BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — “Zeus is afraid of loud noises like thunder and fireworks and when those things start happening he’ll start shaking, drooling, he’ll climb in the bath tub and he’ll just start panting and acting very anxious,” said Melissa Andritc, City Creatures Veterinarian.
Zeus is one of millions of dogs across the country that takes anxiety medication like valium that’s also prescribed to people.
“The most commonly used drug is of course Xanax which is like valium and that’s use for anti-anxiety it’s actually labeled for that,” said James Albert, City Creatures Animal Hospital Managing Veterinarian.
Doctor Albert says he encourages dog owners to use a test dose first because some dogs can have an adverse reaction to these medications, and side affects like loss of appetite and heavy sedation.
“Any loud sound any sudden thing that causes the dog to go in a sense of panic and phobia is a normal reaction but it just is much larger and much more intensified than what the threat would be,” said Dr. Albert.
A new first of it’s kind FDA approved prescription veterinary medicine called Sileo may be the answer to a widespread problem.
“It’s kind of like an anesthetic but what’s different about this drug is it’s very rapid acting and it’s very easily used so you just put a little material between the cheek and the gum and within 20 to 40 minutes your dog is calm but not overly sedated,” said Dr. Albert.
Sileo works by blocking a brain chemical similar to adrenaline that pumps up anxiety.
“I probably will try it because if this has the ability to help animals, almost half the animals in their lifetime are going to experience a noise phobia, if it has the ability to help them I’m going to try it,” said Dr. Albert.