Sunday, March 02, 2008

Don't Feel Like Chasing No Squirrels No More

Romain Pizzi, wildlife medicine specialist with the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons says many pets are getting more depressed and require treatment. Parrots suffer the worst:

"Typically if people go out to work all day their parrot will get very bored and frustrated and eventually develop depression. 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."
When your cockatoo can't do the voodoo he used to do, he must be treated immediately:

“Firstly, we will change the environment of the animal and make sure it has more stimulation and toys. 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."

The plague of depression isn't just for the birds, but extends to canines as well. Eli Lilly has released a chewable anti-depressant for dogs called "Reconcile," beef flavored, in the US for dogs who lost their interest in fetching. And that tennis ball, hey, you go chase it.



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