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Fluoxetine to Combat Overly Aggressive Pets

It is not uncommon to have a pet get aggressive around what they feel are their belongings or toward another unknown dog to protect their possessions. However, there must be a limit towards this aggression to prevent injury to the animal or other dogs/humans. Addressing excessive aggression begins by pinpointing factors that are triggering aggression such as abuse, traumatic encounters at an earlier age, lack of socialization, or medical condition. Indoor cats have a higher propensity toward anxiety disorders due to minimal social skills and territorial.

After a full evaluation and blood profile from a veterinarian to assess any potential neurological and medical causes, medications can temper aggression but not necessarily cure. Examples of these include antidepressants, benzodiazepines, and serotonin reuptake inhibitors to maintain a calm state and environment. Fluoxetine has been shown to be beneficial with inter-dog aggression but for best results consideration should be made to add behavioral training and even neutering. It may take 4-8 weeks to establish the full effect of medication dose. Transdermal absorption of Fluoxetine is only around 10% relative to oral dose but much easier administration to cats. Compounded oral and transdermal formulations are both viable options to alleviate stress on pet owners.

Dosing considerations:

Fluoxetine- 0.5-1mg/kg PO daily OR 5-10mg/kg TD daily

Ciribassi, J., Luescher, A., Pasloske, K.S., et.al. (2003). Comparative bioavailability of fluoxetine after transdermal and oral administration to healthy cats. Am J Vet Res. 64(8):994-998. doi:10.2460/ajvr.2003.64.994

Frank D. (2013). Aggressive dogs: What questions do we need to ask? The Canadian veterinary journal = La revue veterinaire canadienne, 54(6), 554–556.

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