sealPurdue News

September 26, 2002

Dogs needed for obsessive-compulsive disorder study

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Dogs that drive their owners crazy with odd behavior may be eligible to participate in a study at Purdue University's Animal Behavior Clinic.

Andrew Luescher, director of the clinic, is conducting a clinical trial on canine compulsive disorder, also known as canine CD. It is estimated that this disorder affects about 2 percent of dogs. Dogs with canine CD develop abnormal behavior and often act out behaviors that are out of context and often exaggerated. Examples of such behavior include circling, tail chasing, air snapping, excessive self-licking, flank-sucking, hind-end checking, staring into space or freezing in one spot.

In this study, Luescher is investigating the efficacy of a selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitor, which has been used to successfully treat human obsessive-compulsive disorder.

Referring veterinarians will be asked to conduct a physical exam and blood/urine exam to determine whether potential canine candidates have any physical problems. Veterinarians will be reimbursed for the exams. The owner must answer a short questionnaire, as well as several telephone interviews from Purdue. The dogs accepted into the study will receive a drug or a placebo, and nobody in the study will know what each dog is taking. This eight-week period may involve behavior modification. If needed, medicine will be provided for an additional eight weeks. All of the procedures will be conducted at no cost to the clients.

Dog owners interested in having their animals participate in the study should contact Mami Irimajiri, a graduate research assistant in the Animal Behavior Clinic, at (765) 496-6345 by Oct.4.

CONTACT: Irimajiri, (765) 496-6345,

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096;

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