As autumn draws in, it’s nearly that dreaded time of year again for the animals of the United Kingdom, Bonfire Night. To you and me, the 5th November celebrates the failure of the Gunpowder Plot of 1605 to blow up the Houses of Parliament. To many pets and pet owners, it is an extremely challenging, panic-inducing time.The landscapes of this island nation will be united in several nights of relentless, unceasing thudding and bright flashes; causing strange shadows to fall then lift and powerful vibrations to be felt through the home. Fortunately, there are a number of strategies that can help miminise the effects of noise phobia around the 5th November and some of these will be outlined in a subsequent blog post.
Treatments For Anxiety and Noise Phobia In Animals
There are a variety of medical therapies and treatments available from Two By Two Veterinary Centre to help relieve anxiety due to noise phobia in pets. Often, a combination of treatments can be used to greater effect than any used in isolation.
Supplemental calming aids are a broad category of treatments that vary from dietary additives to herbal remedies. Although veterinary prescription is not required, professional veterinary advice should be sought before using supplements for animals. Some supplements require dosing to begin several weeks in advance of 5th November to have a chance of helping an animal through the firework period. Two By Two Veterinary Centre stocks a variety of supplemental calming aids outlined below.
Pheromone calming aids
When puppies are nursing from their mother, in the first two to three days, she releases an odourless pheromone that calms and soothes them. Dog Appeasing Pheromone has been synthesised and packaged in various forms (plugin diffuser, impregnated collar, spray) as a calming aid that can be used in a variety of stressful circumstances for dogs.
Cats are territorial animals that use scent and pheromone markers to let other cats know where one territory ends and the next begins. Feline Facial Pheromone is planted on surfaces in the core portion of a cat’s territory only. By synthesising this and supplementing it in the form of a plug-in diffuser or spray, it can cause the cat to believe it is in the core of its territory and reduce levels of stress and anxiety.The plug-in diffuser lasts for one month before a refill needs to be sourced.
Sedative medication must be prescribed by a veterinary surgeon and should be considered a ‘quick-fix’ that will reduce or eliminate the signs of noise phobia being displayed by an animal. They do not remedy the exaggerated fear response elicited in an animal due to loud sounds and are usually not a long-term treatment option.Two By Two Veterinary Centre stocks several oral sedative products suitable for use around Bonfire Night. They cannot be listed for further information due to legislative restrictions surrounding the advertisement of veterinary pharmaceuticals.
Remember, remember, pets fear 5th November. So if you are aware of a behavioural issue linked to loud noises, please book a consultation to discuss the options in good time to prepare your pet prior to Bonfire Night and the firework season. Also see our related blog post about managment tips for noise phobia and anxiety caused by fireworks.
Andrew Monchar, Director, Two By Two Veterinary Centre