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schizophrenia in dogs. My Vet and I are pretty sure my dog

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is suffering from schizophrenia although...
schizophrenia in dogs. My Vet and I are pretty sure my dog is suffering from schizophrenia although it does not manifest itself in aggressive behavior. He is a rescue from Katrina that was bounced 21 times before I got him, I've had him over 3 years now. He has severe storm anxiety and panic of which we use Ace for him. However suddenly in June he became terrified of the sky on beautiful days, not a cloud, and the TV and the night/dark. We use to refer to him as autistic as he would be playing one minute and just stop and walk off. In an effort to help resolve this prior to coming up with schizophrenia we were using low dose 25 mg of clomicalm, with little result, he's been on it 6 weeks now. So what to do now? Are there good meds for schizophrenia. We are thinking of using a low dose of Ace but this sudden onset of unknown fear flight is very puzzling and life altering. Any good sites for dog schizophrenia?
Thank You, XXXXX XXXXX Louisiana
Submitted: 8 years ago.Category: Dog Veterinary
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Answered in 3 hours by:
8/25/2009
Dog Veterinarian: Dr. Bethany Tapp, Veterinarian replied 8 years ago
Dr. Bethany Tapp
Dr. Bethany Tapp, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 15
Experience: UGA '98 graduate of School of Veterinary Medicine
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My experience with Clomicalm it that only about 15 % of the dogs actually respond. If you're using a low dose, you may want to try increasing to the mid or even high range. You may want to consider fluoxetine (prozac). I've found this works great with thunderstorms. Your veterinarian can write you a prescription if he/she feels your pet is a good candidate. It can be given as needed or regularly. He may or may not want to add on alprazolam. Be sure to keep a check on liver enzymes etc if your pet stays on these types of drugs. I do feel behavioural modification is always helpful. You've got to find the right drugs to get your pets' attention and keep it. Clomicalm and clomipramine are the same medications (one is trade, one is generic). The published dosage of clomicalm is 1 to 2 mg/kg (or 0.5 to 1 mg per pound) body weight. Don't forget there are board certified animal behaviorist. You could request a referral from your vet if you feel all else is failing. Let me know if I can be of further assistance.
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Customer reply replied 8 years ago

Thank you for your response, however I was searching for more information on what we might think is schizoprenia rather than the storm panic. My Vet says that the clomicalm/clompipramine is not going to be effective if it is schizophrenia.

 

I am more looking for answers to see if they treat dogs with meds used to treat schizophrenia in humans. Also my vet feels the Acepromazine would be more effective than alprazolam as it stays in the system longer.

There is not a lot of information on dogs with schizophrenia and what is out there mainly addresses dogs that suddenly act aggressively, this is not the case with my dog.

 

The behaviorists I've looked at do not address schizophrenia, do you know of anyone that specializes in schizophrenia?

 

Oh and in July I ran a full CBC/SMAC on him and all his levels were perfect.

Dog Veterinarian: Dr. Bethany Tapp, Veterinarian replied 8 years ago
Dr. Karen Overall is a big behavioral guru. I did a quick search on VIN with the specialists and found no drugs being tried for schizophrenia. It sounds like mainly because a true diagnosis can't be made for this psychosis. They cite things like "you can't ask a dog about hallucinations or delusions". Well that's obvious. Fluoxetine has been used for more than storm panic. Have you discussed trying prozac with your vet? The drug pimozide has been used for lick granulomas. I have no experience with this drug and it is not labeled for use in animals. When working with any drug - especially antipsychotic drugs you have to be very careful and consider potential side effects, such as worsening of symptoms. The drug Sarquel was also mentioned as being used for psychosis in dogs. Again, I have no experience with this drug and I caution it's use as stated above. I would stick with medications that are labeled (and you have - acepromazine and clomicalm) and or medications that have been used enough to be published with some type of positive results. Although your dog is not aggressive, this is a potential risk with unproven antipsychotic drugs.
Dr. Bethany Tapp
Dr. Bethany Tapp, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 15
Experience: UGA '98 graduate of School of Veterinary Medicine
Verified
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Customer reply replied 8 years ago

Thank you Dr. Trapp. I did see where seroquel is used in humans for treatment of schizophrenia, but as you said and I agree antipsychotics could bring about a less than desired result if not flat out dangerous, he is a large dog. There is just not a lot published about this condition. I truly believe he has this, it all fits if you put it into doggy behaviour, although I kept referring to it as autism until my latest meeting with my Vet. I think he does hallucinate, we've often commented "what is he doing and looking at". I have alot of dogs and have done alot of rescue with power breeds, I've yet to run across anything like this. As my vet said schiz in dogs would be like turning a lite switch on and off, and this poor boy is troubled, no telling what happened to him during Katrina, where he went and then after he was saved he was bounced 21 times. His life here is stable now and very loved. Although everything was as good as to be expected until suddenly one week he became afraid of the sky, like it was going to get him and the tv and the dark.

 

I'm also working with a behavioralist at Best Friends in Utah. His receiving shelter/group post katrina was Best Friends. I haven't yet told her that my vet has pretty much diagnosed him with schiz, I'm talking with her tomorrow.

 

For now I would like to keep this question open in hopes a vet may respond that is familiar with schiz in a dog. If I don't get any answers from such a vet than I will accept you answer. Thank you for your time.

 

 

Dog Veterinarian: Dr. Bethany Tapp, Veterinarian replied 8 years ago
Your welcome. Good luck.
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Customer reply replied 8 years ago
n/m trying to get back to waiting room screen. thank you
Customer reply replied 8 years ago
Hi Dr. Trapp, Just wanted to let you know that I have made contact with Dr. Overall regarding my schizophrenic dog. Thank you.
Dog Veterinarian: Dr. Bethany Tapp, Veterinarian replied 8 years ago
That's fantastic!! I don't know her personally but she has great books!!! Good luck and if you can, let me know her reponses.
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Customer reply replied 8 years ago

Hi Dr. Trapp,

Thank you for your interest. I would be happy to forward the e-mails for you but I don't see an e-mail address for you. Here is my e-mail, I hope this is safe....

[email protected]

 

If you e-mail me I will be happy to forward them to you, for now it is really just preliminary but I was thrilled she even responded. I don't really want to paste them here, I don't know who's reading these.

 

Additionally my vet found and referred me to a veterinary behavioral specialist in New Orleans that's all they do and you have to be referred by your vet. They will be coming out on the 23rd to begin his evaluation, they come to your home. Hopefully we can get his meds switched up as we are all concerned about the combined effects of the clomicalm and the ace but if he goes into a full blown panic I have no alternative but to ace him.

 

We have good days and bad days...today was a good day, although he is quite suspicious lately of the ceiling fans, the ceiling fans have never bothered him, mine are silent fans so it's not the noise, but since you went to UGA you know this time of year there is no living without ceiling fans. This poor, poor boy, how tragic to live with such fears.

 

Anyway once again thanks for your help and concern and I will be happy to pass on what Dr. Overall and the New Orleans vet, Dr. Martin have to say if you want.

 

Oh and we did up the clomicalm to 50 mgs 2 x daily, I have a stethescope to monitor his heart when he is on ace but obviously wouldn't have a BP cuff for a dog. It's going to storm this weekend so he will have to take ace, fortunately as little as 25 mgs of ace will give him relief. I'm going to end up with an anxiety problem....LOL!!

 

Beth Hodgson

Dog Veterinarian: Dr. Bethany Tapp, Veterinarian replied 8 years ago
We can't exchange email addy's (justanswer policy). I've added you to my "buddy list" this should allow you to send me a message. I'm not exactly sure how it works but I guess we'll find out.
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