Loud noises aren’t only an issue around 4th of July and New Year’s. If your pup is having a hard time and anxiety attacks whenever there are some loud sounds outside, you might be searching for a way to help him. If your dog leans into the fear of unknown noises, he may even start to run around, injury himself, ruin your furniture or start panicking in other ways. Many dog owners who want to help their pets may consider Sileo for dogs.
However, how safe is that? And what are the possible risks. As it turns out — there are many!
Sileo is the first FDA approved drug that is used to treat noise related phobias and sensitivities in dogs.
How does Sileo for dogs work?
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 drug works by blocking the norepinephrine receptors. In just about an hour, your dog will feel the effects of Sileo. And the effects are believed to last anywhere from two to three hours.
It seems as if many veterinarians are impressed with Sileo. Not only because of how effective it is, but also how easy it is to administrate the medication.
The developers of Sileo claim that side effects are rare and minor. However, they didn’t give any examples as to what the side effects could look like. But it’s still important to remember that just like with any other drug, not only side effects, but also an overdose is possible.
The veterinary community also stated some concerns:
“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 is in Sileo for dogs?
Sileo’s active ingredient is Dexmedetomidine hydrochloride, a chemical that works as a sedative.
Therefore it’s believed that the side effects are similar to the other ones that occur while administering sedative drugs. Some of them include abnormally low blood pressure, abnormally slow heart action and sinoatrial arrest.
The scariest one of them definitely is sinoatrial arrest. It’s 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. Isn’t that scary?
It’s even scarier knowing that a sinoatrial arrest can lead to a complete cardiac arrest. Meaning that the worst possible complication of Sileo is making your dog’s heart stop — and therefore killing them.
That’s why pet parents do decide to give Sileo for dogs need to take some extra precautions. Monitor your dog after the application and contact your vet immediately if you notice anything out of order.
You will also have to be careful during the application. Make sure to wear gloves so your skin doesn’t come in contact with the gel. If contact does occur, 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 you notice any weird symptoms, contact your physician.
FDA warnings about Sileo for dogs
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. It should be noted that the FDA re-issued a warning regarding Sileo on June 28, 2018.
Thankfully, no deaths due to Sileo have been reported. The makers of Sileo even had the audacity to put out a press release blaming the pet parents for the occurring side effects and complications. More research still has to be done in order to fully understand the impact that Sileo has on dogs.
Unsure about other medications as well? These articles may help: