Objective: To assess the efficacy of clomipramine for treatment of canine compulsive disorder (CCD).
Design: Randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind, balanced AB-BA crossover clinical study.
Animals: 51 dogs with CCD.
Procedures: Dogs were given clomipramine (3 mg/kg [1.3 mg/lb] of body weight, PO, q 12 h) for 4 weeks and placebo for 4 weeks. At the end of each treatment each owner rated the severity of their dog's behavior, using 2 validated rating scales. Statistical analysis was made by ordinal regression. Compliance, adverse effects, and the effectiveness of masking were also assessed. Each dog's behavior was reevaluated 1 to 2 years after completing the study.
Results: Behaviors included spinning (n = 17) and self-mutilation by licking (acral lick dermatitis, 12). Both rating scales demonstrated a treatment effect. Compliance was satisfactory, and masking was effective. Sedation and reduced appetite were reported more commonly when dogs were given clomipramine than when they were given placebo. Forty-five dogs available for follow-up evaluation still had their behaviors; 6 dogs were lost to follow-up evaluation.
Clinical implications: Results suggest that clomipramine was effective in dogs with CCD and was not associated with serious adverse effects. However, treatment for 4 weeks was not curative. Behavior modification is likely to be necessary to manage CCD.