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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 28982
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience
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We have a 70 lb dog at our shelter that is very depressed

Customer Question

Customer: We have a 70 lb dog at our shelter that is very depressed and anxious. We have tried several other anti anxiety drugs that have not been successful and I am wondering if I could as my Vet about cymbalta
JA: Thanks. Can you give me any more details about your issue?
Customer: We are an animal shelter. The dog has been her 22 days and has not calmed down. We are a no kill facility but he has not been successful using alprazolam or lorazepam so I was hoping to try something a little different to hopefully give him some relief from the fear issues he is exhibiting.
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Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.

While Cymbalta (duloxetine) is reasonably safe (no deaths were seen in dogs at the high dose of 45mg/lb daily) it's also unpredictable in its effects. We usually see sedation at 0.5 mg/lb but tremors at 5 mg/lb and as the dose increases, agitation, aggression, panting, sedation, tachycardia (increased heart rate), drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, tremors, and seizures may arise. I would consider an SSRI such as fluoxetine or paroxetine in combination with reconditioning under the guidance of a veterinary behaviorist. Does your shelter have such a behaviorist on retainer as do many ASPCA shelters?