Does your pet need Prozac? - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

Does your pet need Prozac?

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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) -

They are the first to greet you at the door.

But dogs can have down days and bad moods, just like people.

Dr. Clayton Watkins at Commonwealth Animal Hospital says when your pet seems particularly lethargic or appears to be moping around the house or yard, it's possible that she feels depressed.

This might be due to some change in the life of your pet

"Separation anxiety is a big problem we have with dogs," said Dr. Watkins.

"When they are grieving, especially if they lose their sibling or a dog that they've grown up with they can go through some real hard times."

It could also be a sign of a medical condition.

"First of all you have to make sure there is not a physical problem and whether that's the reason of depression," said Dr. Watkins. 

"And a lot of times that is."

It's important to learn how to spot the signs of depression.

"There are some anxiety issues, obsessive compulsive things, sometimes acting out at home," said Dr. Watkins.

"More of destructive issues, chewing on things, furniture, tearing things up."

If you can identify what's triggering depression you can help your pet cope and begin feeling better.

"A physical exam is probably a great first start," recommends Dr. Watkins.

You can also try medication.

"There's some real organic things all the way up to Prozac," said Dr. Watkins.

"We obviously rule everything out before we do that."

And sometimes old fashioned exercise can help put the wag back in your pet's tail.

As soon as you notice your pet is experiencing symptoms of depression, contact your veterinarian.  

It's important to verify whether or not your pet is sick or has a chemical imbalance that should be treated.

You can also look at environmental factors that might have an impact on your pet's mood and see what you can do to improve those situations.

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