Lucy has been taking her prozac for a little over seven weeks now, so I thought I would update on how things are going.
Perhaps I should start at the beginning. Why did I ask for Lucy, a dog, to be put on prozac? Because she’s an incredibly anxious dog, and that has only gotten worse with age, and with Madison dying. She licks her paw to the point that it bleeds, she paces, she constantly follows me around the house. It was clear that it was interfering with her daily life, and I wanted to do what I could to make her day to day better.
She’s on 20mg of fluoxetine daily. I think our vets are a little on the naive side about this drug. There was no discussion of starting doses, or what possible side effects to look for. They simply gave me a two month prescription and sent me on my way. We were lucky in that I’m a researcher by nature, and Lucy didn’t have any adverse reactions.
My research indicated that adverse reactions would show quickly, but that the prozac wouldn’t really affect her anxiety for 6-8 weeks. Early on I looked for a decreased appetite and a lack of energy. She displayed neither of those. She also wasn’t licking her paw like she used to, but she was recovering from her surgery, so I’m not sure how much that played into things.
Two weeks ago we were watching tv and Lucy was laying on the floor quietly looking at us. I turned to Delaney and said “What’s wrong with Lu? She’s just staring at us.” That’s when I realized, she’s relaxed! Her anxiety was lowered and she could just sit and chill. It was working. She hasn’t licked her paw once since we started it either. That is huge for her!
Easter weekend we were at my aunt’s house and my parent’s house and she definitely needed to be close to me both days. I had hoped she would crash somewhere in a corner and sleep, but no luck, so not all of her anxiety is gone. On a daily basis though, it is much more manageable.
The only downside I’ve noticed is that her core body temperature seems to be a little higher. She’s always been a hot dog, but she seems to be even hotter now. The other night the house was at 63 when we were going to bed and she was panting. Yesterday when I picked her up from the groomer I saw a cooling bed for dogs. I will definitely pick that up before summertime for her, it will be essential this year.
At this point she’ll stay on this long term until the downsides are greater than the upsides.