Updated: June 21, 2017 (Scroll down to see the FDA WARNING on Sileo)

Fourth of July is right around the corner and we know what that means.  Partying, fireworks and a whole lot of anxiety for your pup’s.  It’s common for many pets to become frightened when hearing loud noises.  Because of that fear, they sometimes end up destroying property, running away, causing injuries to those around them or worse, getting killed by running into traffic.

But a new anti-anxiety drug, Sileo, wants to change that.  Sileo will be available through U.S. veterinarians in the coming week.  Many veterinarians are excited, because this the first FDA approved drug for use in pets to treat noise related phobias and sensitivities.  Presently, what is given to dogs for anxiety are more like tranquilizers (which sedates them) or Xanax.

According to the U.S. distributor of the product, veterinary drug company Zoetis, July 5 is the most common day for frustrated pet owners to drop off their dog off to a shelter.

How It Works

Sileo is applied by taking a needleless syringe that is filled with gel, and applying it to the lining of the dog’s cheek.  The medication goes to work by blocking a particular brain chemical called norepinephrine (think adrenaline for humans).   Within an hour your dog will be flying high as a kite, or really drowsy at least.  It’s estimated to last anywhere from two to three hours.

Many veterinarians seem to be quite impressed with Sileo because of it’s effectiveness, but also due to the fact that it’s much easier to administer than pills.  The company also did some testing.  They took 182 Beagles (Snoopy’s) on New Year’s Eve and administered the drug.  Around 75% of the owners rated it as excellent, as opposed to 33% whose dogs got a placebo.

They mention that the side effects were rare and minor.  What does that mean?  There were no examples given.  But there are concerns in the vet community regarding prescribing it to pet parents, specifically because of the potential to overdose.

“We use it very cautiously here simply because it does have a very significant effect on the heart rate, so we always worry about, especially in an at home setting.” – Dr. Christy Layton, Timberlane Pet Hospital

What’s In Sileo

Sileo’s active ingredient is Dexmedetomidine hydrochloride, which basically is used for sedation.  Some of the side effects are abnormally low blood pressure, abnormally slow heart action and sinoatrial arrest.  Sinoatrial arrest or sinus arrest is when the sinoatrial node of one’s heart stops sending electrical impulses that stimulates myocardial tissue to contract.  Basically, your heart stops beating for a few seconds.  Scary isn’t it? 

What’s even more scary is that sinoatrial arrest can lead to cardiac arrest.  So yes, it’s possible for your pets heart to completely stop and give out.  Essentially, it can kill them

As the pet parent who is administering it, you need to take very special precautions.  You will need to wear impermeable gloves (disposable is fine).  If by chance your skin comes into contact with the gel, Zoetis says you’ll need to, “wash the exposed skin immediately after exposure with large amounts of water and remove contaminated clothes. In case of eye or oromucosal contact, rinse abundantly with fresh water. If symptoms occur, seek the advice of a physician.”

Gosh isn’t that enough to give you a panic attack?  Sileo is looking more toxic and less safe by the minute.  If you want to read more on the other ingredients and it’s characteristics you can go here.

Zoetis’ warning says this:

“Do not use SILEO in dogs with severe cardiovascular disease, respiratory, liver or kidney diseases, or in conditions of shock, severe debilitation or stress due to extreme heat, cold or fatigue or in dogs hypersensitive to dexmedetomidine or to any of the excipients. SILEO should not be administered in the presence of preexisting hypotension, hypoxia or bradycardia. Do not use in dogs sedated from previous dosing. SILEO has not been evaluated in dogs younger than 16 weeks of age or in dogs with dental or gingival disease that could have an effect on the absorption of SILEO. SILEO has not been evaluated for use in breeding, pregnant or lactating dogs. Transient pale mucous membranes at the site of application may occur with SILEO use. Other uncommon adverse reactions included emesis, drowsiness or sedation. Handle gel-dosing syringes with caution to avoid direct exposure to skin, eyes or mouth.”

 

FDA WARNING:

No surprise that on May 23, 2017 the United States Food and Drug Administration released a statement that warns both pet owners and veterinarians about the risk of overdosing dogs with Sileo.  Over half of the reported overdose dogs had the following symptoms: lethargy, sedation, sleepiness, slow heart rate, loss of consciousness, shallow or slow breathing, trouble breathing, impaired balance or incoordination, low blood pressure and muscle tremors.  The overdoses seemed to have happened due to the “ring-stop” mechanism on the syringe.

