Making the decision to put my dog on Clomicalm, or “puppy prozac,” was one of the most difficult decisions I’ve ever made.
What is Puppy Prozac?
Clomicalm is manufactured by Novartis Animal Health, Inc. Clomicalm is actually clomipramine hydrochloride, or Anafranil, which is a tricyclic antidepressant used for anti-anxiety/anti-depressant/obsessive-compulsive disorder in humans. The company repeatedly stresses that Clomicalm, by itself, will not “cure” separation anxiety. Rather, it must be used in conjunction with behavior modification training to allow the dog to return to a normal life.
Why I chose to give my dog Clomicalm
Dash’s separation anxiety had now been going on for almost a year and had not gotten much better. Finally, after giving up on all of the natural remedies, we visited the vet for some “Puppy Prozac.” I ran down the list of what I had tried: 6 months of private training (including crate training, which made things worse), Kongs out the wazoo, Buster Cubes, Nina Ottoson puzzle toys (which he LOVES), flower essences/alternative remedies, agility classes, extreme amounts of exercise, and having a friend’s dog stay for a week (didn’t make a bit of difference).
I finally gave in and decided to start Dash on Puppy Prozac. Clomicalm.
Dash was prescribed 10 mg taken with food. He was also given a small amount of Xanax as a “prn” (prescribed as needed) to help with his nuclear meltdowns.
Does puppy prozac work?
While Clomicalm and training haven’t eliminated his separation anxiety, it did take an edge off. For example, he no longer follows me from room to room. This is a huge step for Dash. I can now walk to the door and he doesn’t “flip out.” I can go to the bathroom and he doesn’t sit by the door waiting for me to come out. I can wash dishes in the kitchen and he isn’t underfoot. He now goes into another room and plays on his own. He seems a little less needy. It is also possible for finally kick him out of the bed at night. And he handled that just fine.
However, the barking and scratching at the door (and throwing his body against the door) when I left still persist to this day. This behavior continues for hours and hours on end, until I return. The Xanax has not helped one bit.
One interesting change has happened, however. When Dash is at my parents’ house and I leave (or he is left alone) he does not engage in any of these behaviors. He can be left alone. So perhaps his separation anxiety is specific to me. At any rate, until it resolves, I’ll be trying every new product that hits the market and reviewing it. I have to view every little improvement he makes as a success, no matter how small it may be.