Teacher, Trainer & Author
St. Hubert’s Animal Welfare Center
The Use of Psychoactive Medication
in Pets with Behavioral Problems
Dr. Emily Levine
There are many contributing factors that cause behavioral problems in pets. Some of these factors include poor training techniques, lack of understanding on how pets communicate, environmental factors, and medical issues. In addition an animal’s genetic predisposition and underlying neurochemistry are also factors that can lead to behavioral problems such as aggression, anxiety, panic, house-soiling, feather picking etc…..If the behavioral problems stems in part or solely due to underlying neurophysiological reasons, medication may be a necessary and valuable part of an overall treatment program. The assessment of whether the behavior problem is based in underlying physiology should be seen by a qualified individual such as a veterinary behaviorist (www.dacvb.org) or a veterinarian with a special interest in behavior (www.avsab.org).
The medications that can be used in pets with behavior problems are similar to medications used in people with various behavioral issues. The medications are similar as the underlying neuroanatomy and neurochemistry in people and pets is similar. Medications are not without risk and each patient needs to be evaluated on an individual basis to identify which medication would be best for that pet and realistic expectation of that medication.
Have questions? E-mail Pia at firstname.lastname@example.org
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