Owners of anxious dogs will soon have a generic option for calming pets with separation anxiety.
On Wednesday, the Food and Drug Administration announced the approval of clomipramine hydrochloride, a generic for the brand name drug Clomicalm, for dogs ages 6 months and up who have fears or underlying anxiety about being left alone. It is meant to be used along with behavioral training.
Separation anxiety is one of the most common behavioral problems in dogs, and is diagnosed in up to 40 percent of dogs referred to behavioral practices in North America, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association.
Reactions to being separated are normal in young puppies, the AMVA says. In slightly older dogs, however, separation anxiety can become problematic. Symptoms can include inappropriate urination and defecation, vocalization and destructiveness. Less common signs of separation anxiety are excessive licking or tail chewing and aggressiveness.
Another FDA-approved drug, Reconcile, is also used for separation anxiety in dogs. Reconcile's active ingredient is fluoxotine hydrochloride, the same ingredient in the antidepressant drug Prozac.