To be fair no deaths have been reported, but Zoetis (maker of Sileo) was sure to quickly put out a press release and blame the pet parents.  Yes, as pet parents it’s our responsibility to care for our fur babies, but doesn’t Zoetis have a responsibility to consumers?  How about creating something less toxic?  Or creating a better syringe to ensure that overdoses and potential deaths don’t happen?  Unfortunately, it seems like it will fall on deaf ears and that Zoetis could really care less.

Natural Alternatives

  • Thundershirts:  It applies a gentle and constant pressure on your dogs torso.  The compression is thought to calm them.  Now this was originally made for pets who get scared during thunderstorms.  But thunderstorms and fireworks are similar.  We have a friend whose dog suffered from separation anxiety, after using this the dog calmed down and no longer suffers as a result.
  • Calming Nerves: Chamomile, dragon bone (herb), Magnesium, Vitamin B Complex and Melatonin are all natural ways to help calm your pups nerves.

As always, before taking anything, consult a veterinary professional or nutritionist on the dosage for the above supplements.

Will you be giving your dog Sileo?  Comment below and don’t forget to share!

42 thoughts on “Is Sileo For Dogs Dangerous? Yes, And Here’s Why It Could Kill.

  1. Will never use Sileo! I have worked for Veterinarians and use this drug for many things, none of which are as described here. I see many dogs in danger due to pet parents accidental misuse. Thundershirts are wonderful things, based on the TTouch method of training, and they work!

    1. We so agree! Thundershirts are wonderful and definitely work quite well! Thank you for reading, we appreciate the comment and have a wonderful week! 🙂

      1. I will just say this about Thundershirts…………They work on some dogs and not on others. I tried a Thundershirt on my Lakeland Terrier about a year after I got her because she is terrified of thunder. It only made her worse! However, some dogs cannot or do not want to be comforted during storms. Like my Lakie, she’s always been a very calm dog but skitzy about noises of any kind and during storms she walks the floor panting and drooling. She won’t be held for any length of time at all. She just wants to roam and pant until the storm is over. It’s exhausting just to watch her and not be able to help. My vet said that for some dogs, such as mine, Thundershirts just don’t work. Don’t be too upset if they don’t work for your dog. The best thing to do is find a natural product that works. Melatonin is good but it should be given in an animal product, not the human products. The dosage in a human product could be far too strong and do more damage than good.

        1. Regarding Melatonin and dosing, this is why you should consult a professional before administering.

          1. She did say use an animal products not a human product, she sounds smart enough that I think she consulted a vet before using the melatonin.

    2. I have thirteen dogs of different breeds and sizes mostly rescue .. We have tried Thundershirtss on many of the dogs for different situations in the past and NONE of them have had ANY effect at all.

      1. Thank you for your comment Lyn. If Thundershirts don’t work, have you tried any other natural alternatives?

  2. We’ve tried it all including the Thundershirt and just about every ‘natural’ remedy we could find. Nothing at all worked for our girl, Dottie. She’s a rescued approximately 4 year old 45 pound Dalmatian/Shepherd mix. She’s bright, playful and attempts to be alpha to her live in partner, Java who is a 90 pound chocolate lab rescued from a puppy mill after she contracted mange. Dottie’s hips and rear legs are not lined up properly which causes her to sit and lie down favoring her right side. We, including our vets, are theorizing that she was hit by a car at some point and it did not heal correctly. And after watching her fear factor multiply 100 times during storms and fireworks we also theorize that she was hit by a car directly due to her heightened fear.

    In desperation for Dottie and to keep her from so obviously suffering, we finally decided to try out Sileo. We were sick watching her tremble uncontrollably while attempting to crawl under coffee table, chairs, recliners, beds, nightstands, etc. Some people are content to put their babies into a cage or locked room and leave it at that…but we’re not built like that…the problem is still there whether we witness it or not.

    After following all the warnings we administered the med during an ongoing tstorm. Over a half hours time we noticed that she was relaxing more and more. She finally got to the point, during the storm, of calmly laying down in a dark portion of the dining room (next to our living room) and, for the first time, appeared contented with her ears up and not pinned back. She even ate a treat which she normally would never to during a tstorm.

    We continue to infrequently use it and only for extreme storms/fireworks. We’re very satisfied with the results and, most importantly, so is Dottie.

    1. Dottie and Java sound absolutely beautiful and are so very fortunate to have a family that is as loving and caring as you. We definitely agree about not putting them in a cage or room…the problem will still persist and could even aggravate it further. Continuous stress and anxiety is bad, especially for the heart. And with heart disease being so common, it’s important to keep our fur kids as calm as possible.

