Thursday, 19 January 2017

Dog Noise Anxiety and Big Pharma’s Newest Treatment – Not Recommended

Big Pharma’s newest ‘treatment’ for dog noise anxiety – ‘SILEO’ (dexmoedetomidine oromucosal gel), is made by Zoetis, a large pharmaceutical company that supplies many drugs to the veterinarian industry.

SILEO is the latest in a series of conventional anti-anxiety drugs Big Pharma has migrated from human use, to use for dogs. These drugs include Alprazolam (Xanax), Clomicalm (Clomipramine), Clonazepam (Klonopin), Diazepam (Vallium), and Reconcile (Prozac). Despite the dangers posed by the drug, Reconcile received FDA approval. And now SILEO.

The active ingredient in SILEO - dexmedtetomidine is a synthetic-chemical sedative (alpha-2 adrenoceptor agonist), first developed as a drug for humans, later migrated to use for dogs and cats.  Dexmedetomidine has 3 main clinical applications: (1) prolonged sedation in hospital settings; (2) general anesthesia, and procedural sedation; (3) dulling (obtunding) emergency delirium.

Most dog owners would prefer a happy dog to one that is anxious - whines, pants, paces, drools, and trembles with his/her heart racing. BUT is SILEO a beneficial option for an anxious dog? Let’s take a closer look, but before we do keep the following in mind…

Last week, Valeant Pharmaceuticals’ CEO, J. Michael Pearson stated “we’re in business of shareholder profit, not helping the sick” – the, “we’re” Mr. Pearson is referring to, is Big Pharma.

SILEO’s Ingredients

Active ingredient –
Inactive Ingredients
  • Hyprolose (hydroxypropyl cellulose, or HPMC) –
    • Derived from wood pulp or another plant material such as corn, synthesized with propylene oxide.
    • Cellulose - can cause gastrointestinal issues.
  • Propylene glycol –
    • A PEG compound that can be contaminated with ethylene oxide and 1, 4-dioxine both of which are carcinogens.
  • Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) –
    • Can be contaminated with ethylene oxide and 1, 4-dioxine both of which are carcinogens.
  • Hydrochloric acid 10% -
    • A corrosive.
  • Sodium hydroxide 2M –
    • An inorganic compound made from sodium hydroxide (caustic soda, lye) - skin, eye and mucous irritant, toxic by ingestion.
  • Brilliant blue FCF (E133) –
    • A food coloring is an allergen, toxin and carcinogen.
  • Tartrazine (FD&C Yellow no 5, E102) –
    • A food coloring is an allergen, toxin and carcinogen.
  • Purified water
As you can see from the list above, SILEO contains multiple toxic, inflammatory ingredients that adversely affect the immune system, can damage gut health, and cause inflammation throughout the body. If a dog is exposed to these problematic ingredients once or twice in his/her lifetime, the negative impact on health is minimal. However SILEO is not designed or marketed as a ‘one time treatment’.  It is marketed as a treatment to be used on a repeated basis – whenever the ‘need’ arises. The same inactive ingredients in SILEO are used in a wide range of other products. Unless the dog’s owner is vigilant – the daily intake of these and similar toxins can quickly reach a critical mass. The inflammatory ingredients are also found in…
  • Highly processed dry or canned dog ‘food’ and ‘treats’.
  • Vaccines, which is just one of the reasons why it is so important to avoid over vaccination. (vaccination on an annual, two year, or 3 year vaccination ‘program’).
  • Conventional OTC or veterinary prescribed flea, tick, heartworm preventatives.
  • Other conventional drugs, including those used during surgery.
SILEO Warnings
  • ‘Impermeable’ disposable gloves should be worn to fill and handle the syringe, administer the drug, or when coming into contact with the dog’s mouth after application of SILEO.
  • SILEO is not to be touched by pregnant woman as exposure – that includes simple contact of the drug on skin, can induce contractions and decrease fetal blood pressure.
  • SILEO is absorbed by coming into direct exposure to skin, eyes, and mouth. In case of accidental exposure to eyes and content lenses you are supposed to rinse for 15 minutes and then seek medical advice immediately.
  • Accidental exposure can cause sedation and changes in blood pressure. In case of accidental exposure you are to seek immediate medical attention.
There are more warnings listed for SILEO, the above is a sampling.

