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Latest health and behavior news and advice from the veterinarians at Tufts University.

Features February 2018 Issue

Why Psychotropic Medication to Help a Dog Through a Behavioral Issue Is Not a “Last Resort”

You’re not a failure if you use a psychotropic drug to help your dog over a behavioral hump.

Why Psychotropic Medication to Help a Dog Through a Behavioral Issue Is Not a “Last Resort”

The right pharmaceutical, in the right circumstances, can help a dog reach emotional stability — and, in turn, happiness.

One of the big things people worry about is drugging their dog,” says Stephanie Borns-Weil, DVM, the board-certified animal behaviorist who heads the Tufts Animal Behavior Clinic. She is referring to clients’ reactions when she suggests that their dog could use a psychotropic medication to get them over the behavioral hump, whether for separation anxiety, fear aggression, or some other emotionally charged issue. “They think that using a psychotropic medication means sedating a dog out of her troubles,” the doctor says. “It’s sort of a holdover from One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.

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