      I always say, “different strokes for different folks.” Because of biology, environmental factors, genetics, etc we all (humans and pets) react to both pharmaceutical and natural treatments differently. Sometimes one is more responsive to natural treatments and other times they are more responsive to medication. It really depends. But, at the end of the day it’s what’s best for your pet and in this case, Dottie is really benefiting.

      With that said, I think with anything, natural or otherwise, responsible use is crucial. You are demonstrating that perfectly by using Sileo only in extreme cases. And as long as Dottie is doing better, that’s what matters.

      Thank you for reading and commenting, we appreciate you!

    2. I agree with you. Silio has done wonders for my poor, frightened dog during storms. It’s wonderful to see her settle down and sleep,as opposed to panting, hitting her head against the wall, digging her paws into the wood floor, etc. I’m afraid she will cause herself harm because she is so crazy when she is afraid.
      NONE of the organic or thundershirts have even come close to working. i’ll stick with the Sileo. It’s likea miracle.

    3. I was very interested in your reply. I have a rescue fox hound grey hound mix. He is about 54 pounds. Easy going, gentle but over the edge with noise anxiety. Luka is good most of the winter but once thunder storms, fireworks heavy rains start, he suffers beyond words from Spring to Fall. His Thunder shirt is a bit effective for short lived noises but even high doses of Xanax give him no relief during sustained noise phobia. He cannot be comforted, tries franticly to dig a hole in the floor. Pants, trembles, paces in utter distress. Luka has injured himself during these episodes. No natural remedy has made a difference. I am considering Sileo for those awful times of suffering.

  3. I have given my Lakeland Terrier Sileo about 4 times, during bad thunderstorms. Since giving it to her, she refuses to eat unless force fed. This is the first time in her 6 years that she has ever turned her nose up at food. She’s been checked by the vet and she is not sick, not loosing much weight and still active. She just doesn’t want her food or treats anymore since the Sileo treatments. I think this drug is altering the dogs ability to taste and smell because of the delivery of it in the mucous membranes of the mouth. Very dangerous thing and I never would have given it had I suspected any type of reaction such as this. Not enough testing done by the drug manufacturer or FDA in my opinion. Just another drug company wanting to make money!

    1. Hi Kathryn,

      I’m sorry about your fur baby. It brings back memories of us vaccinating Angelo when he was little. Shortly after he had issues with losing fur and skin disorders. Vet couldn’t find anything really wrong and for years it went on. All the drugs and changing kibbles didn’t help. Not until we began titering and did a total lifestyle overhaul did he begin to turnaround. While not totally ideal, we’re grateful that you were able to put the pieces together regarding Sileo. Because of it, you can cut it out completely and start the process of healing your pet.

      At the end of the day we (vets and consumers) need to stop sanctifying what these drug companies say as gospel. I agree that more research and testing is needed. In the interim, try some of the natural methods that we suggested in the article. Melatonin is a great natural alternative, you just need to figure out the dosing. Another interesting fact you might appreciate is that melatonin is shown to increase longevity, you can read the study here: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0005272806000673

      Thank you for reading and keep us updated on your fur baby.

  4. My fur baby Oscar and the boy of my heart died after taking this. He was a 5 year old Sheltie. The drug company Zoetis sent his little body to Illinois for necropsy (from Maine). Results came back that Oscar had cancer. He had no symptoms. He had not been diagnosed with cancer, walked 4 miles a day with me. He died a sudden and frightening death. I received the report about his cancer but nothing about toxicity. Also received his cremated remains which I had not authorized as I wanted to have a necropsy performed independent of the drug company. He came home in a beautiful carved box with a gold plaque. He passed away on July 15, 2016. I would just like to know if anyone else has experienced this. Were they just doing the right thing or is this a really dangerous drug?

    1. Hi Andrea,

      We are so sorry to hear about Oscar. We can only imagine how heartbroken and upset you are, please accept our deepest condolences for your little boy. Regarding the unauthorized cremation, we’ve seen and heard multiple stories of drug companies and unscrupulous veterinarians doing the same thing to other pet parents. It’s always best to send the body to an independent lab first, that way you can get an accurate and (hopefully) honest assessment. In this instance, you could potentially have grounds to sue Zoetis. But you would need to speak to a licensed attorney regarding that.

