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Dogs

Depressed dogs now targeted by Big Pharma

Monday, March 08, 2010 by: Marek Doyle
Tags: dogs, Big Pharma, health news

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(NewsTarget) There are many that thought, following the Pfizer/Dr Reuben scandal, that Big Pharma could not stoop any lower in their relentless pursuit of profits. However, they were wrong. The ongoing quest to sell more and more drugs just took a new twist, as the pharmaceutical giants began targeting the pet market for new sales.

The ongoing failure of Big Pharma to create new ideas has seen the industry resort to increasingly desperate tactics to develop new markets for their existing products. This has previously been the case with antiviral drugs and vaccines. The pet market is the latest area to undergo the same treatment; approval has now been given for the marketing of a Selective Serotonin Re-Uptake Inhibitor (SSRI) pill specifically for dogs.

A statement on behalf of the manufacturers said: "While you may not be familiar with canine separation anxiety, you are probably familiar with its symptoms. While you are gone, your dog may do one or several of the following: chew destructively; bark or whine; inappropriate urination and/or defecation; drool; pace; tremble; vomit - or worse. Separation anxiety is a clinical condition in your dog's brain. Your pet is not a bad dog. Your pet's behaviour is the result of separation anxiety." Manufacturers allege that, in trials, 73% of dogs improved their behaviour. Side effects of the drugs include lethargy, reduced appetite, vomiting, shaking, diarrhoea, restlessness, excessive barking, aggression and even seizures some dogs.

There has long been criticism of the way industry has attempted to medicalise emotions such as sadness, shyness or anger. The number of illnesses listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) has grown to include 297 different diagnoses of psychological conditions, including General Anxiety Disorder (what we used to call shyness) and Seasonal Affective Disorder (feeling much happier in bright sunshine). True to form, each condition comes with a list of mind-bending drugs that the doctor is encouraged to prescribe. And, whilst this approach has been effective in boosting the number of people taking SSRIs to a staggering 330m worldwide, it has often drawn criticism from those who question the wisdom of suppressing human feelings with chemicals on a daily basis.

The same sentiments abound for dealing with over-excited dogs. Roger Mugford, an animal psychologist said, "Most breakthroughs in dog behaviour are achieves by carrying a titbit and using it wisely, not by drugs."

The drugs are being proposed for dogs that suffer from conditions such as 'canine compulsive disorder' and 'separation anxiety'. Meanwhile, if the promotion of pet drugs is to follow the same pattern as that for humans, we should prepare ourselves to hear about conditions such as EWD (Excessive Woofing Disorder), QMD (Quiet Miawing Disorder) and maybe even FES (Fussy Eating Syndrome).

References:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1252...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diagnostic_and_...

http://www.whp-apsf.ca/pdf/SSRIs.pdf


About the author

Marek Doyle is a London personal trainer, nutritionist and the pioneer of the Combined Allergy Test, with locations serving Kensington, Chelsea, West London and Basingstoke. Marek runs Blueprint Fitness, edits theAdrenal Fatigue Focus website and has been recognised as one of the top three trainers in the country and counts world champion athletes, models and TV celebrities amongst his clientele.

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