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FDA approves drug for dogs scared by noise

The drug was developed to treat epilepsy but can treat anxiety, too

While many people love the spectacle of fireworks,
dog owners typically dread them. The loud,
chest-pounding booms send quivering pups
under the bed or into dark corners of the house
looking for a place to escape the noise. These dogs often
have a similar experience during thunderstorms. For dog
owners, it can be a helpless feeling to see their pet panic.
Most pets don’t like loud noises, but some dogs really lose
their cool when they hear fireworks or even loud traffic —
vomiting, howling and damaging furniture. Now vets can
prescribe a drug to help keep them calm.
The Food and Drug Administration has approved a new
drug, Pexion, to treat dogs freaked out by noises. The drug
is approved in other countries for use in treating epilepsy.
Known generically as imepitoin, the drug is similar to
Valium and other benzodiazepines but works in a different
way to treat noise aversion. Other seizure drugs, such as
gabapentin, can also treat some types of anxiety. “Dogs
with noise aversion are sensitive to loud noises such
as fireworks, street/traffic noises, and gun shots,” the
FDA said. “Dogs may show their distress through hiding;
vocalizing (whining, barking, howling); panting, shaking or
trembling; or may vomit, urinate or defecate. Some dogs
may damage furniture, doors, dog beds, or other items

in their surroundings.”

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