Sileo for Dogs: Sileo is the first and only FDA-approved medication to help relieve your dog’s noise anxiety and fear. It works by temporarily reducing the sound sensitivity that often causes these fearful behaviors.
- Sileo is a gel formula that is squirted between your dog’s cheek and gum. The active ingredient, dexmedetomidine, gets absorbed into the bloodstream to help calm those fearful reactions.
- The effects start within 30-60 minutes and last for 3-4 hours. So Sileo can be given before a loud fireworks show or storm is expected to provide some needed relief to your pup.
- It’s important to note that Sileo is NOT a sedative – it just reduces reactivity to noise. Your dog will still be awake and able to function normally.
Side effects are generally mild but may include sedation, lack of energy or coordination, vomiting, or pale gums. That’s why it’s key to follow the dosing carefully and supervise your dog after giving Sileo. Call your vet if you have any concerns.
While Sileo is not meant for long-term, daily use, it gives a fearful dog a much-needed break from all that anxiety and stress. It’s one more tool to help our four-legged friends cope and feel more at ease.
How Does Sileo Work to Treat Noise Aversion in Dogs?
Sileo is a gel medication that contains the active ingredient dexmedetomidine hydrochloride. Dexmedetomidine is an alpha-2 adrenoceptor agonist that works by affecting certain receptors in your dog’s body.
Specifically, Sileo helps control noise aversion in dogs by:
- Binding to alpha-2 adrenoceptors in the brain and central nervous system
- Reducing release of neurotransmitters like norepinephrine
- Having a calming, anti-anxiety effect without overly sedating your dog
This helps minimize your dog’s stress response and extreme anxiety from noises like thunderstorms or fireworks. It activates parts of the nervous system that lower heart rate, blood pressure and general nervous system arousal.
The effects set in within 2 hours and can last up to 5 hours. Most dogs show:
- Decreased shaking, panting, pacing
- Less attempts to run away or hide
- Improved ability to remain calm and relaxed
With proper dosing, Sileo gently eases anxiety without causing excessive drowsiness. This allows your dog to remain awake and aware of their surroundings.
It’s important to note that Sileo does not entirely block noise sensitivity. But it does significantly relieve associated anxiety and panic. Along with medication, continue desensitization training and calming techniques.
By adjusting key receptors in the nervous system, Sileo helps significantly improve quality of life for noise phobic dogs. It’s an invaluable treatment option for pups prone to extreme stress from noises like thunder, fireworks or construction sounds.
Is Sileo Safe for My Dog? Potential Side Effects
Sileo is generally considered safe for use in dogs, but it still has the potential to cause some side effects, especially at higher doses. Here’s what you need to know about using this medication safely:
- Sileo can cause some mild side effects like drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, excessive thirst, decreased appetite, panting or agitation. These are usually temporary and resolve once the dose is lowered or the medication stopped.
- More concerning is the potential for overdose. Since Sileo contains the drug gabapentin, too high a dose can cause severe side effects like sedation, incoordination, tremors or even seizures in some cases.
- That’s why it’s critical to use ONLY as prescribed by your vet and NOT in combination with other sedatives or anxiety medications. This lowers the risks significantly.
- For some dogs, vets may recommend doing a “test dose” under observation first to assess for any hypersensitivity or paradoxical reactions like increased anxiety before prescribing for home use.
- You should monitor your dog closely after first administering Sileo, including checking their breathing, heart rate and watching for any signs of distress. Contact your vet if anything seems abnormal.
- Long term use (over several months) could potentially lead to liver or pancreatic issues in susceptible dogs, so your vet may recommend periodic blood work to check for this during extended treatment courses.
While Sileo has been extensively tested for safety, it’s still important to follow all prescribing guidelines carefully and inform your vet promptly about any side effects you notice. Used properly under veterinary supervision though, most evidence suggests Sileo has an excellent safety profile in dogs. Discuss all your questions and concerns thoroughly with your vet before starting this medication.