Efficacy of clomipramine in the treatment of canine compulsive disorder

J Am Vet Med Assoc. 1998 Dec 15;213(12):1760-6.


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.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antidepressive Agents, Tricyclic / adverse effects
  • Antidepressive Agents, Tricyclic / pharmacology
  • Antidepressive Agents, Tricyclic / therapeutic use*
  • Appetite / drug effects
  • Behavior, Animal / drug effects*
  • Clomipramine / adverse effects
  • Clomipramine / pharmacology
  • Clomipramine / therapeutic use*
  • Compulsive Behavior / drug therapy*
  • Cross-Over Studies
  • Dog Diseases / drug therapy*
  • Dogs
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Drinking / drug effects
  • Female
  • Male
  • Odds Ratio
  • Sleep / drug effects
  • Vomiting / chemically induced
  • Vomiting / veterinary


  • Antidepressive Agents, Tricyclic
  • Clomipramine