Posts Tagged ‘cat spraying’

In Part 1 of Understanding Anxiety in Pets, we defined anxiety, described causes and associated behaviors, and looked at the top reasons pets are relinquished and euthanized.

In Part 2 of Understanding Anxiety in Pets, we examined the different methods available to treat anxiety in pets. We mentioned nutritional supplements, such as Zylkene and Solliquin.

Today, in Part 3 of Understanding Anxiety in Pets, we will take a look at how nutritional supplements affect anxious pets, to give them relief.

In a pet’s brain, there are several neurotransmitters that affect mood:

  • Glutamate: causes fear, anxiety, excitement. Ideally, glutamate levels are suppressed in an effort to reduce behavioral issues associated with fear and anxiety.
  • GABA: Essentially the opposite of glutamate, it can be increased in order to produce calm via an inhibitory effect.
  • Serotonin: low levels lead to depression; it can be increased indirectly, using supplements that convert to serotonin in the brain.

Zylkene is a product containing hydrolyzed milk protein. The tryptophan content of the milk protein can be converted to serotonin in the pet’s brain, producing a calming effect.

Solliquin contains L-theanine, an amino acid that binds to glutamate receptors without activating them; instead, it blocks glutamate and stimulates alpha brain waves, known to lead to deep relaxation, while the pet remains awake and aware.

Another ingredient, Phellodendron (not to be confused with toxic philodendron), also blocks the release of glutamate. It is used in combination with Magnolia extract, which enhances GABA receptors in the brain, allowing more GABA to enter the synapse and producing a calming effect. Magnolia and Phellodendron appear to work better together, than they do alone.

Solliquin contains milk whey protein, which has tryptophan in it, again converting to serotonin to increase this important neurotransmitter in the pet’s brain, helping to regulate mood.

When is it appropriate to use nutritional supplements for behavior issues?

  • early stage anxiety
  • mild anxiety
  • predictable changes (storm, travel, holidays, moving)
  • before a visit to the vet
  • as adjunct therapy (including behavioral modification and conditioning)

If you suspect that your pet is showing signs of anxiety, Contact Us at Little Creek Veterinary Clinic, so we can schedule an appointment to discuss your pet’s behavior today.

Est. 1973


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On Tuesday, we learned about the signs and causes of anxiety in pets. Today, we will focus on treatment methods of anxiety in pets, to reduce the chances that a pet will be relinquished or euthanized due to anxiety-related behavioral problems.

The top reasons for pet relinquishment are:

  • house soiling
  • destruction of property
  • hyperactivity
  • aggression

Dogs and cats can exhibit the behaviors listed above in response to a real or perceived threat. A real threat incites fear, whereas a perceived threat causes anxiety in pets. 

Treatment of anxiety in pets is often a 3-part process:

Avoidance of fear object + behavioral modification and conditioning + anxiolytics

Anxiolytics are medications or supplements used to treat anxiety. They can be synthetic pheromones, pharmaceuticals, or nutritional supplements.

Synthetic pheromones (such as D.A.P. for dogs and Feliway for cats) mimic chemical secretions that animals produce as a way of communicating to themselves and others of their species.
Cats secrete calming pheromones from glands in their face. (By contrast, the pheromones secreted during urine spraying incite aggressive, territorial behavior.)
Dog-calming synthetic pheromones mimic pheromones found in bitches’ milk.

Pharmaceuticals (drugs) target chemicals within the brain to achieve their proper balance, which helps provide mood stability. Unfortunately, drugs can have side effects; also, most anti-anxiety drugs are labeled for human use. Although these medicines have been safely used in pets, they are not pet-specific.

Nutritional supplements use natural ingredients to achieve proper balance in brain chemicals. They do not have the side effects found in pharmaceuticals, and they are prepared and labeled specifically for pets. Zylkene and Solliquin are two pet-specific nutritional supplements used to treat anxiety in pets.

Pharmaceuticals and nutritional supplements are available through your pet’s veterinarian.

Coming up in Understanding Anxiety in Pets, Part 3: a closer look at Zylkene and Solliquin and how they work to treat anxiety in pets.

If you suspect that your pet is showing signs of anxiety, Contact Us at Little Creek Veterinary Clinic, so we can schedule an appointment to discuss your pet’s behavior today.

Est. 1973





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