      As for Sileo having anything to do with Oscar’s death, the jury remains out on that. We’re not medical experts, but sometimes certain drugs and even supplements can cause death in pets. It’s hard to say, especially because we don’t know if Oscar really did have cancer or if it’s something that Zoetis just put on the report. That would be illegal and unethical, but just look at Trifexis for example. Thousands of pets have suffered and died because of Trifexis, yet Eli Lilly continues to refute such claims. It’s a slippery slope with pharmaceuticals. We put our trust in veterinarians and they put their trust in these drug companies. In the end, the drug companies and veterinarians win, financially speaking. While we and our pups receive the short end of the stick and sometimes suffer for it.

      We encourage you to reach out to media outlets, facebook groups and other pet parents who may have had adverse effects with Sileo. Telling your story can help incite change and more importantly it will give caution to anyone who is considering giving this drug to their fur babies.

      Keep us updated and may Oscar rest in peace.

    2. Sudden death from cancer in dogs is not that uncommon. A friend of mine had a wonderful Golden named Dexter. Dexter and I were extremely close. The day before he died he ran 100 yards full speed to greet me and we had a big love fest no sign of any problems at all. The next day I got a call from my friend Dexter was in really bad shape and he needed help getting him in the car. I came right over we got him in the car, Dexter died in about an hour due a ruptured blood vessel due to being full of cancer in his abdomen. This does not excuse the cremation if you requested they not then they shouldn’t have, you have every right to have an autopsy done by someone of your choice. I may have sued, it wouldn’t bring your dog back but they would stop ignoring owners requests.

  5. These comments completely FREAK ME OUT!!! My baby is one and a half. We have tried EVERYTHING! The thunder shirt, natraul,Xanax.. It had a reverse effect on him.. He acted crazy! So I can’t stand to see him suffer anymore from him horrible anxiety! It hurts me. I have never been able to have any bio children. I have two step children. I love as my own.
    My puppy’s ARE MY children. I lost my girl at her age of 16 and that almost killed me. My husband couldn’t stand to see me as I was after her death. So after almost a year we got my baby boy.. Presley..
    Now reading all these comments I’m deathly afraid to give this medicine to my baby!
    I have tried EVERYTHING to help him as I can’t bare to see him as he gets with storms..
    What do I do? HELP!!

    1. Hi Amy,

      We’re so sorry to hear about your little girl and her passing. Our two little ones are our children as well, so we can only imagine the pain you feel.

      Regarding some alternatives for anxiety. Have you tried melatonin? It’s natural, but also works in many pups (including our own). You just need to get the dosing right. How many pounds does Presley weigh? Melatonin is also a natural anti oxidant, and helpful with increasing longevity.

      We stand by the products of one particular company called Resources (we use their cardiovascular formula). They have a natural calming supplement that you might want to look at. Here is the link: http://www.onlynaturalpet.com/products/Kemin-Resources-Anxiety-Stress/152006.aspx

      Just like with human health it’s never one size fits all. We just need to keep going through the motions and doing our best to find what works for our babies.

      Please keep us posted and wishing you much luck and love.

    2. Hi Amy;
      My Lakeland Terrier is 6 yrs. old now and has finally recovered for the most part from being given Sileo. It rendered her not wanting to eat for several weeks and I had to literally force feed her by hand. She is almost back to normal, eating without coaxing about 75% of the time but I will NEVER give her that medication again, no matter how panicked she gets from storms. The natural product from Kemin sounds like a great product in that it contains totally natural ingredients from herbs and botanical extractions. I’m going to order some for my baby after reading about it. The secret to giving a natural product is to give it as soon as you know a storm is approaching because natural products take longer to get into the bloodstream and do their work. I am very sympathetic to you regarding your dog and the storms. It’s hurtful to see them so distraught…..panting, hiding and in a state of panic. I live in SO. Alabama and we have storms almost weekly so anything I can give as a natural product sounds wonderful. I would highly recommend trying something like a natural product over Sileo. As we all know, drugs can have some horrible side affects for animals as well as humans.

  6. My dog is an 8 year old Great Pyrenees. He will not go to the bathroom outside during prolonged periods of thunder storms- instead, opting to hold it until he can’t any longer and goes inside the house. He has hidden everywhere, including the bath tub.

    While at the vet, for a nail trim, he told us about Sileo and we purchased the product. We give a little less than the recommended dose and within a half hour he is alert, calmly laying down, and no heavy panting- apparently stress free. I have only administered it twice, but I am very grateful to have this option and my dog is too.

    1. Hi Sierra,

      That’s great news for your little one. I always say, “different strokes for different folks” and in this case Sileo worked well for your pup. While our stance on Sileo (and most pharmaceutical drugs) remain cautionary, we understand that in certain circumstances it is needed.

