Causes of behavior disorders and comparison of amitriptyline and clomipramine on aggressionrelated problems in dogs

Thesis Type: Doctorate

Institution Of The Thesis: Bursa Uludağ University, SAĞLIK BİLİMLERİ ENSTİTÜSÜ, Turkey

Approval Date: 2004

Thesis Language: Turkish

Student: Ebru Yalçın

Supervisor: HASAN BATMAZ


The aim of this study was to classify behavioral disorders of the dogs in our region and to compare the effects of amitriptyline and clomipramine in aggressive dogs. Material of this study consisted of 80 dogs of different breed, age and gender. All dogs had behavioral problems and were selected from animals which were referred to the Clinics of the Internal Medicine Department of Uludağ University, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine or bred in a private kennel between the years 2001-2003. A total of 109 behavioral disorders were detected in 80 dogs. The classification of the disorders was as follows: 65 dogs (60%) with aggression, 13 dogs (11%) with separation anxiety, 12 dogs (10%) with phobia of veterinary clinics and high-volume noises as thunders and fireworks, 12 dogs (10%) with compulsive disorders (9 dogs (8%) with tail chasing, 2 dogs with lick dermatitis, 1 dog self mutilation, 4 dogs (4%) with inappropriate elimination, 2 dogs (2%) with coprophagia, and 1 dog (1%) with puppy killing. Only one behavioral disorder was detected in 52 dogs, two different behavioral disorders were detected in 26 dogs and three different disorders were detected in 2 dogs. The ages of the 80 dogs with behavioral disorders varied between 1-12 years and the mean age was found as 4.3 years. Classification of the dogs according to gender was: 58 (72%) were male, 22 (28%) were female, and 5 of the males and 8 of the females were neutered. Dogs were from 19 different breeds as: 19% German shepherd, 18% Terrier, 15% crossbred, 10% Kangal, 5% Golden retriever, 4% Rottwelier, 4% Husky and 4% Cocker. Twenty-four of the dogs which displayed aggression after the same type of stimulation towards human family members, keepers or people in the same environment were selected for the study after the agreement of the owner, and were began therapy in 3 groups. During six weeks placebo was administered in the 1st group, 2 mg/kg amitriptyline hydrochloride was given orally in the second group and 1 mg/kg clomipramine hydrochloride was given orally in the third group. Behavioral changes were followed by two- week intervals in cooperation with the owners. At the end of the study, based on the owners5 complaints, it was determinated that, problems of two dogs' were complately and 2 dogs' were partly solved. Four cases in IVthe control group couldn't be solved ; no statistical differences were observed among the groups. In group II (amitriptyline treatment), complaints were cured totally in 4 patients and partially cured in 3 patients with a statistical difference of PO.01. In group III (clomipramine treatment), the treatment results of 5 dogs were detected as successful and 2 as partially successful related to the owners complaints with a statistical difference of PO.001. No difference was observed among the groups examined at the same week. Total leukocyte, hematocrit, urea and ALT levels did not reveal any significant differences among the dogs of these 3 groups before and after the treatment. As a result it was detected mat behavioral disorders are common among dogs and aggression takes the first place of behavioral disorders, followed by separation anxiety, phobia and tail chasing. It is concluded that the use of clomipramine and amitriptyline are both effective for the treatment of aggression and that these two drugs have no priority upon each other.