(Picture Credit: Getty Images)Amitriptyline, also known by the brand name Elavil, is a tricyclic antidepressant drug used to treat conditions in dogs such as anxiety, behavioral disorders, and other problems. The drug works by increasing the amount of serotonin and norepinephrine in dogs’ brains by blocking reuptake of these neurotransmitters.When used to curb anxious behaviors, this drug is often combined with behavioral modification programs for dogs. It also works as a pain reliever for certain conditions.You should ask your veterinarian about the proper dosage and possible side effects before you use this drug to treat your dog.Here’s what you should know about the uses, dosage, and side effects of amitriptyline in dogs.Uses Of Amitriptyline In Dogs (Picture Credit: Getty Images)Amitriptyline can be used in dogs to treat a variety of anxious behaviors, as well as certain kinds of pain.Here are some common conditions in dogs that vets might treat with amitriptyline:When used to treat anxious behaviors, the drug should be combined with behavior modification until a dog can control unwanted behaviors without the need for medication. A veterinarian should wean the dog off of it when it’s no longer necessary.Dosage Of Amitriptyline For Dogs (Picture Credit: Getty Images)The usual initial dosage of amitriptyline in dogs is 0.5 to 2 mg per pound, which should be given every 8 to 12 hours.While the FDA has not approved the drug for use in animals, a veterinarian can prescribe it safely. However, symptoms may not clear up immediately, and it may take several days or even weeks for visible results. Your veterinarian can further increase or decrease the dosage depending on your dog’s response to the drug.Follow your veterinarians instructions for use, and do not suddenly stop giving your dog this medication because this can result in symptoms of withdrawal that include nausea, headache, and malaise. Try to give your dog the medication at the same time every day and make sure they have plenty of water.Side Effects Of Amitriptyline In Dogs (Picture Credit: Getty Images)Amitriptyline can have some side effects in dogs that you should look out for. If they become severe, then you should contact your veterinarian immediately. Your vet can adjust the dosage to try and minimize symptoms.Here are some common side effects of amitriptyline in dogs:Extreme drowsinessDry mouthThirstPantingDry eyesDecreased urinationUpset stomachLoss of appetiteVomitingIncreased heart rateExcitabilityConstipationHeadachesBehavioral changesMuscle weakness or stiffnessSeizures in epileptic dogsAmitriptyline may react poorly with other medications, especially pain killers, other anti-depressants, sedatives, muscle relaxants, and antihistamines.Dogs who have liver or heart problems, diabetes, or seizure disorders shouldn’t take amitriptyline. Pregnant dogs should also avoid this drug.Make sure your veterinarian is aware of any medications your dog takes or other medical conditions your dog has before giving your dog this drug.Has your dog ever taken amitriptyline? Did it work for your pup? Then let us know in the comments below!Source

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