      Good luck and please keep us posted on his progress.

  7. Thundershirts do not do squat for dogs with genuine noise phobia. They are however very useful in combination with xanax or ativan, and lying down hugging the dog for the duration.

    1. Hi Mona,

      Thanks for responding. Thundershirts weren’t the only suggestion, I’m quite aware they don’t work for everyone. Some have success others don’t. That’s how the world works.

      I have a pup who has noise phobia and does well using some of the calming herbs/supplements that I mentioned. However, I like your idea of lying down with one’s dog and hugging them. I noticed that does help as well.

  8. Please STOP using death as a tactic dogadvertiser! When this drug is correctly prescribed and administered it will save countless dog and dog parents from the pain severe anxiety causes. I could not watch my fur baby go thru the shaking, panting and crying during another thunderstorm or firework holiday. I could not risk her escape When the door opened and fear caused her to bolt. I took every possible solution to the extreme before trying this medication. It has saved her sanity and her life.

    1. Jennifer,

      I’m happy that your little one is doing better, if you’ve bothered to read my replies to previous commenters (which I surmise you did not), you would have seen that I always say, “different strokes for different folks.” If it works for your fur baby then great. But that doesn’t take away from the fact that there could be very REAL consequences from using this drug or any other drug for that matter. Dog’s cannot speak for themselves, therefore it is imperative that as a pet parent we take any and all precautions that are necessary.

      I’m not against using pharmaceuticals (so long as the reward outweighs the risk), but before I wrote this post, there were NO OTHER blogs or news outlets that laid out the con’s of Sileo, there were only praises being said. Wouldn’t you want to know both the positive and the negatives? Don’t you want to understand both sides? If you don’t care to hear the ‘other side’ of any argument, then I find that disturbing and potentially dangerous.

      Also, I’m unsure what you mean by using “death as a tactic.” So laying out the FACTS and translating Zoetis’ (maker of Sileo) own warning and risks to my readers should be prohibited? Zoetis’ own literature gives warnings, even the FDA issued a warning on overdosing with Sileo. Do you think I pull things out of thin air and make them up? Obviously you haven’t read of the links I provided so that YOU as the consumer can make a sound decision. Using Sileo or any drug for that matter is a pet parents prerogative, but don’t you think that by not FULLY understanding the potential pitfalls is not only a disservice to your fur baby, but also a real risk?

      So before you start requesting that I censor my blog, start requesting more transparency from big pharma…unless you are being paid by Zoetis, then I suppose the truth matters very little to you.

      1. I think the main issue I have here is that you refer to the drug as “toxic” and that’s the reason humans can’t touch it during application. It’s not “toxic” to human, it’s just delivered transdermally! Therefore, unless the human user wants to also does himself, just avoid contact during application. My cat’s thyroid medication is delivered in a cream that is absorbed transdermally, through the skin just inside the ear. I can’t touch it either during application, or I too, would be exposed to a dose of thyroid medication. That’s doesn’t mean it’s “toxic”. I am desperate to calm my dogs prolonged anxiety attacks and no other herbal, pharmocological or behavior modification/Thundershirts have helped. I’m thinking that Ziva’s heart is more liable to pop from her agonizing bouts of prolonged stress than a carefully administered dose of Sileo. I am willing to try anything at this point, she is miserable from April to October in the Midwestern US.

        1. First of all, I’m sorry about Ziva. I agree that the bouts of prolonged stress is hard on the heart. If you’ve read my blog, you would know that I have a pup with mitral valve disease. Now, if you have read the comments above, you would see that I say, “different strokes for different folks.” What works for some may not work for others. If you feel Sileo will help (as it appears it has helped some commenters on here) then you should go with that.

          Also, I never specifically said it was toxic to humans. But, what you are saying is that because a drug is administered through a transdermal route, then it qualifies as being non-toxic?

          You say that your cats thyroid cream is delivered through transdermal means, and the only reason why you can’t touch it is because you would be exposed to the thyroid medication. But if it’s safe, what’s the worry about being exposed to the medication? Could it be that exposure to certain chemicals and medication might not be good for you and that there is potential for some kind of poisoning?

          I suggest you look up transdermal toxins and transdermal poisoning, it might open your eyes.

          Good luck with Ziva, and keep me posted on her.

  9. Sileo has been a miracle for my dog. I tried thunder shirts, rescue remedy, melatonin, VAP, etc..None of it worked. She would tremble, pant, drool, shake. Poor girl really suffered. I heard about Sileo and tried it last summer. She is now able to endure thunder storms and fireworks. Don’t knock it unless you try it. Yeah, there’s a risk, but there’s also a risk of cardiac arrest and disease due to chronic high levels of cortisol. Also, noise aversion can worsen without intervention. I feel like Sileo has dramatically improved her life.

