Pets are at risk of committing suicide and have been increasingly been prescribed anti-depressants BECAUSE they can’t discuss problems in their lives with others, a leading veterinarian said.
When we got this story, we’ll admit that it was checked out more than once–to make sure it wasn’t from The Onion, or some other spoof site.
But it wasn’t. It hailed from Down Under: from the Telegraph via News of Australia.
Zoo and wildlife medicine specialist with the UK’s Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons, Romain Pizzi, told the Telegraph that more pets were being prescribed Prozac. Tropical birds such as parrots seemed to have been the most affected by depression, Mr Pizzi told the newspaper.
Mr Pizzi said anti-depressants were only used in the most extreme of cases.
Come on, if any animal can open up and let what’s bothering it out to another, wouldn’t it be a parrot or macaw or some other tropical bird?
“Firstly, we will change the environment of the animal and make sure it has more stimulation and toys,” Mr Pizzi told the newspaper.
“When we have ruled out underlying medical problems, we try to break the cycle by using Prozac… (which) is given to the parrots in liquid form.
“It doesn’t cure all animals, but around two-thirds respond to the treatment. In a small number of cases things will go well until we wean them off Prozac and the problems return.”
Mr Pizzi said the severity of some pet’s depression often put their lives at risk.
Kids aren’t the only ones who complain, “We’re bored!”
“Typically if people go out to work all day their parrot will get very bored and frustrated and eventually develop depression,” he said.
“Symptoms often include plucking out their feathers or self-harming, which is obviously very dangerous.
“When cockatoos in particular are depressed they can start to self-mutilate and peck their own legs to the bone.”
Of course, if there’s a buck to be made, most company’s will be quick to recognize it. Some of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies have picked up on the need for anti-depressants for animals.
Last year, Eli Lilly released a chewable anti-depressant for dogs onto the US market. The “Reconcile” drug was issued in a pleasing beef flavour. Pfizer has also created a diet drug for dogs, as well as motion-sickness medicine for all pets.
There was little written on the licensing requirements to be able to call oneself a “pet shrink”.
Sounds like the perfect vocation for some with a quick wit and a love for a quick buck.
Especially if they can get Pooch to put down that pistol and take a pill.