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Efficacy of Trazodone to reduce anxiety in shelter dogs

Efficacy of Trazodone as an anxiolytic in shelter dogs and an evaluation of possible haematological and biochemical changes.

Shelter dog image

The aim of this animal science project is to assess the safety and efficacy of trazodone as an anxiolytic in young healthy dogs.

Trazodone is a unique type of anti-depressant for use in humans. It has been used in veterinary medicine to reduce anxiety in dogs prior to visits to veterinary clinics as well as to reduce aggression. It has also been used post-operatively as an anxiolytic in dogs that required long term cage rest following orthopaedic procedures. Little information is available in regard to other possible effects of trazodone administration.

Key methodology:

  • RSPCA dogs admitted to the Companion Animal Health Centre for routine desexing will be split into a treatment and a control group on the day of arrival.
  • Blood samples will be taken from at this time for haematological and biochemical analyses. Treatment dogs will then be treated with trazodone 3 times daily for the duration of their stay, approx. 3 days. Further blood samples will be taken for repeat analyses.
  • Various behaviours will be observed and documented from both groups. Differences in behaviour and blood parameters will be assessed.

Choose this project and you will be eligible to apply for RSPCA Welfare Scholarship.

Dr Anthony Nicholson


Dr Anthony Nicholson

Co-supervisor: Dr Susan Hazel

Research area: Companion animal health; sedation, anaesthesia and analgesia of domestic animals and wildlife.

Recommended honours enrolment: Honours in Animal Science

Tagged in Honours projects - Animal science, Honours projects - Molecular and biomedical science, Honours projects - Anthony Nicholson, Honours projects - Susan Hazel, Honours in Animal Science subtheme - Companion animal health, Honours projects - Molecular and biomedical science: Other, Honours in Animal Science subtheme - Animal behaviour

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