Canis ISSN: 2398-2942

Pheromone therapy

Synonym(s): Pheromonatherapy, pheromonotherapy

Contributor(s): Jon Bowen, Daniel Mills

Introduction

  • Pheromone therapy describes the clinical use of chemical analogues of the mixtures produced by animals for communicative purposes.
  • Most currently available preparations are mixtures of fatty acids and related esters.
  • Pheromones in animals are detected by the vomero-nasal organ in the rostral end of the hard palate. In order to direct chemicals into this structure, the animal may need to engage in flehman behavior. In cats this resembles panting with the mouth partially open, whilst in dogs the cheeks may be puffed as the animal takes shallow breathes. In both species the animal may lick its nose and a serous discharge be apparent during and immediately after the behavior.
  • Nerves stimulated as a result of pheromones synapse in the limbic structures of the brain where they can directly affect behavior and emotional arousal. Exact mechanism of action remains unknown, but efficacy demonstrated in a range of controlled studies.
  • Chemicals are largely odorless and specific smell is not relevant to activity.
  • Pheromonatherapy in the treatment of behavior problems is not considered a veterinary procedure by law.

Current formulations all marketed by Ceva Animal Health Ltd

This article is available in full to registered subscribers

Sign up now to purchase a 30 day trial, or Login

Indications

This article is available in full to registered subscribers

Sign up now to purchase a 30 day trial, or Login

Advantages of pheromonatherapy over psychopharmacy

This article is available in full to registered subscribers

Sign up now to purchase a 30 day trial, or Login

Treatment failure

This article is available in full to registered subscribers

Sign up now to purchase a 30 day trial, or Login

Alternative techniques

This article is available in full to registered subscribers

Sign up now to purchase a 30 day trial, or Login

Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

  • Recent references from VetMedResource and PubMed.
  • Gandia Estelles M & Mills D S (2006) Signs of travel-related problems in dogs and their response to treatment with dog-appeasing pheromone. Vet Rec 159, 143-148 PubMed.
  • Mills D (2005) Pheromonatherapy. In Practice 27, 368-373.
  • Pageat P, Gaultier E (2003) Current research in canine and feline pheromones. Vet Clin North Am (Small Anim Pract33(2), 187-212 Pub Med.
  • Mills D S (2002) Pheromonatherapy- An integral part of modern companion animal practice. UK Vet 7(5), 61-63.


ADDED