I love my dog Freja. But she drives me crazy every time there are fireworks. When those fireworks go boom-bam, kablammo, she starts running around frantically and chasing her tail, yelping and whining all the way until the wee hours of the morning. And while shes relatively quiet on this Fourth of July, mainly on account of the fact that my home country celebrates its independence on June 12, a new drug recently approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration may be just what owners need. This drug is able to pacify those spooked-out dogs when loud noises such as those from fireworks get them acting all loopy and uneasy. Wouldnt that be nice for a change, dog owners?

The FDA on Friday approved a drug called Sileo, right on time for todays Fourth of July celebrations. Those in the U.S. can purchase this oral gel via prescription, and if youve got a dog that cant behave himself or herself due to fireworks-induced fear, the drug calms dogs down without having to completely sedate or tranquilize them. That means you can light up those fireworks this Fourth of July without having to worry about emotionally scarring your dog for life or giving him/her a lifelong fear of loud noises.


Its not a tranquilizer, per se, explained Dr. Gary Yarnell of the Rye Harrison Veterinary Hospital in New York, speaking to a San Francisco CBS affiliate. It works on the nervous system to inhibit the release of adrenaline or nor-epinephrine.

Fears of loud noises are nothing unusual for dogs and their owners. And going back to the above example, its a good thing Freja only resorts to barking and chasing her tail and cowering under a table; other dogs have been known to leap through windows or destroy doors in a frantic attempt to escape the loud noises. They may even get hit by cars in their panicked attempts to run away. And its no surprise that Sileos maker Zoetis found in a study that July 5 is the busiest day for animal shelters, with disgruntled owners looking for, or maybe even dropping off their pooches on the day after Independence Day. That might change, though, if this drug gains some traction in the market.

According to Zoetis, Sileo costs $30 per syringe, and each syringe contains enough gel for two doses for an 80 to 100-pound dog, or four doses for a 40-pound dog. Early tests have been encouraging, with 75 percent of dog owners satisfied with Sileos performance, as to only 33 percent for those whose dogs were given a placebo.



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