Sunday, January 4, 2015

Well, shoot. (Medication Update for Napi)

The last time I updated about Napi's progress, I had just had my primary vet consult with the local vet behaviorist. Based on that conversation, we increased his fluoxetine (Prozac) from 10mg to 12.5mg. That was about a month ago, and initially, the dose increase showed some promise. Napi was still barking at things/sounds around the house, but it seemed like maybe it was less intense. On top of that, I was able to interrupt barking fits by calling his name - and he would respond!

But now it's become clear that despite these positive signs, this is NOT the med for my sweet boy. Frankly, he is not very sweet these days. He has gotten more possessive of me; he's growling, snapping, and even biting the other dogs AND my husband if they get too close to me. He's more irritable and tips from excitement to aggression very quickly while playing. He's starting dog fights. It's not good.

So, it's back to the drawing board. We will need to wean off the fluoxetine and then switch to either parotexine (Paxil) or amitriptyline (Elavil). Maisy takes Paxil, so I am biased towards that. The amitriptyline is a TCA - a different class of drug entirely - so it could be a good one to try. I will chat with Dr. Jessy this week and find out what to try next.


Laura, Lance, and Vito said...

Bummer. Drug changes suck. So much time building it up, more time to take it away, and then repeat. Vito sympathizes.

Lauren Miller said...

Poor Napi!! That sucks! Phoenix was on paroxetine for a year-ish. She didn't have any side effects and I felt like it was helping. I hope you find a drug that agrees with him soon!

Chris and Mike said...

So glad Napi is with a family that 'gets' him. And that you are a good behavior-watcher and have a willing vet.

Just FYI, after 7 years my (non-behavioral) vet and I have decided to try weaning Habi very slowly off fluoxetine. She was beginning to exhibit a little more anxiety about car rides, walks, etc, so we decided to shake things up a little bit. On the days that she's not getting a pill, I give her a "placebo" bit of cream cheese (which I wrap her pill in on pill days). Who knows - it may elicit a little squirt of serotonin from sheer habit, and there is zero downside. If her behavior deteriorates (which it hasn't yet), we'll try one of the others. One month in, things are stable. Fingers crossed!

And fingers crossed that the next drug you try will be the right one for Napi's brain chemistry.