FDA approves drug that relieves dogs stressed by fireworks and loud noises

The Food and Drug Administration announced on Tuesday that the Center for Veterinary Medicine has given its seal of approval to a drug that is made to treat noise-averse dogs

FDA approves drug that relieves dogs stressed by fireworks and loud noises

Pet parents, if your dog is easily upset by loud noises, this could mean good news for you. The Food and Drug Administration announced on Tuesday that the Center for Veterinary Medicine has given its seal of approval to a drug that is made to treat your noise-averse dogs. Called Pexion, the drug is meant to provide relief to "dogs distressed by loud noises like fireworks and traffic", according to a statement from the FDA. 

The effects of loud noises in some dogs are far from mild disturbance. Dogs that are noise averse end up reacting quite strongly — they often whine, bark and howl to express discomfort. Such dogs also often shake and tremble excessively as well as pant continuously. In some cases, dogs vomit, urinate and even defecate when exposed to loud noises such as fireworks, traffic, gunshots or even just loud music.

FDA has approved a drug that could potentially help your noise averse dogs (Pexels)
FDA has approved a drug that could potentially help your noise averse dogs (Pexels)

Some dogs in their turbulent state of mind end up damaging things around the house that includes chewing and destroying furniture, doors, dog beds and whatever else they can lay their paws on. The drug is manufactured by Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica Inc., of St. Joseph, Missouri. However, the statement did not state the release date for Pexion.

An evaluation was made after New Year's Eve with dogs who were noise-averse which led to the drug's approval. Some dogs were given Pexion two days before New Year's Eve and some were given a placebo.  Pexion was fed to them twice daily and was given through New Year's Eve, without missing a dose.

Due to the number of firework shows expected on this particular day and the next, it was the perfect time to try out the drug. 

"The owners evaluated their dog's responses to the fireworks at four pre-set intervals and scored the level of 16 different behaviors. The overall score for the dogs receiving Pexion was lower (better) than those receiving the placebo," the statement said. The test results showed that 66 percent of the dogs on Pexion had a much better response to the noises as compared to their previous experiences. The dogs on placebo had a much lower percentage of success. Only 25 percent of them had the same effect as Pexion.

If you think your dog could benefit from it, you will need a prescription. The drug will only be available after careful examination from the veterinarian, said the statement. Its dosage is twice a day — two days before the loud noise is supposed to occur. This can be useful on days like New Year's Eve or the 4th of July. It is available in 100 mg or 400 mg scored tablets and is "dosed according to the weight of the dog", the FDA said.

However, some dogs also exhibited adverse side effects to the drug. The most common ones include not being able to stand or walk properly, increased rate of food intake, lethargy, and vomiting. Out of the 90 dogs that were on Pexion, three of them also showed signs of aggression. The dogs showed a lack of self-control towards other dogs as well, which is not an uncommon reaction to some drugs that are meant to reduce anxiety in dogs. Owners are advised to keep the dog under a watchful eye while undergoing the treatment.