Anyone know anything about amitriptyline for anxiety/depression?

I have had some behavior issues with my 9 year old corgi Jake.

He has been isolating himself outside and when he is inside he has been very "clingy" and nervous. 


The vet ran tests for kidney, thyroid, liver and diabetes.  His blood work was all normal.  He talked to a behavior specialist at the regional vet school that felt it was anxiety issues and Jake was prescribed amitriptyline. 


Has anyone ever used this for their dogs and did they have many side effects?

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I think they use this on humans too.  Not sure about anti depressants but follow directions and I know that there are some meds that you can't just stop but need to increase slowly and decrease slowly or they can cause BAD side effects. Good luck and I hope he feels better soon!

My last dog was on alorazapam. He was on a low maintenance dose and did well on it. The dose was higher in the winter. He was afraid of snow, falling leaves, etc. I called it chicken little syndrome.

I assume it will be like humans. Different drugs work for different body chemistrys. Good luck.

Hi Linda,

I personally don't like amitriptyline, side effects are awful, especially when your dog can't tell you how they really feel, it makes it that much harder to get used to the rx. Yes, there is a place for Rx, but only if all the natural methods are exhausted. Animals are bred to move, since Corgis are herding dogs, they really do require faithful daily walk outside and a job to be happy. You can read more here. Isolating, clingy / nervous does not sound so bad, but I don't live with Jake, perhaps you can describe other behavior and how it affects his daily live? Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.

I think you did the right thing by having Jake checked for any illness that could have been at the root of his behavior and, since none showed up, I would stop there.  Meds for anxiety and depression are at best controversial in humans and way over prescribed.  Unless you have extreme behavioral issues that cannot be coped with in other ways, I would personally stay away from them>  Once you start with meds, separating the dog's behavior from the effects of medication can also become a complicating factor.  You can try Bach's Rescue Remedy ( health food store ) and see if it helps. It will not harm. 

Have there been any changes, however minor, in your home? As farm dogs, Corgis are selectively bred to notice anything "different" and alert their humans. Differences that are not adequately explained to the dog as being ok (from the dog's perspective) can lead to being always on alert, with its predictable consequences (which will vary by the dog's temperament).

Remember dogs' hearing is much better than ours, so the "change" could be some distance away (construction noise, barking dogs, neighbors fighting). I have sometimes wondered what the heck Jack barks at only to step outside and realize there is a clear noise that is faint to me, but not the dog.


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