Policy

My Dog Ate My Prozac

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Zombie dog takes too many meds

The New York Times reports that we're more like our dogs—or, they're more like us—than we might want to admit. Our dogs are overweight, neurotic, and depressed:

Allan pointed to Max, who was lying on the floor and staring at his tail. He looked angry at it, disturbed by it. "You can see the pressure building in his psyche until he's ready to explode," Michelle said. And then he did: Max jumped to his feet and lunged. His jaws snapped, catching only air, and he spun counterclockwise in place, an accelerating blur of fur and teeth and frustration. Tail-chasing is normal—except that Max did it daily, often for hours on end. "He's like a junkie needing a fix," Allan said. "At times he can't not do it. He goes berserk."

Pet owners can buy meds to treat anything from compulsive disorder (as in the case of Max, above) and obesity to separation anxiety disorder. And as with humans, the drugs are accompanied by therapy:

[S]cientists in an expanding field known as behavioral pharmacology say that the combination of new drug therapies and progressive training techniques can solve problems that in the past almost always resulted in euthanasia.

Seeing as a dog's life is worth considerably less than a human's life, I wonder if the FDA approves drugs for animals in a shorter period of time than it does for humans?

reason's FDA archive here.