A case of dysthymia in a Yorkshire terrier
Keywords:aged dog, dysthymia, selegiline
A dog, a 16 years old spayed female Yorkshire terrier weighting 4.1 kg, was evaluated because, in recent months, she started barking, crying and howling.
Considering the dog history and behavioral signs, it was considered possible that the aggressiveness and the crying could be related to painful arthritis.
The Age-Related Cognitive and Affective Disorders (ARCAD) scale was provided to the clients and a score of 27 was obtained, compatible with dysthymia. Therefore, also considering the main behavioral symptoms, dysthymia was considered the most probable diagnosis and the dog was treated consequently.
To relief the dog in the moment of acute outbreaks of arthrosis' pain, Meloxicam (Inflacam®) 0.2 mg/kg was prescribed to be given the first day, followed by 0.1 mg/kg q24h for six days, and Cartimax® mini, (sid, sine die).
Concerning gastrointestinal symptoms, Canikur® (sid for ten days), Phosphaluvet® (1.5 ml, 3 times per day, for 3 days) and Maropitant (Cerenia®; 2 mg/kg, in pills for 3 days after a first injection 1 mg/kg), were added at the original therapy.
A treatment with Selegiline (Selgian®) 0.5 mg/kg was prescribed, as advised by Landsberg (2013). The owners were warned that the treatment, if effective, should be maintained during the whole life of the dog.
The dog was brought to visit almost once a week. The diarrhea and vomit stopped. Dermatological problems did not come back. Nonetheless, behavioral improvements were not shocking.
Considering the multifactorial nature of the process, a holistic approach to treatment is necessary, and each individual component needs to be identified and solved. Furthermore, owners of senior pets should be clearly instructed by the veterinarian regarding the correct behavior to have. On the other hand, they should work closely with the veterinarian to report any behavioral change as soon as it arises.