Thanks to K9 Magazine for highlighting this problem. Sadly, most US media outlets have spent their time acclaiming the release of yet one more drug into society without discussing the ramifications.
Drugged Up Dogs Cause Concern For Welfare Charity
The RSPCA is sounding the alarm as yet another drug – an antidepressant – is made available to our increasingly pill-popping pets by pharmaceutical companies. The Society fears the pill could merely disguise behavioural problems rather than treat the cause.
Its also vital that pet owners realise that laboratory animals – including dogs – often suffer and even die when they are given high doses during tests as the drug is developed. These tests have to be carried out by law to ensure the medicines are safe for our pets.
The new antidepressant, intended to be taken by dogs, will be prescribed to help cure behavioural problems such as barking and chewing furniture when pets are left alone. The latest pill is chewable and tastes of beef to make it more palatable for dogs.
The RSPCAs acting chief veterinary adviser David McDowell said: I am seriously concerned about the pill-popping trend. This new drug may be used to hide the fact that a dog is not being cared for properly and thousands of dogs could be forced to take it long term.
The Animal Welfare Act, which became law earlier this month, makes it a legal requirement for owners to meet the needs of their animals. In most cases, if dogs have plenty of exercise and company, are given proper training and a good diet and environment to live in, then they will not become depressed or develop behavioural problems.”
The RSPCA is concerned about the growing trend for pharmaceutical companies to redevelop drugs currently used by humans – a drug intended to help obese dogs lose weight was also launched recently – and its reported that others are in the pipeline.
In many cases, its necessary for the re-developed drugs to be tested on laboratory animals to ensure they are safe.
RSPCA senior scientist Penny Hawkins said: Pet owners may be horrified to learn that laboratory experiments are often carried out on dogs to test these pills. Some dogs used to test the antidepressant pill suffered severe side effects and even died. Would caring dog owners really want that to happen?”