Is Prozac All in The Mind: Ask An Anxious Dog

I know why this story in Discover: Psychologist Says Antidepressants Are Just Fancy Placebos can't possibly be true.

The story contends that ant-depressant drugs are pretty much just an expensive sugar pill.

First, backing up one step - scientists absolutely agree that depression (and related anxiety issues) are created by a chemical imbalance. The drugs are known to "normalize"  neurotransmitters.


Irving Kirsch, professor of psychology at the University of Hull in the U.K. is reportedly an expert
on the placebo effect (if you think it will help you, it will help you), Kirsch maintains that he has scientific evidence that
anti-depressants do not correct brain chemistry gone awry. He says, the drugs are not much more effective against depression
than are sugar pills. Of course, Mr. Kirsch is out hyping a soon to be released book.

Here's how I know this Kirsch guy is wrong: DOGS!


When given the same anti-anxiety type drugs to dogs - the drugs work! For example, a drug called Reconcile helps dogs with separation anxiety (Reconcile, approved for use in dogs is Prozac). Xanax is used for dogs fearful of thunderstoms. There are many examples of how drugs in this classification work, effectively helping dogs.

Of course, dogs (and cats) don't know from the placebo affect. 


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  • I agree! Some clients whose dogs could benefit from medication, such as those with severe anxiety. It's a chemical imbalance. No need to feel bad- many people are on Prozac or similar prescriptions because it helps them, and you wouldn't know it, doesn't make them glassy eyed or sedated. I've seen dogs improve on Prozac, it can be worth trying, along with obedience training and behavior modification with a trainer.

    I'm not really sure why there is a new brand name for it called Reconcile? To market towards pet owners? With a CVS prescription card generic Prozac (fluoxetine, same as Reconcile), was only about $14/month for a medium-sized dog. It was cheaper than clomipramine (brand Clomicalm). So it might matter if you're on a budget.

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