Canis ISSN: 2398-2942

Pheromone analogue therapy

Synonym(s): Pheromonatherapy, pheromonotherapy

Contributor(s): Jon Bowen, Daniel Mills, Lisa Radosta

Introduction

  • Pheromone analogue therapy describes the clinical use of chemical analogues of the naturally occurring pheromones produced by animals.
  • Pheromones are species specific and are thus used for intraspecies commmunication.
  • 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 dogs the cheeks may be puffed as the animal takes shallow breaths. Dogs may lick their nose and a serous discharge may 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 (Ceva Animal Health Ltd)

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Indications

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Advantages of pheromonatherapy

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Treatment

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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 PubMed.
  • Mills D S (2002) Pheromonatherapy- An integral part of modern companion animal practice. UK Vet 7(5), 61-63.

Other sources of information

  • Adaptil®: www.adaptil.com/uk.
  • Mills D S, Dube M B, Zulch H (2013) Stress and Pheromonatherapy in Small Animal Clinical Behavior. 1st edn. Wiley


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