A new drug that calms anxious pets has been released recently for use in the US. If your dog is among those who experiences anxiety during 4th of July fireworks, construction noises or thunderstorms, this drug is for it.
SILEO (a gel made of dexmedetomidine ) is the first FDA-approved treatment for noise aversion experienced by dogs. Noise aversion means clinical and behavioral signs of anxiety and fear experienced by pooches in response to noise.
SILEO is marketed by Zoetis in the US. It is available from selected vets only by prescription. However, it can safely be administered at home by masters of pets, and does not sedate them during noisy events.
A representative of Zoetis said that noise aversion is stressful and difficult to treat, leading to trauma to the dog. SILEO helps calm the animal, and it makes the pet interact with the family. It works immediately and is easy to administer in the comfort of your home.
The gel formula blocks chemical substances in the brain that produce anxiety or fear. One-third of dog owners say that their pet has noise aversion. Clinical symptoms include cowering, panting, trembling and escape behavior, which can result in damage or self-inflicted harm.The oral gel is placed on the gums of the animal and mellows out, giving its calming effect.
Fireworks are amongst the top triggers of noise aversion. With that in mind, just 40 per cent of owners search for treatment. 20%% try to fix the situation on their own, and a whopping 40% of dogs don’t receive any treatment at all.
Another useful pointer from vets is to try and get the animal to wear the “thunder shirt”, which gives them a sense of security. Many pet owners go to the vet to prepare for a noisy weekend, the Fourth of July celebration.
Vets also suggest not to take pets with you to dangerous places, because it can enhance phobia and lead to damage. Before being approved, the drug was tested on over a hundred dogs on New Year’s Eve. The makers of the drug chose that day because it’s one of the noisiest of the year. Experts found that three-quarters of canines which took the drug faced none or little anxiety, compared to just 30% of other dogs who were given a placebo, instead of the drug that calms anxious pets.
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