More Pets Prescribed Psychiatric Drugs

Should man's best friend be prescribed medication to treat anxiety?
5:28 | 02/10/12

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Transcript for More Pets Prescribed Psychiatric Drugs
Problem pets and that controversial but increasingly popular method for getting them to behave psychiatric drugs meant for human. Last year pet owners spent a combined seven billion dollars on drugs like prozac and Zoloft for their pets now that number is up. 35%. In the last four years. But is money worst. And isn't even ethically correct here is ABC's Chris -- This otherwise lovable mutt frisbee is curse with an obvious and serious reflection. Ten or twelve times today some think no one knows exactly what sets frisbee off. Turning this family -- to a Tasmanian doubt. So desperate for a -- Erin Riley -- frisbee to a psychiatric clinic for pat. The animal behavioral center at Tufts University where they treat animals for mental conditions usually only diagnosed in humans. This used to be the State's mental hospital. It did its founder doctor Nicholas dodman is fully aware of the irony. He is a pioneer in treating the mental health of animals. From circling shepherds the shadow chasing terriers through dioxins that spin like frisbee he used the veterinary version of the site. On the day we visited a parade of troubled -- came through dot -- office thanks for coming in today. -- little bit anxious. -- -- -- -- -- A German shepherd named summer's suffering from anxiety. Eight -- early prescription a combination of three psychiatric -- it's a springer spaniel Dakota. The problem I hear a one liner as a monitor to depression the -- Content and he got a new leash a low protein diet and some pros you'd be better to have this program in the background because it decreases aggression. And a cat -- that relieves itself all over the house. -- and recommended the change in the cat's litter box. I -- -- medicines. I think will help some people say if but I really won't want to medicine us that you don't you animal you -- doesn't need it. As for frisbee or play EC doctor dodman twice sometimes even when you remove the -- it keeps going and that's when you -- compulsive disorder. They're being asked to have and keep the great tokens and -- the Tasmanian devil aspect. -- already prescribed prozac and an anti depressant without success. And remains puzzled by -- -- condition afraid to say -- Houston's name after this session frisbee gets a new prescription. No tricks -- which has been used to treat floating limbs syndrome where animals attacked their own body. Every other -- the president and his case. And and double over half of one and in a quarter of the other ones. And we just -- and -- think. Such methods are becoming more common for American -- are you convinced that psychiatric medications that work on humans. Do work on pets there's absolutely no doubt that such statements is -- of people also. Work on pets who showed it over and over again. Now those Mets are flying off pharmacy shelves from ten approval for better brain function. To the generic form of Zoloft to fighting side. Unfortunately everybody's looking for the quick fix trainer Cesar Milan. Better known as the dog whisperer. Is skeptical of mind bending medicines for pets often as a few months with obsessive and that Doug -- just imitating their behavior. The dog whisperer claims in most cases exercise diet and tough -- Charlotte -- In her psychological problems and that Groupon -- patient understanding what their position and and the family as though what is suspected of -- we showed him video -- for -- one of his episodes. First in output imminent -- -- when he's having this kind of attacks. Treadmill a backpack for even swimming might -- direct his energy -- dog whisperer tells us. But for two years that -- its Riley family who took in frisbee in seven months have tried everything. Training discipline long walks to Wear him out. But they haven't found anything to keep frisbee from turning into a whirling dervish. And even -- dog whisperer believes in such extreme cases. Medicine can be a last resort. Would love to have neurological problems unfortunately -- I can't help. Those definitely will benefit would medication should we be giving our pets prozac and -- -- these other drugs. I think you know the goal -- veterinarian is. Post your parents choose to do the best thing but for the animal me. What ever will help it to feel better and actually -- -- -- life. As for -- His owners report some improvement but no -- So they're open to trying other Mets meanwhile they've decided to accept frisbee for what -- -- different because. I'm Chris -- for Nightline in North Grafton Massachusetts.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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