    1. I’m glad that Sileo has worked for your fur baby. If you’ve read my comments to others you will see that I do say what may work for one may not work for another. Essentially, it’s different strokes for different folks.

      However, I don’t have to try something in order to know that it could be or is harmful. Would I have to take a few lines of cocaine in order to know how bad it is? Very doubtful, but I’m sure many of those who regularly use cocaine would disagree with my negative stance on it.

      I also don’t understand why you are bringing up high levels of cortisol. Cortisol is a hormone that lowers when melatonin is administered, and thus would help with your pups stress level and decrease the chance of potential cardiac arrest. I’m unsure what you are implying as I have not recommended anything that would increase cortisol levels. But since you are bringing it up, are you aware that continued use of certain drugs (yes, like Prednisone, a pharmaceutical that you get from the vet) such as corticosteroids can induce Hyperadrenocorticism (which is again traced back to high cortisol levels)?

      Furthermore, if your dog has consistent chronic levels of cortisol then you would know that they may have a far more serious problem such as cushings disease.

      Then again, I’m sure you already knew all of this. 🙂

  10. I work at a vet clinic and treat my own noise averse dog with Sileo. It’s been a godsend.
    You admit that you aren’t medical professionals, so why don’t you leave advising pet parents about medication to the doctors who have gone to school and devoted their lives to the science of animal health. It’s a lot more complex than linking to other unqualified people with a webpage and anecdotes.

    1. Hi Bunny,

      I take anyone who refers to a drug as a “godsend” with a grain of salt. You sound more like a salesperson than anything else. Of course many Doctors do get paid to promote drugs, could that be why you want someone like me to stay out of it? If you are a veterinarian (which I surmise you aren’t) shouldn’t you be saving lives, treating animals and properly advising pet parents on how to best care for their fur kids? And not browsing through irrelevant blogs of non-medical professionals?

      Now, if you aren’t a veterinarian, then you are equally as “unqualified” as any other non medical profesional. A vet tech or front desk receptionist (which I think you are the latter) really has no proper medical training either. And the only thing complex thing you probably are upset about is your potential bonus. Sileo is the rage, especially during the 4th of July. This means that Sileo probably increased their payments to Doctors to promote it (such as the vet clinic you work for), in turn, the Doctors would be prescribing more of it as well. Don’t bother denying it, it’s fact that as payments increase to doctors, so do prescriptions http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2016/03/17/470679452/drug-company-payments-mirror-doctors-brand-name-prescribing

      Where does some of that extra promotion money trickle down to? Oh yes, to employees like you who seek to silence bloggers like myself. So there isn’t anything ‘complex’ about understanding this. As always, it comes down to money with people like you.

      Now, last question, since you are so cerebral and much more intelligent than I am, what other unqualified people have I linked to? What anecdotes have I provided? Providing a link to a statement from the FDA is considered anecdotal now? If so, the question should be, who are you REALLY working for?

  11. My deer head chihuahua Velvet, is afraid of rain.. of course in a storm her fear it increased 100%. But just rain makes her pant and vibrate, you can not put a Thunder Shirt, it makes her worse. All the natural remedies have been tried to no use. The vet has her on xanax. But during the summer she gets it a couple of times a day.
    She started this when she was about 3 years old and I elected to get her the vaccine for heartworms. They said it would last 6 months and the cost was about the same. Well she stopped eating, and her behavior changed. Her eyes started to lose their color. I took her to the vet to find out she was bleeding in her retina and every month around the day the vaccine was given she would not eat and she would bleed in her retina. For 6 long long months we battled to keep her alive.. After about 7 months she started eating and the bleeding stopped. Her eye specialist that comes to my city only once a month said she would get back some of her vision but we could never know how much. He stopped short of blaming the vaccine but did say it could have caused this.
    Velvet started to fear rain. She starts panting and freaking before the first drop of rain falls..
    I want them to try Buspar but so far the vet just trreats her with xanax.
    We can not put her in a dark room, she destroys the doors by clawing her way out, no crate, she does damage to herself trying to claw her way out.
    If it’s raining I don’t get any sleep with dog in a frantic state.. she will throw herself into doors that are closed trying to find some place to go to escape the rain outside..
    I am open to any suggestions because my vet has none and the xanax does calm her to a degree anyway..

