Comparison of clomipramine and fluoxetine treatment of dogs with tail chasing

Tierarztl Prax Ausg K Kleintiere Heimtiere. 2010;38(5):295-9.


Objective: The aim of the study was to determine the response to treatment with clomipramine and fluoxetine in dogs with tail chasing.

Material and methods: Twenty-five client owned dogs with tail chasing were included in this study. Diagnosis of tail chasing was made on the basis of the dog's behavioral history, clinical signs, and results of laboratory parameters. The study had a randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind design. Dogs were allocated to three groups. During 12 weeks, dogs of one group were given 2mg/kg clomipramine hydrochloride orally, dogs of the second group received 1mg/kg fluoxetine orally and placebo was administered to control dogs. Changes in signs of tail chasing were weekly reported by the owners. Treatment was assessed in four intervals: weeks 1-3, 4-6, 7-9, and weeks 10-12, respectively.

Results: German shepherd dogs and Anatolian sheepdogs were overrepresented. In all four intervals improvement of tail chasing did not differ significantly between clomipramine and fluoxetine (p>0.05). Improvement of behavior in the clomipramine group was significantly better than in the placebo group between weeks 1-3 and 4-6 and between weeks 7-9 and 10-12 (p<0.05). Furthermore, there was a significantly better improvement in the fluoxetine group between weeks 7-9 and weeks 10-12 when compared to the placebo group (p<0.05).

Conclusion and clinical relevance: Clomipramine and fluoxetine seem to be equally effective in the treatment of tail chasing. Treated dogs responded well to the drugs and both drugs did not show superiority over each other.