Risperidone And Dogs

by Jen Davis
Hundreds of animals wind up in rescues and shelters every year because of negative behaviors.

Hundreds of animals wind up in rescues and shelters every year because of negative behaviors.

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images News/Getty Images

Behavioral issues can turn a loving dog into a pet owner's nightmare. Destructive and harmful behaviors often have to be corrected before these animals can thrive as household pets. While training can do a lot in terms of correcting bad behavior, some dog owners also turn to medical methods of bringing negative behavior under control. Risperidone is one alternative method of improving your dog's behavior.

Understanding Risperidone

Risperidone is a neuroleptic pharmaceutical drug, also known as antipsychotic, that is designed for use in humans. Risperidone is theorized to work by blocking the dopamine and serotonin receptors in the brain. It is a prescription drug that has been Food and Drug Administration approved for humans but can be prescribed off-label for use in canines. The drug can be given in pill or liquid form. Your veterinarian will have to determine the appropriate dosage as no pet guidelines exist.

Risperidone and Your Dog

Risperidone is used to control behavioral issues in dogs when other methods of modifying behavior have failed. Risperidone can be used to treat aggression, as well as repetitive, compulsive behaviors such as circling, tail-chasing and snapping at flies.

Risperidone Side Effects

Because Risperidone has not been FDA approved for use in animals, very little research exists on the long-term side effects it may have. It is considered to be an experimental pet medication. Risperidone has been known to lower blood pressure, affect heart rhythm and may cause problems with other organs. It also may interact with other medications or your dog may have a sensitivity to it. If you notice your dog behaving in an unexpected, unusual or potentially harmful manner while being treated with Risperidone, contact your veterinarian immediately.

Risperidone and Your Dog

If you think your dog could benefit from being prescribed Risperidone, you will need to go to your veterinarian and have an honest discussion about your pet's behavior. Veterinarians typically prefer owners to exhaust conventional methods of modifying behavior before turning to human off-label prescriptions. Your vet may recommend spending time working with your pet to change his behavior before seeking prescription alternatives. The length of the prescription and the dosage will be entirely at your vet's discretion.

Photo Credits

  • Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images News/Getty Images

About the Author

Jen Davis has been writing since 2004. She has served as a newspaper reporter and her freelance articles have appeared in magazines such as "Horses Incorporated," "The Paisley Pony" and "Alabama Living." Davis earned her Bachelor of Arts in communication with a concentration in journalism from Berry College in Rome, Ga.