Clomicalm is an antianxiety drug that is specially formulated for use on dogs that have separation anxiety as well as other forms of anxiety-related behaviors. The formulation contains the active ingredient ‘clomipramine’ which is a type of serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor, although it is generally classified as a tricyclic antidepressant. Clomicalm is duly approved by the FDA for exclusive use on dogs. It is only available via prescription from a duly-licensed veterinarian and can only be used on canine pets that are older than 6 months.
Clomicalm is an integral component of a comprehensive program that is centered on canine behavioral management. It is indicated as an adjunctive treatment in the management of the following conditions in dogs:
- Separation anxiety
This is the principal indication of Clomicalm. Separation anxiety in dogs is a rather complex behavior, but one that responds well to a well-designed behavioral management program. It is important to distinguish true separation anxiety in dogs from attention-seeking behaviors since many of the manifestations of canine separation anxiety such as increased vocalizations and inappropriate elimination patterns can also be seen in dogs with attention-seeking behavioral problems. The only way one can really distinguish the condition from other behavioral issues in dogs is that if the symptoms are only present whenever the dog’s owner or attachment figure is physically absent. Clomicalm has been proven to help reduce the anxiety in dogs related to the absence of the owner. However, it should never be considered as a replacement for environmental and behavioral management. Clomicalm can facilitate the more effective operationalization of behavioral management protocols, nevertheless.
- Destructive behavior
Destructive behavior such as chewing and digging are considered to be one of the signs of separation anxiety. That being said, Clomicalm can also be used in the management of such canine behaviors in conjunction with behavior modification techniques. Clomicalm can help calm down the hyperactivity of a dog with destructive behavior, thus facilitating the more effective accomplishment of behavioral management goals.
- Inappropriate elimination patterns
Urination and defecation in inappropriate places are also considered as manifestations of separation anxiety. As such, dogs that may have these behavioral problems can also benefit from the calming effects of Clomicalm. However, it is crucial that the elimination problems are not related to organic causes such as what happens in cases of neurogenic bladder and/or bowel resulting in urinary and/or bowel incontinence, respectively. The condition must be ascertained that its cause is largely due to anxiety for Clomicalm to work.
In cases where seizures or even high blood pressure occur it is important to seek the advice of your veterinarian. Also, if you observe a sudden swelling in your dog’s oral cavity, lips, or tongue or even difficulty breathing and the presence of hives on its skin, your dog may already be suffering from an allergic reaction. Don’t waste time. Bring your pet to the vet immediately.
Things You Should Know about Clomicalm
Clomicalm is a tricyclic antidepressant that works by blocking the nerve impulse transmission mediated by serotonin and norepinephrine neurotransmitters. Clomicalm requires a valid prescription by your vet as an adjunct treatment for separation anxiety in dogs. It should only be used to support the behavioral management program intended for such dogs. Clomicalm is available in 4 strength formulations containing 5, 20, 40, and 80 milligrams of clomipramine hydrochloride as its ingredient. It is given only to dogs that are older than 6 months.
What You Should Tell Your Vet before He Prescribes Clomicalm
Clomicalm should never be given to dogs that may be hypersensitive to clomipramine or other types of tricyclic antidepressants. Since it is virtually impossible to know if your dog is hypersensitive or not, it is best to consult with your vet. Moreover, if you have a male dog that you are using for breeding purposes, you may also need to inform your vet about it. There have been reports of male dogs developing testicular hypoplasia after receiving Clomicalm treatment for 1 year. Thankfully, the dose given to these dogs were 12.5 times greater than the maximum recommended dose of Clomicalm.
If your dog is currently taking selegiline or amitraz, it is imperative that you inform your vet as these preparations may potentiate the drowsiness that is produced by Clomicalm. It is also important to inform your vet about any liver, kidney, thyroid, and pulmonary disease that your pet may have. Other conditions of your dog that your vet should know include heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, seizures, glaucoma, dysuria, and problems in the stomach and/or intestines.
How to Give Clomicalm to Your Dog
Clomicalm is available in 4 strength formulations with their respective color-based codes. The yellow Clomicalm contains 5 milligrams of clomipramine HCl for use on dogs weighing 2.75 to 5.5 pounds. The blue Clomicalm contains 20 milligrams of clomipramine HCl and is primarily intended for dogs weighing between 11 and 22 pounds. The purple Clomicalm contains 40 milligrams of clomipramine HCl and is geared for dogs weighing 22.1 pounds to 44 pounds. The green Clomicalm contains 80 milligrams of clomipramine HCl and is for dogs that weigh 44.1 to 176 pounds.
The current dosage recommendation for Clomicalm tablets is 0.9 to 1.8 milligrams per pound of body weight per day as a single dose can be divided into two doses. Once daily dosing is usually prescribed and timed to coincide with the desensitization and counterconditioning aspects of canine behavioral modification. The following is the dosage recommendation.
- Dogs weighing 2.75-5.5 pounds – 1 tablet of yellow Clomicalm 5 mg
- Dogs weighing 5.6-10.9 pounds – 2 tablets of yellow Clomicalm 5 mg
- Dogs weighing 11-22 pounds – 1 tablet of blue Clomicalm 20 mg
- Dogs weighing 22.1-44 pounds – 1 tablet of purple Clomicalm 40 mg
- Dogs weighing 44.1-88 pounds – 1 tablet of green Clomicalm 80 mg
- Dogs weighing 88.1-176 pounds – 2 tablets of green Clomicalm 80 mg
Clomicalm should always be given with food to minimize vomiting in dogs. It should only be given to dogs that are not younger than 6 months.
What to Do If You Miss a Dose
In instances where there is a missed dose, it is expected that the missed dose be administered at the soonest time possible. However, if the next scheduled dose is drawing near, one can skip the missed dose and proceed with the next scheduled dose without necessarily doubling on the dose.
What to Do in Case of Clomicalm Overdose
In the event that an overdose occurs, you’re expected to rush your pet to the nearest veterinary facility with emergency services.
Some Drug Interactions
Fluoxetine and cimetidine can increase the tricyclic antidepressant activity of Clomicalm while phenytoin and barbiturates can decrease it. It should also be used with caution on dogs that are currently receiving anticholinergics, anesthetics, sympathomimetics, and neuroleptics. Other medications or preparations that Clomocalm may interact with include monoamine oxidase inhibitors, other antidepressants, pain relievers, muscle relaxants, antihistamines, anxiolytics, and sedatives.
Clomicalm is a tricyclic antidepressant that is FDA-approved for use only on dogs that are diagnosed with separation anxiety. While it is effective in calming dogs down, it should never be used as the sole treatment option for canine separation anxiety. Instead Clomicalm is an integral part of a well-designed comprehensive behavioral modification program for dogs with separation anxiety.