(For veterinary information only)
The size of the tablet/medication is NOT an indication of a proper dose. Never administer any drug without your veterinarian's input. Serious side effects or death can occur if you use drugs on your pet without your veterinarian's advice.
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Brand Name: Sileo, Dexdomitor
Available as oral gel, injectable
Noise aversion can be a serious problem for a pet dog. Not only is the associated panic unpleasant but the frightened animal can become destructive or even dangerous. It is not unusual for a terrified dog to break down doors or even windows in an escape attempt. The dog may bite or potentially escape from a yard or pen and become lost. The dog is experiencing a panic disorder and likely could do with pharmacological assistance in times when loud noises are expected.
Past remedies have involved acepromazine, which induces drowsiness and impairs mobility without a lot of anxiety reduction. Benzodiazepine tranquilizers, such as alprazolam, have been felt to be superior for relief of panic. In 2016, an oral form of dexmedetomidine became available for use in dogs with noise aversion.
Dexdomitor has been widely used in veterinary anesthesia for decades because it is effective, reversible, and provides good analgesia. The oral gel released for noise phobia uses a low dose of this medication so as to relieve anxiety without inducing sedation. It has applications for other types of anxiety or fear beyond noise phobia and could be used for anxiety associated with travel, visits to the vet, large numbers of visiting guests, or other similar stressful events.
How this Medication is Used
Dexmedetomidine oral gel is administered in the dog's cheek pouch rather than the mouth. The person administering the medication should wear gloves when handling the syringe and medication is ideally given 30-60 minutes before the noise or stressful event is expected. Medication is ideally given 30 to 60 minutes before the noise is expected. Additional doses may be given if necessary but it is important to wait at least two hours between doses. Up to five doses can be given per noise event.
The syringe applicator comes with a dial-up dosing handle. It is important to know where to dial your pet's dose is on the handle. It is equally important to be sure the syringe dial is locked so that when you put the syringe in your dog's mouth and push the plunger, only the correct amount is delivered. If the dial is not locked, your dog can be overdosed so be sure you understand how the syringe correctly. See a how-to video.
If your dog's dose is six dots or more, it is best to split the dose so that half is given in the right cheek pouch and half is given in the left.
If you miss a dose, wait two hours to give another dose. This medication can be given up to 5 times per day as long as at least 2 hours pass between doses.
If dexmedetomidine is delivered in the mouth and not the cheek pouch, it will not absorb properly and will not be effective. If this happens, wait two hours before re-dosing.
Store the syringe inside the box as the product is light sensitive.
Do not feed your dog for 15 minutes after giving it.
Interactions with other Drugs
Use of this product with other tranquilizers or anti-anxiety medications can increase potential for side effects. Be sure your veterinarian is aware of all other medications your dog uses.
The dog's gums may appear pale shortly after administration of dexmedetomidine gel. This is not significant and can be considered a normal reaction if it occurs.
Dexmedetomidine has potential to drop blood pressure and drop heart rate. Neither of these effects should be significant in normal patients.
Dexmedetomidine is an anesthetic drug but should not cause sedation at these doses. That said, sedation might be seen in a sensitive animal.
Concerns and Cautions
Dexmedetomidine gel is for healthy dogs. It should not be used in dogs with heart disease, kidney disease, respiratory compromise, exhaustion, or heat stress.
The dosing syringe is good for four weeks after it is opened and may be used again in this time frame.
Dogs with more deep-seated or long-term anxiety (rather than just fear of loud-noises that occur only periodically) will need a different treatment plan. Dexmedetomidine is for dogs who suffer from noise aversion but not from general anxiety.
Safety of this product has not been evaluated in puppies under 16 weeks of age nor in pregnant or nursing female dogs.
The manufacturer recommends that pregnant women not handle this product.