Thanks to the Telegraph.co.uk for this article.
RSPCA warns of pill-popping dog culture
By Jasper Copping
Last Updated: 08/03/2008
Growing numbers of pets are being put on drugs for depression, aggression and other mental health problems, animal welfare groups warn.
Vets believe animals are developing the conditions as they struggle to adapt to a modern, often urban, lifestyle involving less exercise, less company and smaller living spaces.
Dogs are increasingly being treated with human antidepressants, such as Prozac. One pharmaceutical firm, Accura Animal Health, has announced the first drugs created specifically to tackle dogs’ aggression and the canine equivalent of obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD).
The move has prompted animal welfare charities to express concern. Mark Evans, chief veterinary adviser to the RSPCA, said: “Drug companies are obviously keen to find pharmaceutical solutions, but instead of simply tackling the symptoms, owners should be encouraged to look at the underlying causes of difficult behaviour, rather than create a culture of pill-popping dogs.”
Elaine Pendlebury, a senior veterinary surgeon at the PDSA, said the drugs could mask the causes of behavioural problems