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Amitriptyline is an antidepressant used in both felines and canines. It is not approved for animal use by the FDA, but it is commonly used as an off label medication in the veterinary field. The drug comes in tablet form and is available in four strengths; 10mg, 25mg, 50mg, and 75mg.
What the product cures
Amitriptyline is prescribed for dogs with behavioral problems such as separation anxiety and noise phobias. In cats, the medication is usually used to help with issues such as; spraying, obsessive grooming habits, fear, and general anxiety.
Two common conditions treated with Amitriptyline are separation anxiety (dogs) and fear of noise (cats).
Separation anxiety causes behavioral problems in canines when they’re left alone or are at a far distance from their owner. The condition is usually manifested with whining, excessive barking, urinating or passing bowel movements in the house, hiding, panting, escape attempts, decreased appetite, destructive behavior (tearing toys, scratching furniture, etc.), and depression. These symptoms can also mimic other conditions in dogs, so it is important that you consult a canine behavior professional or vet to get an accurate diagnosis.
Phobias in cats tend to be related to noise, whether it is caused by thunder, fireworks, people, or objects. Felines are born with a natural flight or fight instinct, which is different from staying in a frozen position or running due to fear. Real phobias are developed when cats have bad experiences and learn to associate them with certain situations, sounds, places, people, etc. This can cause many symptoms such as; shaking, hiding, avoidance, lethargy, escaping, running frantically, and diarrhea. Like with separation anxiety in dogs, symptoms caused by phobias in cats can also mock other diseases, so it is important that a correct diagnosis is obtained.
Behavioral ailments most commonly seen in pets include; excessive barking, spraying, separation anxiety, aggression, and fear of people, noises, or objects.
Pets with Ailments
Relative info on breed most associated with this ailment
Anxiety can develop in any breed of cat or dog. Some experts argue that certain dog breeds such as the Border Collie and German Shepherd are prone to anxiety problems because of their intelligence and high energy levels. However, the development of behavioral issues in pets is most influenced by factors such as socialization, exposure, and experiences.
Questions for the vet & product
1. Is there anything that should be discussed with my vet before giving my pet amitriptyline?
Let your vet know if your pet has any of the following; asthma, liver disease, renal disease, gastrointestinal issues, hypertension, cardiac disease, glaucoma, trouble urinating, and thyroid disease. Also tell your vet if your dog/cat is pregnant, nursing, or has recently used products classified as monoamine oxidase inhibitors.
2. What should I do in case I miss a dose?
Give your pet the medication right away (if it’s not too late) or wait until it’s time for the next dose to give it and continue with the schedule as directed by your vet. Do NOT administer double the dose in order to make up for the skipped one.
3. I think I might have overdosed my pet: What should I do?
Take your cat/dog to the nearest vet to receive proper treatment. Symptoms caused by an amitriptyline overdose include; seizures, lethargy, sleepiness, irritation, disorientation, hypotension, coordination issues, and collapse.
4. Are there side effects associated with Amitriptyline?
Discontinue use and get immediate veterinary help if your pet manifests serious side effects. These include; allergic reaction (respiratory problems, swollen face, hives, etc.), tremors, rapid heart rate, arrhythmia, hypertension, trouble urinating, excessive panting, stiff muscles, and weakness. If less severe side effects develop, give medication as indicated by your vet and contact him/her right away for further direction. Mild side effects include; dizziness, lethargy, mouth dryness, eye dryness, constipation, headache, decreased appetite, and weakness.
5. Are there any drug contraindications I should know about?
Avoid Amitriptyline in pets that have recently (less than 14 days) used products categorized as monoamine oxidase inhibitors. Other drugs that have been known to cause side effects when taken with Amitriptyline include; antihistamines, pain meds, antidepressants, anti-anxiety meds, and drugs used for muscle relaxation.
Avoid Amitriptyline in pets that are using or recently used products categorized as monoamine oxidase inhibitors.
Talk with your vet if symptoms worsen or do not improve.
Drowsiness or dizziness may result from use.
Amitriptyline can alter the effects of other medication including; antihistamines, pain meds, tranquilizers, antidepressants, and mediation that relaxes the muscles.
Let your vet know if your pet has any of the following; asthma, liver disease, renal disease, gastrointestinal issues, hypertension, cardiac disease, glaucoma, trouble urinating, and thyroid disease.
Tell your vet if your dog/cat is pregnant or nursing.
Provide your pet with sufficient water to drink throughout treatment.
Amitriptyline use should NOT be stopped suddenly, as this could lead to vomiting, headache, and additional health problems.
PHYSICAL OR CHEMICAL HAZARDS:
Store medication in a safe place where pets and children cannot reach.Possibly flammable; keep at a safe distance from heat sources.
If swallowed: Contact poison control for guidance. Avoid inducing vomiting, unless told otherwise by a medical professional.
If in eyes: Take contact lenses off, flush eyes with COLD water for 15 to 20 minutes, and seek medical care.
If on skin: Wash skin with water and soap, and then apply a moisturizer. Talk to a doctor if irritation persists or gets worse.
If inhaled: Keep affected person in a ventilated area and provide artificial breathing in case of respiratory failure or administer oxygen if the person can breathe on their own. Seek medical attention immediately.
Storage & Disposal
Storage: Keep in a dry area that is set at room temperature.
Disposal: Conform to local, state, and federal laws when disposing of medical waste/containers.
How it Works
Amitriptyline helps balance brain chemicals that can cause behavioral issues in pets if unbalanced.
Directions for use
Amitriptyline is a prescription medication and should be given as told by your vet. Provide your pet with fresh water at all times throughout treatment. It may be a few days before any improvement is noted.
Dosage and administration:
The recommended dose for canines is 0.5mg to 2mg per lb. every 8 to 12 hours. For felines, the dose is usually prescribed at 5mg to 10mg per lb. once daily at nighttime. The medication should be given orally.
Depending on the strength, the product contains 10mg, 25mg, 50mg, or 75mg of Amitriptyline HCL.
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