Drastic steps will help pup Jake’s mental state

Bull Terrier Jake suffers from a neurological disorder that causes him to spin in circles.
Bull Terrier Jake suffers from a neurological disorder that causes him to spin in circles. David Nielsen

THE drug helps treat depression in adults, combats bed-wetting in children and might just solve Ipswich pup Jake from a distressing mental disorder.

Owner Jodie Colless took the drastic step of putting her beloved pooch on the tablet Endep - a human anti-depressant, under the supervision of Booval Veterinary Surgery.

The nine-month-old Riverview bull terrier has been termed "a little bit crazier" than a puppy should be. He suffers from "spinning syndrome", which means he repeatedly chases an elusive white spot on his tail, so, after trying almost every other avenue, Ms Colless resorted to medication.

In doses of 200mg per day, Jake is being treated with a drug commonly used in humans to treat depression, ADHD, migraines, eating disorders, bipolar disorder and insomnia.

"Hopefully the eight-week course will reprogram his brain - he's a little bit crazier than a puppy should be," Ms Colless said.

"Basically we want Jake to help prove you can have a handicapped dog and be normal (and show) all those people who are sitting there laughing at him. Well maybe our dog can help the other ones."

Jake is now about half-way into his treatment. Ms Colless said she also had to change his routine, and introduce obedience.

"Anything, anything but having him focus on his tail," she said.

Specialist veterinarian Dr Rod Straw said pet mental health was difficult to explore because they couldn't explain how they felt.

"It is not uncommon for dogs and cats to go through periods where they just don't seem to be themselves," he said. Common triggers included moving house, the death of a family member or pet, a new spouse or baby, or a change in work or travel.

"These symptoms can also be seen with various types of diseases, so it is important to seek veterinary assistance to determine the cause and rule out any diseases."

March is Pet Mental Health Month.



Canine compulsive disorder: Chasing tails or reflections, snapping at flies, excessive licking.

Separation anxiety: Yelping, barking, destructiveness, escaping, pacing, anorexia, soiling.

Extreme fears and phobias: Shaking, drooling, panting, aggression, escaping, inactivity.

Topics:  dogs pets

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