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FDA approves drug for dog anxiety issues

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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -

We have all heard of scaredy cats, but dogs are often the ones that really lose their cool over loud noises. Some canines even develop anxiety disorders.

Therese Kopiwoda can't imagine life without her nine-year-old Border Collie Jed. But, his fun-loving demeanor changes drastically as soon as he hears a clap of thunder. Fireworks are no picnic, either.

"If I put my hand on him I can feel his heart beating really quickly. So it's really, I mean, he's having a panic attack."

Research shows 40 to 50 percent of dog owners say their dog is scared of some sort of noise.

Jed suffers from something called "noise aversion"-- an anxiety condition brought on by loud sounds. At least one veterinarian said she sees it all too often.

"Some of the dogs you might see who are exhibiting anxiety, could be ears back, panting, hyper-vigilant, excessive lip-licking, hiding," said Dr. Heidi Meier, veterinarian.

Now, there's a new treatment-- the FDA recently approved "Sileo." The first drug approved specifically to treat noise anxiety in dogs.

"The really nice thing with this particular medication is that it takes away the anxiety without causing sedation or drowsiness," said Dr. Meier.

Sileo comes in gel form and is applied near a dog's gums. The FDA said the drug can be used up to five times during an event when used as directed.

Therese used it on fourth of July and took this video of Jed's reaction.

"He laid still. I could tell that he heard the fireworks, but he wasn't panting really hard, ya know, he wasn't drooling."

There are other methods for treating noise aversions, like traditional anti-anxiety meds, herbal remedies, and compression jackets like the "thundershirt".

Therese has tried most and said Sileo has worked the best so far.

"Just being able, ya know, to see him lay comfortably. It just really, it really makes me at ease and makes me feel like I'm being a better pet parent."

Each syringe costs about $25 and depending on the size of your dog, one syringe can last several doses.

Animal experts said a possible side effect is vomiting, but it is infrequent. And if your pup gets drowsy, dosing can be adjusted.

[Online: Sileo]

Copyright 2016 KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.


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Gary HarperGary Harper is the senior consumer and investigative reporter for 3 On Your Side at KTVK-TV.

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Gary Harper
3 On Your Side

With more than 20 years of television experience, Gary has established himself as a leader in the industry when it comes to assisting viewers and resolving their consumer-related issues. His passion and enthusiasm have helped him earn an Emmy for Best Consumer Reporter from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. He’s also garnered several Emmy nominations

He has negotiated resolutions with companies of all sizes, including some of the biggest corporations in the nation.

Gary has successfully recouped more than $1 million for viewers around the state, making 3 On Your Side one of the most popular segments on KTVK and the station's Web site.

He's best known for investigating and confronting unscrupulous contractors. In fact, many of his news reports have led to police investigations and jail time for those who were caught. Viewers, as well as the companies and people he investigates, regard him as consistently being thorough and fair.

Gary has been with KTVK-TV since 1997. Prior to his arrival in Phoenix, he worked for WZZM-TV in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he was as an anchor and reporter.

Gary is from Chicago, but launched his television career in Lubbock, Texas, after earning a broadcast journalism degree from Texas Tech University. Following his graduation, he was quickly hired by KLBK-TV in Lubbock, where he enterprised and broke numerous exclusive reports. His aggressive reporting in Texas helped garner him Best Reporter by the Associated Press.

Gary has been married since 1994 and is the proud father of two sons. When he's not helping viewers, Gary is busy catching up on his favorite college and professional football teams as well as cheering on his beloved Texas Tech Red Raiders.

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