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Author Topic: Can Animals Get Addicted to Drugs?  (Read 15386 times)

Carolyn

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Can Animals Get Addicted to Drugs?
« on: 06/05/2008 21:00:11 »
The vet gave us  sedatives to keep our dog calm whilst undergoing heartworm treatment.  We're having to keep him inactive for the next two months.  I haven't given him one today and he's been a nightmare!

If we continue giving him sedatives for the next two months will he become dependent on them?
« Last Edit: 07/05/2008 04:31:59 by Carolyn »

SquarishTriangle

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Can Animals Get Addicted to Drugs?
« Reply #1 on: 07/05/2008 08:01:28 »
In terms of physiological dependence, I would think the dosage would be be gradually decreased over the course of administration to gently bring the sensitivity of the dog to the drug back down to normal levels.

And of course, unlike human drug addicts, dogs don't have the option of coping out of withdrawal and exacerbating their addiction by redosing (...hopefully :P).

RD

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Can Animals Get Addicted to Drugs?
« Reply #2 on: 07/05/2008 16:03:39 »
Quote
Quest for 'alcohol gene' sets monkeys on binge
By David Harrison, Environment Correspondent
Last Updated: 12:01am GMT 03/03/2002

JUST like humans, small primates can acquire a taste for alcohol - and behave in a similar fashion when under its influence, scientists have discovered.

A controversial research project that involves giving alcohol to 1,000 green vervet monkeys has found that the animals divide into four main categories: binge drinker, steady drinker, social drinker and teetotaller.

The vast majority are social drinkers who indulge in moderation and only when they are with other monkeys - but never before lunch - and prefer their alcohol to be diluted with fruit juice.

fifteen per cent drink regularly and heavily and prefer their alcohol neat or diluted with water. The same proportion drink little or no alcohol.

Five per cent are classed as "seriously abusive binge drinkers". They get drunk, start fights and consume as much as they can until passing out. As with humans, most heavy drinkers are young males, but monkeys of both sexes and all ages like a drink.

The research into their drinking habits is being carried out on the Caribbean island of St Kitts. Scientists are using the monkeys - which share 96 per cent of their genetic make-up with humans - to help to search for clues to the nature of human drinking and to discover whether some people have a hereditary disposition to alcoholism - or "alcohol genes".

http://www.telegraph.co.uk


« Last Edit: 07/05/2008 16:09:02 by RD »

Knute

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Can Animals Get Addicted to Drugs?
« Reply #3 on: 05/11/2008 15:10:59 »
Yes, animals certainly can get addicted to drugs.
A cheap way to "train" drug dogs is to get them addicted and reward their addiction with drugs they find. This has been practiced in some third-world countries but it has serious setbacks to the animals life span and behavior.

On a lighter note National Public Radio did a hilarious radio story on a dog that was addicted to licking toads. The dog would go through withdrawl every winter when the ground was frozen and the toads hibernated. You can listen to the story here:

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=6376594

DoctorBeaver

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Can Animals Get Addicted to Drugs?
« Reply #4 on: 05/11/2008 15:29:55 »
Yes, animals certainly can get addicted to drugs.
A cheap way to "train" drug dogs is to get them addicted and reward their addiction with drugs they find. This has been practiced in some third-world countries but it has serious setbacks to the animals life span and behavior.

Unfortunately that is true.

As for the sedatives, I would have thought that 2 months is a bit of a short time for the dog to become addicted. It's possible, but unlikely. How long has he been on them?

When you say your dog has "been a nightmare", what do you mean? Has he been manic? Whining? Scratching incessantly? What?

Don't forget, sedatives can act as a painkiller (well, not as a painkiller per se, but they cause the animal to ignore the pain) so that could be what the vet prescribed them as. What are they called? If that is the reason then your dog's behaviour could result from feeling discomfort inside itself.
« Last Edit: 05/11/2008 15:32:38 by DoctorBeaver »

Carolyn

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Can Animals Get Addicted to Drugs?
« Reply #5 on: 05/11/2008 16:16:21 »
Yes, animals certainly can get addicted to drugs.
A cheap way to "train" drug dogs is to get them addicted and reward their addiction with drugs they find. This has been practiced in some third-world countries but it has serious setbacks to the animals life span and behavior.

Unfortunately that is true.

As for the sedatives, I would have thought that 2 months is a bit of a short time for the dog to become addicted. It's possible, but unlikely. How long has he been on them?

When you say your dog has "been a nightmare", what do you mean? Has he been manic? Whining? Scratching incessantly? What?

Don't forget, sedatives can act as a painkiller (well, not as a painkiller per se, but they cause the animal to ignore the pain) so that could be what the vet prescribed them as. What are they called? If that is the reason then your dog's behaviour could result from feeling discomfort inside itself.

Hi Doc.  I don't think the sedatives were given for pain.  He's a very hyper Jack Russell and needed to be kept calm for two months.  The sedatives he was given was called Acepromazine. 

When I say he was a nightmare, I mean he would run around, become easily excited.  Would bark  if the wind blew.  The nightmare was in keeping him calm. 

What I found with the sedatives is that I could give them to him every other day most of the time.  It took a long time (a few hours) for them to have the calming effect on him, but it lasted a long time too.

I'm happy to report that Benjamin survived the heart worm treatment and is now heart worm free and is back to his normal hyper and sometimes demonic behavior. 

Also am happy to report that I am much more diligent in giving him his heart worm treatment.  It is now on my google calendar and it emails and texts me several times a day every month on the 16th.

DoctorBeaver

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Can Animals Get Addicted to Drugs?
« Reply #6 on: 05/11/2008 16:36:01 »
Acepromazine (or Ace, as it is sometimes known) is certainly primarily a sedative. It is also sometimes used to alleviate nausea or vomiting. That is also a possibility if he's on heartworm medication.

cheryl j

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Can Animals Get Addicted to Drugs?
« Reply #7 on: 17/11/2011 18:56:26 »
There was a series of interesting experiments that are controversial because some researchers were able to reproduce the results and some weren't.
Supposedly after several years of drinking, alcoholics develop an alternate pathway in the metabolism of alcohol that results in a by-product which, when combined with a neurotransmitter (dopamine I beleive,) has a structure very similar to morphine,called TIQ or tetrahydroisoquinolin. When they take TIQ and inject it into mice, they can instantly turn these mice into alcoholic mice, that is, the mice almost immediately prefer water with alcohol, over plain water or water with sugar. Where as, the mice who do not have this substance injected into them, prefer plain water or water with sugar, and avoid alcohol after tasting it.

If these experiments turn out to be valid, its pretty interesting, in my opinion, considering that these mice are not depressed mice, or angry mice, or irresponsible mice. They are not ecconomically disadvantaged mice, or culturally oppressed mice. They did not have bad mice parents, start hanging out with the wrong crowd, or marry an abusive mouse spouse. They have not suffered a terrible mouse trajedy of some kind. They are just mice. But no one likes to think addiction might be just biological and potentially amendable to some kind of medical intervention.
« Last Edit: 17/11/2011 18:59:05 by cheryl j »

 

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