  12. The scare tactics from non veterinary professionals are a huge pet peeve. You have to wear gloves with this medication because it is trans mucosal and as that’s one step from trans dermal the concern is that people would be dosing themselves accidentally. Sileo works great in my dog. I’ll add that i still have her in her thundershirt AND dose her with trazadone to keep her calm. The dial mechanism isn’t the best for administration and I can see if someone isn’t careful it is easy to not lock it in place. I’d like to see zoetis design something different for that. Dexmeditomidine is an amazing drug and the veterinary community was thrilled when it came out. It’s an injectable drug which can be reversed which is the biggest bonus of it. It is not safe to use in animals that have cardiac disease because of its mechanism of action. That’s why veterinarians have to have a recent exam of your dog prior to prescribing Sileo. EVERY DRUG can have a side effect INCLUDING “natural” “herbal” “supplement” drugs.
    For the record, I’m a registered veterinary technician with 20years emergency/critical care experience in small animal practice (cats/dogs) and now I work with non human primates where I still use dexmeditomidine on a daily basis.
    I appreciate the place you’re coming from with these articles. You love you pets. I get it. I’m so glad you do. There are a lot of people out there who shouldn’t have pets and it breaks my heart. Please quit assuming your veterinarian is trying to kill your dog by providing a treatment that THEY have the medical education to determine is or isn’t an option for your pet. If you’re still not comfortable with a recommendation that’s fine. Any good vet will work with you on other options.

    1. Hi Monika,

      I appreciate your comment, but I don’t state that “my vet” is trying to kill my dog. If you have taken the time to read my other blog posts (which I surmise you haven’t) then you would see that I actually have two vets. I consult with a conventional veterinarian and a holistic veterinarian. For the record, my husband and I love and respect them both. Why? Because they not only SHARE in our concerns, but they also RESPECT our beliefs.

      If we are being honest, far too many veterinarians over-vaccinate and over-medicate. I have yet to come across a veterinarian who practices only traditional medicine and adheres to the AAHA vaccination guidelines. Instead, most ignore the 3 year recommendation for core vaccines and vaccinate every year. What’s the point? You can’t say that because there isn’t immunity present, you would only be able to tell that if you took a titer test. And I know how much some vets loathe titers. So again, what’s the point? To make money right? Vaccinations are a good revenue source and I definitely respect ANYONE and EVERYONE who runs a business, BUT NOT at the expense of my fur kids. I’m not discounting the fact that there are good and well meaning veterinarians out there, but there are far more money grubbing ass holes who are circling the pockets of pet parents.

      Your comment regarding veterinarians having the medical education to determine if something is good or not for a pet is true. They do have the education and should have the capacity to properly inform you. But who polices those decisions? No one really. So as pet parents, are we supposed to just go along with what a doctor says because they have the “education” and we don’t? Isn’t that saying that doctors are godlike or GOD? Are you saying that we should put our full faith in a doctor and not question ANYTHING they recommend? That in itself is absolutely asinine. As a veterinary technician or someone in the medical field, you should be able to identify countless cases where a patient (or pet parent) did not just give up hope, defied all odds and came out healthier and stronger than ever. Meaning, the doctor was proved wrong.

      Regarding the scare tactics. Pointing out the very real and potential side effects of a drug is scaring people? Sometimes you have to put things in plain English for some to understand, and these side effects aren’t things I’m pulling out of thin air, they are coming directly from the drug company. Furthermore, you can accuse me of using scare tactics, but don’t these trusted medical professionals do the same? Going back to vaccinations. If a pet parent questions why a veterinarian is always giving the pups a series of shots every year, what is the veterinarian going to say? Will they say that it’s because the vaccinations are a good revenue source? NO. They’ll say that if your dog doesn’t get the shots, that they can catch various diseases and get very sick and die. Isn’t that a scare tactic? Sure, it’s partially true…if we were talking about a non-vaccinated animal but we’re talking about animals that more than likely have immunity. As a side note, I doubt the AAHA would have updated the guidelines to giving core vaccinations every 3 years+ if there wasn’t evidence that veterinarians were over-vaccinating our fur kids.

      Thank you for commenting. I appreciate you reading this little site and always appreciate hearing another persons point of view…even if we do disagree.

      Have a great week Monika!

