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FDA approves anxiety drug for your dog ... so he doesn't react to his 'normal' animal instincts

Dog anxiety

(NaturalNews) It seems like there is a pill for every possible ailment, real or imagined, known to man these days, and now that is extending to man's best friend.

The FDA has just approved the first drug specifically aimed at treating "noise aversion" in dogs. It's being marketed to dog owners whose pets are frightened by loud sounds. Isn't that something that can apply to almost every dog and many other types of animals, not to mention humans?

Research shows that almost half of dog owners report that their dog is afraid of some type of noise, but reacting to loud noises is a completely natural instinct and one that actually serves a purpose. However, like some of the parents who dose their "hyper" kids up on ADHD meds, some dog owners probably think little of changing what is natural behavior for drugs just for the sake of convenience.

Drug is actually a sedative used for veterinary procedures

The drug, Sileo, works by blocking norepinephrine, a chemical in the dog's brain that is similar to adrenaline. It is given out in pre-filled needleless plastic syringes, which owners place between the dog's gum and lip to administer. The gel is then absorbed by the tissue that lines the dog's cheek. It can start working within 30 minutes to an hour, and its effects last for as long as three hours, at which point another dose can be given if needed.

The drug is actually a smaller dose of a sedative used for minor veterinary procedures. Some vets are expressing concerns about the drug because of its effect on dogs' heart rates. Owners might be tempted to give another dose to their dog before enough time has passed if the animal is experiencing a particularly traumatic response to noise, which could pose serious risks. The drug's manufacturer, Orion, warns owners not to use the drug in dogs with cardiovascular, kidney, liver or respiratory diseases.

Sileo's official website says that it can be given to dogs at the first sign of fear or anxiety related to a noise, and they even suggest giving the first dose as soon as you hear a noise that could cause your dog to be anxious or fearful. For some dog owners, following this instruction could turn into a full-time job, as most dogs naturally react to a broad range of noises.

Owners do report that Sileo helps their pets calm down in the face of triggers like fireworks. Of course, your dog might be too busy vomiting to worry about the noises; this side effect is noted in 4.5 percent of dogs who are given the medication. Other side effects include sedation and drowsiness.

Some dogs have legitimate problems and react to noises in ways that could put their lives in jeopardy, and there is no doubt that the medication can be effective. However, in a society that is obsessed with quick-fix pills, it's likely that some owners will dole it out to their pets at the first sign of trouble (as the instructions direct owners to do), rather than trying to get to the heart of the matter. Administering this gel does not solve the problem; it only tides the dog over until the next event, at which point another dose will be needed.

Drug-free treatments for dog anxiety

Pet owners who truly want to help their pets can try one of the drug-free solutions that have worked for many owners, some of which can yield positive long-term results. Some vets recommend desensitizing the dog using calibrated recordings of the noise that upsets them, in conjunction with positive conditioning, which helps train them not to panic in the face of loud noise.

Some dogs respond well to aromatherapy that uses soothing scents like lavender. Others find security from compression jackets. These garments are designed to apply gentle and constant pressure to the dog, which many find comforting in the same way that swaddling can calm down an infant.

Another step that can be taken is playing music to help drown out the disturbing sounds; some dogs feel calmer when they hear classical music. If fireworks are causing the problem, it can help to close the curtains and turn off the lights in the room to keep visual stimulation to a minimum. You can also try heading to a soundproof area of the house to help your pet feel safe.

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