pets suffering from anxiety-related disorders. 

Dosage of Fluoxetine for pets

The amount of Fluoxetine used for dogs and cats depends on various factors, including the size and weight of the animal, as well as the severity of its behavioral issues.

The dosage for dogs typically ranges from 0.5mg to 1mg per kilogram of body weight, while the dosage for cats is usually lower, ranging from 0.25mg to 0.5mg per kilogram of body weight. 

If your furry friend has difficulty taking pills or liquids, ask your vet about a transdermal formulation of Fluoxetine. 

It's important to note that the prescribed dosage for pets should never exceed that for humans. When administering Fluoxetine, following the veterinarian's instructions is critical to avoid overdosing or underdosing.

Fluoxetine side effects in dogs and cats

As with any medication, Fluoxetine can cause side effects in pets. 

The most common side effects for dogs and cats taking Prozac include:

  • Drowsiness

  • Lethargy

  • Anorexia/Loss of appetite

  • Vomiting

  • Diarrhea

These side effects are usually mild and will disappear after a few days of starting the medication. In rare cases, pets may develop more severe side effects, such as seizures or allergic reactions. 

If your pet experiences too many side effects, worsening symptoms, or side effects that last too long, Fluoxetine might not be the best medicine for them. Therefore, it's essential to monitor your pet for any physical and behavioral changes after starting Fluoxetine and contact your vet immediately with any adverse reactions. 

Precautions and Considerations

Fluoxetine is an effective medication for pets with behavioral issues when used responsibly. The drug should never be given to pregnant or lactating animals, and it should be avoided if your pet has a history of seizure disorders. 

Dogs and cats with liver or kidney disease may require modified doses of Fluoxetine. Discussing these potential issues and health conditions with your veterinarian before starting the medication is important. 

Is Fluoxetine right for your pet?

If your dog or cat is acting out of the ordinary, it could be a sign that something else is going on. Before medicating for anxiety, your vet may do tests to rule out any underlying medical conditions, such as allergies or osteoarthritis, that may be causing distress and pain in your pet

Following their assessment and diagnosis, your veterinarian can create a treatment plan to help manage your pet's anxiety and other behavioral symptoms. 

Final thoughts 

Fluoxetine can be an effective medication for pets suffering from behavioral disorders such as anxiety, aggression, and obsessive-compulsive disorder. 

It is a long-term treatment that requires regular monitoring to ensure the pet's safety and well-being. But working closely with your veterinarian can help your furry family member have a happier, healthier life.

At CareCard, we are passionate about helping make your whole families' prescription payments more affordable, including your four-legged friends. Learn how CareCard can help make your pet's medication costs more manageable

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