Choosing the right therapies for fear and anxiety in small animal patients
24 Oct 2019
Clinical Theater 1
Psychoactive medications or supplements are critical components in treating many patients with fear and anxiety issues. The goal is to improve welfare, decrease unwanted behavioral manifestations of these emotions, and to facilitate learning new behavior and emotional responses. Choosing a medication or combination of medications depends on both the intensity of the animal’s reaction and factors related to the trigger. If the triggering stimulus occurs unpredictably, with high frequency, or the animal’s reaction is fairly severe and sustained, a maintenance antidepressant is typically prescribed alone or in combination with other medications. Situational medications are best for triggers with a predictable onset and duration. In addition to choosing the correct medications, a general practitioner should be able to explain some basic behavior modification techniques or at least explain why drugs alone are not a cure.