New Zealand Dog News

Reviewing the dog news in New Zealand with editors comments. Someone needs to keep reviewing how our dogs are doing in society.

March 09, 2010

Black dog days may be over for Kiwi canines

Kiwi canine experts have called for a new pooch "prozac" to be introduced here to help dogs suffering from depression and anxiety issues.

Reconcile, an antidepressant formulated for dogs, was launched in Britain last week and is due to go on sale in Australia soon.

The powerful drug could combat the mental health problems experts believe affect almost one in seven dogs.

Auckland dog behaviorist Simon Goodall said drugs were commonly used to treat mental health problems among Kiwi canines. The number of dogs diagnosed with depression is not recorded here but Goodall estimated about 17 per cent were sufferers.

I wonder where he gets this estimate if it's not being recorded?

"If researched properly it would be a welcome addition to some of the dogs that we work with," he said. "It may help in bringing down the overall stress of the dog ... so is well worth a go here in New Zealand."

According to Dr Ian Dunbar who was in New Zealand recently talking about pet behaviour, he says that these types of drugs aren't necessary. I asked him about this because I read a book written by Dr. Nicholas H. Dodman.

Dr Dodman was in favour of drugs to help calm dogs, and he has presented at many conferences with his data. Then we find out that the conferences that he spoke at were funded by the drug companies.

So hum... it sounds good, but.... The best way of getting your dog to calm down is 1) Use TTouch 2) give him a Kong full of food for him to chew while you are away. 3) make his environment stimulating.
4) use the Nothing in Life is Free concept.

Goodall treats about 10 dogs a week suffering "stress-related issues" and says other treatments include homeopathic remedies.

The pills have also received the 'paws up' from academics.

Professor Kevin Stafford, from Massey University's institute of veterinary, animal and biomedical sciences, said human antidepressant clomipramine had been given to pets here for years.

But a product made for dogs would be "of great value".

"There is always a demand for drugs to treat behaviour problems as it is believed that they make ... human-dog interactions easier." MORE>>

And I wonder if this is really necessary.. is it a con from the pharmaceutical companies? This would be a good research paper for a grad student!


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