Is your pet depressed?

Sad cat with ears downHas your pet seemed lethargic, bored, or had any sudden behavioral changes, despite getting a clean bill of health from your veterinarian? If so, this could signal depression. Cats, dogs, and other companion animals suffer depression for many of the same reasons that people can, such as moving to a new home or losing a human or animal companion. Fortunately, anti-depressant medications can help your pet feel and act more like his or her old self.

To understand how anti-depressants work watch the animation below, that shows a simplified version of how serotonin flows in a healthy, non-depressed brain. When depression results from lowered serotonin levels, Prozac, which belongs to a class of antidepressants known as serotonin reuptake inhibitor, can often help. These antidepressants increase the general availability of serotonin in the brain by slowing or stopping the proteins normally responsible for the collection of serotonin from synapses. This greater amount of free-floating serotonin increases the regularity with which serotonin receptors are activated.

If your pet is showing signs of depression, talk to your veterinarian right away to rule out illness or injury, and to assess if treatment or medication is needed.

Is your pet depressed?

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