  13. My border collie is 12 years old and has always been super noise aversive. We live in Florida where we have near DAILY thunderstorms….lightning capital of the world!! Needless to say, she is miserable from May through September. She has gotten worse as she gets older. We have tried EVERYTHING out there….thundershirts, natural remedies, other pharmaceuticals…my husband even built her a special sound proofed white noised “doggie cave”, which she loves….when it isn’t storming. With Sileo, she goes from a crazed, panting, panicking lunatic running around madly…to a relatively calm comfortable sweetie. That said, I under dose her by a bit because of her age, metabolism and just to be safe. Nothing else has worked for her and it was pure misery to see her suffer.

    1. I agree with giving a slightly lower dose to be on the safe side. I only tried Sileo recently because my dogs are 11 and 12 and the natural remedies and thundershirts were becoming less effective. My vet had offered it over a year ago but I was hesitant. Then came the night we had fireworks and a thunderstorm. One of my dogs has had spinal cord surgery and is not supposed to jump, climb or make sudden start/stops. We had to restrain her after she started jumping on and off the bed and running around the house. She was crying and it wasn’t long before I was crying. Our other dog was shaking, panting and drooling. The next day I was bruised and scratched. That’s when I got Sileo. It worked for them even at a lower dose than prescribed. It doesn’t knock them out but I can get them to be still. They definitely need to work on that syringe though. One of mine didn’t work properly so I would say be very careful. Also, I would only use it if it’s really necessary.

  14. How to Cure Thunderphobia

    Fear is an unconscious response to perceived danger, controlled by the sympathetic nervous system.

    1.) When a dog perceives imminent danger, he will usually exhibit one of three possible responses: flee, freeze, or fight.

    2.) There is virtually no difference between feeling off-balance physically and feeling off-balance emotionally. When any organism is off balance, it seeks a way to re-stabilize itself. So I don’t look at dogs just from their external behaviors but also from the flow and fluctuations of their emotional states and their feelings of physical stability, which are clearly reflected in their body language.

    3.) All behavior is, in some way, a product of emotion. As the word itself implies, emotions are about movement. They act as a force on the animal mind. In fact, one can clearly see the emotional force a dog exerts when he’s barking as opposed to the lack of force when he’s trembling in fear.

    In cases of thunderphobia, the dog will either freeze, trembling terribly, or run away, usually to the bathroom, basement, or kitchen. Only in rare instances will a dog “fight back.” The emotions of the first two dogs are temporarily frozen. All that’s left is fear. But with the third dog, even though he’s in a partial fear state, his emotions are starting to move.

    From this perspective, because the first two dogs are in a state of deep fear, their bodies, their physical frames, have become de-stabilized. But the third dog has re-stabilized himself physically to some degree by planting his paws and his weight. Once he starts barking, his body language changes even more. His head and tail become more and more erect. He’s no longer panicked, he starts to feel in control, at least to some degree.

    So during a thunderstorm, when a dog is trembling, panting, perhaps whining, etc., and I can get him to give me a good, loud, solid bark, and praise him for barking, guess what happens? His ears and tail come up, his fear starts to dissipate and, as I encourage him to bark more and more furiously, he’s able to stabilize both his physical frame and his frazzled emotions.

    Then, once he gets all that fear out of his system (or most of it), I massage him, then tell him to go lie down again. And when he does, he shifts around, sighs a bit, then goes back to sleep.

    In most cases, the next time there’s a thunderstorm, the dog either ignores it completely and sleeps through it, or he lifts his head for a bit, vocalizes softly, then goes back to sleep.

    1. I will have to try this my 3 1/2yr old Chi has become worse since we had tornado damage a couple of years ago . We had roofers and then 4th of July back to back and he simply did not recover. He was fine prior to those events. I have tried Composure Chews,Thunder shirt,xanax , CBD oil. Acepromazine is what works for him and it has been used for this for many years. He is so smart he knows if the weather radio goes off he runs to hide and I have a warning on my phone and this makes him start to hide as well.
      As Acepromazine is a sedative in the right dosage for some pets it takes the edge off.. Now there are some breeds more suseptable to the effects and need lower dosing In the past I always used 1/4 dose first and go up in 1/4 increments until I find what works… This isn’t my first go round. Thank you for a new perspective.

  15. We were given sileo to get today due to my 11 year old staff being petrified of fireworks iv never given him anything in the past and have no idea why I decided to try now unfortunately the stoper on the syringe broke whilst administration and he had the whole syringe so 4 × the amount he was meant to have!!! At the time of posting this it’s been 3 hours since he had it and according to the vet the high time fortunately he seems ok apart from very sleepy he is still very aware tonight will be a long sleepless night to be sure he is ok but I will never try anything like this again

    1. Keep us posted on your little one Carly. We are sending good thoughts and hope all works out and he is well.

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