Polish Lowland Sheepdog - pons - pon the dog




Jamkin Kennel, Poland



Coping with Canine Depression-fluctuating hormones




Canine depression has many similarities to human depression and in most cases it is hormone related. Symptoms can vary from lack of appetite to being cranky and owners generally do not know how to deal with it in an effective manner. Personally, I have had great success with vitamin B 6 which I have given to my PON girls after their heat cycles. To back this up, a recent report in the British Medical Journal looked at all research, and concluded that doses of vitamin B6 up to 100 mg per day are likely to be of benefit in treating premenstrual symptoms and premenstrual depression. Discuss this option with your family veterinarian for the best results.

Alternatives to vitamin B include  fish and dark green veggies, which are high in Omega 3 fatty acid .  Omega 3 is an antidepressant and the association of omega 3 fatty acids as an antidepressant is drawn from a number of epidemiological studies which established that rates of depression among different countries were directly related to fish consumption. Hibbeln et al. published a strong relationship of fish consumption with lower rates of depression in countries such as Japan, Korea and Taiwan in the Lancet Journal.  He also reported that the lowest rate of post-partum depression is found in high fish consuming nations. There is sound scientific rationale to help explain the antidepressant effects of omega 3 fatty acids because more than half of the brain is made of fat, therefore making brain function sensitive to dietary composition of fatty acids consumed by individuals. The brain also requires that a certain amount of these fatty acids come from omega 3 to supply EPA and DHA fatty acids. EPA and DHA are derived from omega 3 and are important for proper communication between neurotransmittters in the brain and are necessary for structural and functional roles in the brain cells.  They regulate neuronal activity and help to prevent mood disorders.

Flaxseed oil is also a good source of omega-3's and can be given as a supplement, but should not be cooked because heat can destroy the omega-3's. Foods which are rich in Omega 3 fatty acids include Atlantic Salmon, (2.35 gm per 6 0z. serving) flaxseed oil (6.91 mg per tablespoon) and Canola oil (l.30 gm per tablespoon).

Consider joining some of the many Yahoo PON groups for an excellent exchange of advice and alternative options, parallel to consulting with your family veterinarian. Europeans may find that forums in their home language will prove beneficial.

Your family veterinarian may also suggest blood tests to rule out underlying health conditions as well.  Good luck !





  "To err is human, to forgive, canine." - Unknown