The explosions and whistles of Fourth of July fireworks displays may become less bothersome to dogs administered a new prescription medication from Zoetis Inc.
The Florham Park, N.J., company today released Sileo (dexmedetomidine oromucosal gel), a treatment approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for noise aversion in dogs.
A single dose of Sileo given 30 to 60 minutes before the start of a noisy, anxiety-generating event is effective for two to three hours, Zoetis stated. Dog owners can use a prefilled syringe at home to deliver the gel between the animal’s cheek and gum, where the drug is absorbed.
Noise aversion is common in dogs, said Philadelphia veterinarian Karen L. Overall, VMD, Ph.D., Dipl. ACVB.
“Fear of noises may affect almost half of all dogs in their lifetimes,” Dr. Overall said. “It is one of the most common co-morbid canine behavioral conditions, and it worsens other behavioral conditions. Behavioral pathology is progressive, so early recognition, diagnosis and treatment are essential.”
Sileo is the first FDA-approved treatment for noise aversion in dogs, Zoetis reported.
Compared with sedation, Sileo permits dogs to function normally, the company added.
“We know that noise aversion has been difficult to treat, is stressful for pet owners and can be traumatic for their dogs,” said Shelley L. Stanford, DVM, MS, MBA, group director of companion animal veterinary professional services at Zoetis. “Sileo works the way veterinarians and pet owners need it to work, calming dogs while allowing them to interact normally with the family.”
The drug may not be appropriate for all dogs. For example, animals suffering from severe cardiovascular disease or respiratory, liver or kidney disease should not be given Sileo, according to Zoetis.
Sileo is sold in the United States under a license agreement with the drug’s European developer, Orion Pharma Finland.