Are the alarm bells going off in your mind yet? 

Does this drug sound like something you want to place in your dog’s mouth?

In my opinion, SILEO is NOT a safe, nor is SILEO an ethical option for treating dog noise anxiety.

Dosing SILEO
  • First step, put on those impermeable gloves.
  • Second step, place the SILEO gel onto the mucosa between the dog’s cheek and gum. 
Scroll back up to the list of inactive ingredients – are you sure you want to put SILEO in your dog’s mouth?

SILEO Contradictions

Not for dogs with –
  • Cardiovascular conditions
  • Hypotension
  • Respiratory conditions
  • Liver or kidney disease
  • Dogs in conditions of –
  • Shock
  • Severe debilitation
  • Stress due to extreme heat
  • Stress due to extreme cold
  • Stress due to fatigue
  • Dogs allergic to the active ingredient.
  • More here.
Of course, Zoetis makes no mention of allergies to the inactive ingredients. Sileo is contradicted for the noted conditions because SILEO has adverse effects on the cardiovascular system, blood pressure, respiratory system, effects and burdens the liver and kidneys. SILEO might be a case of  'when the treatment' is worse than the condition being treated'.


Clearly SILEO has not been designed with a dog’s health uppermost in mind. Just another example of Big Pharma putting their shareholders’ profit first, and the health of a dog last.

I have had many rescued dogs in my own pack that come with extreme noise anxiety – including fireworks anxiety, gunshot anxiety, and thunder anxiety. I have taught many clients how to treat and remedy their dogs’ noise anxiety without the use of drugs.

If you want to treat and remedy anxiety using natural methods (which is what I recommend), a comprehensive approach includes working on becoming a ‘mind-full’ guardian to your dog.

You can start that process by:
You now have a plan to begin working on remedying anxiety naturally, without drugs.

Dogs don’t get to choose, we do! Don’t let your dog become a victim of Big Pharma and their partners in profit, veterinarians that prescribe and sell health deteriorating drugs - at the expense of your dog’s health and well-being.

For the love of dogs, pass it on.

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Important Note

1.0 Use of Foods, Herbs, Alternative Medicines:

Safe use of items and protocols in the article above, is your sole responsibility.

Foods, herbs and alternative medicines have health issue, condition and conventional drug interactions. Safe use of all substances and protocol are your responsibility.

Before you use any substance or protocol do your research. Check for cautions, contradictions, interactions and side effects. Do not use substances or protocols not suitable to your animal's individual circumstances.

If your animal has an underlying condition substances and protocols may conflict.

2.0 Definition of Holistic…

Food, herbs, alternative medicines are NOT ‘holistic’ they are a substance and MAY, or may NOT be ‘NATURAL’.

If you use a ‘natural’ substance (ie. an herb) you are using a natural substance, not a holistic substance.

Holistic is not defined by use of one or several substances. Holistic is an approach.

Definition of “holistic” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press


"relating to the whole of something or to the total system instead of just to its parts"

"Holistic medicine attempts to treat the whole person, including mind and body, not just the injury or disease."

Holistic is a way of approaching life, and within that health, and well-being.

3.0 Expectation a natural substance remedies a health or behavioral situation.

A natural substance used to treat symptoms. But, if factors causing the underlying issue remain you do not have a remedy.

Remedy requires a comprehensive approach. It is necessary to identify root cause. Remove items that trigger, cause or otherwise contribute to issues. Holistic approach includes design, implementation to treat, remedy and maintain long-term health.

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Wishing your dog and cat the best of health!

Karen Rosenfeld
Ottawa Valley Dog Whisperer
Holistic Behaviorist - Dogs
Holistic Diet Nutrition Wellness Adviser – Dogs and Cats