Are animals ever prescribed stimulants?

Hey everyone, new to the board. First time posting in general. I was hoping somebody could help me put a bizarre question to rest.

I recently sat through a thunderstorm with my friends dog, an enormous Great Dane named Willow. He was able to quickly assuage her panic by giving the dog a pill from her Xanax bottle (the dog had a prescription).

This got me thinking, are there any circumstances where it would make sense to prescribe or give a stimulant to an animal? Feel free to stretch the definition as far as you’d like. I could possibly see the benefit in a wakefulness medication such as modafinil for a low-energy panda that needs to mate. It’s more of a stretch to come up with reasons for an amphetamine type drug though.

I say prescribe, so animal testing of Adderall or Ritalin won’t count.

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Yes, of course.

That’s what all the drug testing of racehorses is about.
Or similar drug testing done on horses after major show competitions.

(Pharmacist here)

CNS stimulants are given all the time in animals with respiratory depression, usually associated with anesthesia (and often the same drugs that are used in people) and appetite stimulants are sometimes given to animals who, usually due to illness, aren’t eating enough.

Unrelated, but what is an appetite stimulant med? I was under the impression that anabolic steroids were used for those who had wasting disorders. I know we have a wide range of appetite suppressants, but didn’t know we had appetite stimulants. Although a bunch of drugs cause it as a side effect (booze, marijuana, xanax, SSRIs, antipsychotics, etc). Are there drugs intentionally designed to stimulate appetite?

Marinol is most commonly (in my experience) used as an appetite stimulant in people with AIDS, although the modern drugs are much less likely to cause nausea and appetite suppression than were the older ones. Cyproheptadine is an antihistamine that also stimulates appetite, and megestrol is a steroid that often improves appetite in terminally ill people, usually those with cancer.

I have seen cyproheptadine used in cats and dogs.

Are animals ever prescribed stimulants?

If not, then there is a major plot hole in the last third of Dead Alive that would make the rest of the movie just completely ridiculous.

That’s a good thought which hadn’t occurred to me. Are the stimulant PEDs prescribed to the horse though? From doing a bit of reading it seems as though the trainers obtain them by other means.

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Interesting, this is definitely the sort of usage I was looking for. After doing some digging I found that Ritalin has seen some testing in rousing rats from anesthesia, though I don’t know if that’s in common practice.

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