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Fluoxetine for Dogs: Loki's Medication Journey

For dogs struggling with anxiety and stress, medication can be a crucial tool in improving their quality of life. In this blog, I will cover the medication journey of Loki and his experience with fluoxetine, a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI).

Fluoxetine works by increasing the levels of serotonin in the brain, which can help regulate mood and other bodily functions. However, like all medications, fluoxetine can cause side effects such as decreased appetite, nausea, and weight loss. It's important to discuss any changes in appetite or other side effects with a veterinarian.

Despite experiencing decreased appetite initially, Ive seen a positive change in his behaviour over the course of three weeks so far on the medication. He's been more engaged with food and shown interest in training. It's important to note that medication should not change a dog's personality or subdue them. Any unusual side effects should be discussed with a veterinarian.

It's crucial to recognize that dogs can experience mental health issues and benefit from medication to alleviate symptoms. The stigma surrounding medication for mental health in both humans and dogs is incorrect, as they are sentient beings capable of fear, anxiety, and stress.

By sharing Loki's medication journey, we hope to shed light on the importance of medication for dogs with mental health issues and encourage pet owners to discuss all available options with their veterinarians. Together, we can help our furry friends live their best lives.

Week 1

As some of you may know, Loki started taking fluoxetine , and this is the end of his first week!

I have already noticed a huge decrease in his appetite after one week. I have been reassured changes in appetite are a common side effect of fluoxetine and can be experienced by many people and dogs who take the medication.

Fluoxetine is a type of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), which works by increasing the levels of serotonin in the brain. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that plays a key role in regulating mood , appetite , and other bodily functions.

While fluoxetine is generally well-tolerated by most people and dogs, it can cause side effects such as decreased appetite , nausea , and weight loss. (I've not noticed apparent signs of nausea like vomiting but he's slower and less himself which is likely nausea)

It's important to discuss any side effects you experience with your vets (we have an in-home visit booked for April for our vet behaviourist and specialist vet to assess him , but I have sent them an email today about his appetite loss)

I have been reminded that it can take several weeks for fluoxetine to reach its full therapeutic effect, so it's important to be patient and continue giving the medication as prescribed.

Week 2

Loki has just finished his second week on fluoxetine, and I'm starting to see him really come back out of his shell again after the dog attack. He's taking food again, and he's happy to do some training. Today, we did some parallel walking with Indie, and he really excelled at this. Although he has greeted her a few times in the past, we didn't let them greet today and just worked on his engagement, disengagement, and interest in food and training again.

I'm really pleased with how much he was into training today. We also saw a few other dogs today, and he was able to engage and disengage really well. ( all be it well within his usual comfort distance/ threshold ) Loki was barked and lunged at behind a fence twice today, and although he was a little spooked, there was no big reaction from Loki at all, which is brilliant 🥰 I think he's really starting to bounce back to where he was pre-dog attack, which is incredible.

Hopefully, with the help of his anxiety medication, we could see even greater improvement going forward. Hoping Loki continues to shine through. I've seen no side effects with the fluoxetine other than a loss of appetite starting it, which I was able to combat by feeding him after his breakfast and letting him settle and sleep during the day.

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