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Why Are So Many Dogs on Prozac?

Why Are So Many Dogs on Prozac?

Marcia Munt was 47 when she adopted her first dog. It was 2020, the height of the pandemic, and her house felt empty. Maisie was a nine-week-old bundle of cream-colored fur and lopsided ears. But Munt, a consultant in Sacramento, soon became convinced that the dog was not normal. Maisie howled at any stimulus. She paced all night and pounced on anyone who came to the house. Munt, who had only ever owned cats, couldn’t understand why anyone would choose to have a dog. “I had been the best dog mother I could be,” she told me. But she spent much of that first year in tears. Maisie’s vet prescribed fluoxetine, better known as Prozac, but it ruined the dog’s appetite. Munt then turned to Melissa Bain, a veterinary behaviorist with a wider pharmaceutical arsenal. Maisie now takes venlafaxine, an antidepressant, and gabapentin, an anticonvulsant, with an option for the sedative clonidine in particularly fraught situations. “It’s a bit of a cocktail that is always being adjusted,” Munt said. She spends hundreds of dollars each …