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Randomized, controlled clinical trial of the efficacy of fluoxetine for treatment of compulsive disorders in dogs

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  • 1 Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907.
  • | 2 Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907.
  • | 3 Elanco Animal Health, a division of Eli Lilly and Co, 2001 W Main St, Greenfield, IN 46140.
  • | 4 Eli Lilly and Co, 639 S Delaware St, Indianapolis, IN 46225.
  • | 5 Eli Lilly and Co, 639 S Delaware St, Indianapolis, IN 46225.
  • | 6 Eli Lilly and Co, 639 S Delaware St, Indianapolis, IN 46225.

Abstract

Objective—To evaluate efficacy of fluoxetine hydrochloride for treatment of compulsive disorders in dogs.

Design—Randomized, controlled clinical trial.

Animals—63 dogs with compulsive disorders.

Procedures—The diagnosis was confirmed on the basis of analysis of videotapes of the dogs' behavior by 3 veterinary behaviorists, results of physical examination and clinicopathologic testing, and, when necessary, telephone interviews with owners. Dogs were randomly assigned to treatment with fluoxetine (1 to 2 mg/kg [0.45 to 0.9 mg/lb], PO, q 24 h) or a placebo. Owners did not receive any advice regarding behavioral or environmental modifications. Severity of episodes was measured through telephone interviews every 2 weeks and on the basis of a daily diary kept by each owner.

Results—42 days after the initiation of treatment, the proportion of dogs with a decrease in severity of the compulsive disorder, as reported by the owners, was significantly higher for dogs treated with fluoxetine than for control dogs, and dogs treated with fluoxetine were significantly more likely (odds ratio, 8.7) to have a decrease in severity of the compulsive disorder. However, mean number and duration of compulsive episodes, as determined from daily diary entries, did not differ significantly between groups. The most common adverse effects were decreased appetite and mild lethargy.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggested that fluoxetine may be efficacious in the treatment of compulsive disorders in dogs, although results were equivocal. The present study did not examine whether fluoxetine was more efficacious than or synergistic with behavioral and environment modifications.

Abstract

Objective—To evaluate efficacy of fluoxetine hydrochloride for treatment of compulsive disorders in dogs.

Design—Randomized, controlled clinical trial.

Animals—63 dogs with compulsive disorders.

Procedures—The diagnosis was confirmed on the basis of analysis of videotapes of the dogs' behavior by 3 veterinary behaviorists, results of physical examination and clinicopathologic testing, and, when necessary, telephone interviews with owners. Dogs were randomly assigned to treatment with fluoxetine (1 to 2 mg/kg [0.45 to 0.9 mg/lb], PO, q 24 h) or a placebo. Owners did not receive any advice regarding behavioral or environmental modifications. Severity of episodes was measured through telephone interviews every 2 weeks and on the basis of a daily diary kept by each owner.

Results—42 days after the initiation of treatment, the proportion of dogs with a decrease in severity of the compulsive disorder, as reported by the owners, was significantly higher for dogs treated with fluoxetine than for control dogs, and dogs treated with fluoxetine were significantly more likely (odds ratio, 8.7) to have a decrease in severity of the compulsive disorder. However, mean number and duration of compulsive episodes, as determined from daily diary entries, did not differ significantly between groups. The most common adverse effects were decreased appetite and mild lethargy.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggested that fluoxetine may be efficacious in the treatment of compulsive disorders in dogs, although results were equivocal. The present study did not examine whether fluoxetine was more efficacious than or synergistic with behavioral and environment modifications.

Contributor Notes

Dr. Irimajiri's present address is the Department of Animal Science, School of Veterinary Medicine, Kitasato University, 35-1 23 Bancho, Towada City Aomori, 034-8628, Japan.

Presented in part at the 5th International Veterinary Behavior Meeting in conjunction with the American College of Veterinary Behaviorists–American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior Scientific Meeting, Minneapolis, July 2005.

Supported by Elanco Animal Health, a division of Eli Lilly and Company, and the Purdue University School of Veterinary Medicine.

Fluoxetine hydrochloride tablets used in the study contained the same chemical found in Reconcile.

The authors thank Dr. Ilana Reisner, Dr. Barbara Simpson, Ms. Julie Shaw, Dr. Ken Martin, Dr. Elizabeth Jay, and Dr. Dennise DeNicola for technical assistance.

Address correspondence to Dr. Irimajiri.