Canine aggression is a major concern, affecting millions of people worldwide, and treatment can be challenging even for skilled veterinarians. Empiric use of fluoxetine is sometimes attempted, although few data regarding long-term effects in aggressive dogs are available. The aim of the study was to investigate clinical effectiveness of fluoxetine (1.5 mg/kg/die PO) combined with a behavior modification program for treatment of canine dominance-related aggression. Circulating levels of fluoxetine, norfluoxetine, and serotonin (5-HT) were also measured. Eight dogs with a diagnosis of dominance aggression (owner-directed) were enrolled. Before treatment (T0), and after one (T1), two (T2), four (T3), and six (T4) months of fluoxetine administration, clinical outcomes were graded using a five-point frequency scale (0–4), and blood samples were collected to measure fluoxetine/norfluoxetine (high-performance liquid chromatography) and 5-HT (ELISA) levels. Following treatment, a decrease in behavioral test scores was observed at T1–T4. Increasing concentrations of circulating fluoxetine and norfluoxetine were measured throughout the follow-up. Correlation between norfluoxetine levels and clinical scores was observed at T4. Starting from T1, a significant decrease in 5-HT levels was observed. Our data suggest that fluoxetine (1.5 mg/kg/day) when associated with behavior treatment is effective in controlling canine aggression over a six-month period, and that, in dogs norfluoxetine levels seem reliable in predicting clinical efficacy.

Behavioral therapy and fluoxetine treatment in aggressive dogs: A case study

Odore R.
First
;
Rendini D.;Badino P.
;
Gardini G.;Cagnotti G.;Intorre L.;Bellino C.;D'angelo A.
Last
2020

Abstract

Canine aggression is a major concern, affecting millions of people worldwide, and treatment can be challenging even for skilled veterinarians. Empiric use of fluoxetine is sometimes attempted, although few data regarding long-term effects in aggressive dogs are available. The aim of the study was to investigate clinical effectiveness of fluoxetine (1.5 mg/kg/die PO) combined with a behavior modification program for treatment of canine dominance-related aggression. Circulating levels of fluoxetine, norfluoxetine, and serotonin (5-HT) were also measured. Eight dogs with a diagnosis of dominance aggression (owner-directed) were enrolled. Before treatment (T0), and after one (T1), two (T2), four (T3), and six (T4) months of fluoxetine administration, clinical outcomes were graded using a five-point frequency scale (0–4), and blood samples were collected to measure fluoxetine/norfluoxetine (high-performance liquid chromatography) and 5-HT (ELISA) levels. Following treatment, a decrease in behavioral test scores was observed at T1–T4. Increasing concentrations of circulating fluoxetine and norfluoxetine were measured throughout the follow-up. Correlation between norfluoxetine levels and clinical scores was observed at T4. Starting from T1, a significant decrease in 5-HT levels was observed. Our data suggest that fluoxetine (1.5 mg/kg/day) when associated with behavior treatment is effective in controlling canine aggression over a six-month period, and that, in dogs norfluoxetine levels seem reliable in predicting clinical efficacy.
10
5
832
841
Aggression; Dog; Fluoxetine; Norfluoxetine; Serotonin
Odore R.; Rendini D.; Badino P.; Gardini G.; Cagnotti G.; Meucci V.; Intorre L.; Bellino C.; D'angelo A.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/2318/1758288
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