Drug boost for depressed dogs

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The Independent Online
IS YOUR dog depressed and irritable? Are you coming home from a long day in the office to find your carpet chewed or your sofa fouled? Never fear, help may now be at hand: the US Food and Drug Administration has just approved two drugs to combat canine depression, separation anxiety and a doggie brain disease known as cognitive dysfunction syndrome.

The first drug is a meat-flavoured pill called Clomicalm, a derivative of the anti-depressant Anafranil, which is used to treat obsessive-compulsive disorders in humans. According to the FDA, Clomicalm has proved effective in clinical trials in reducing separation anxiety and the household messes that arise from it. Up to 40 per cent of dogs suffer from separation anxiety,according to the FDA.

Clomicalm, which is made by a US subsidiary of the Swiss pharmaceutical company Novartis, will be prescribed for dogs of six months and older. Unfortunately, the side-effects can include vomiting and diarrhoea.

The second drug, Anipryl, is based on the same chemical as a common drug used by humans to combat Parkison's disease. It will be administered to older dogs who shows signs of being confused, nervous, stay awake all night and lose control of their bowels.

The FDA said the drug, made by Pfizer, was not a cure but was shown in 69 per cent of test cases to alleviate at least one of the symptoms of cognitive dysfunction syndrome.

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