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Use of trazodone as an adjunctive agent in the treatment of canine anxiety disorders: 56 cases (1995–2007)

Margaret E. GruenDepartment of Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27606

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Barbara L. ShermanDepartment of Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27606

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 PhD, DVM, DACVB

Abstract

Objective—To evaluate efficacy of trazodone hydrochloride as an adjunctive treatment for anxiety disorders as well as treatment protocol, dose range, concurrent drug use, adverse events, and therapeutic response in dogs unresponsive to other pharmacologic agents.

Design—Retrospective case series.

Animals—56 dogs with anxiety disorders treated at a referral veterinary behavior clinic.

Procedures—Medical records of dogs with anxiety disorders adjunctively treated with trazodone were retrospectively evaluated with respect to signalment, primary and secondary behavioral diagnoses, physical examination results, hematologic data (CBC and serum biochemical panel), pharmacologic management, and outcome.

Results—Overall, trazodone, used as an adjunctive agent in combination with other behavioral drugs, was well tolerated over a wide dose range and enhanced behavioral calming when administered on a daily or as-needed basis.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Although further controlled studies of dose range, efficacy, and safety are needed, trazodone may provide an additional therapeutic option for use in dogs that are unresponsive to conventional treatment.

Abstract

Objective—To evaluate efficacy of trazodone hydrochloride as an adjunctive treatment for anxiety disorders as well as treatment protocol, dose range, concurrent drug use, adverse events, and therapeutic response in dogs unresponsive to other pharmacologic agents.

Design—Retrospective case series.

Animals—56 dogs with anxiety disorders treated at a referral veterinary behavior clinic.

Procedures—Medical records of dogs with anxiety disorders adjunctively treated with trazodone were retrospectively evaluated with respect to signalment, primary and secondary behavioral diagnoses, physical examination results, hematologic data (CBC and serum biochemical panel), pharmacologic management, and outcome.

Results—Overall, trazodone, used as an adjunctive agent in combination with other behavioral drugs, was well tolerated over a wide dose range and enhanced behavioral calming when administered on a daily or as-needed basis.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Although further controlled studies of dose range, efficacy, and safety are needed, trazodone may provide an additional therapeutic option for use in dogs that are unresponsive to conventional treatment.

Contributor Notes

Address correspondence to Dr. Sherman.