Using Nutraceuticals and Pharmaceuticals to Alleviate Animal Anxiety

October 7, 2016
American Veterinarian Editorial Staff

Debbie Martin, LVT, VTS (Behavior), animal behavior technician for Veterinary Behavior Consultations, co-owner of Team Education in Animal Behavior, explains how using nutraceuticals and pharmaceuticals can reduce anxiety in animals during veterinary visits.

Debbie Martin, LVT, VTS (Behavior), animal behavior technician for Veterinary Behavior Consultations, co-owner of Team Education in Animal Behavior, explains how using nutraceuticals and pharmaceuticals can reduce anxiety in animals during veterinary visits.

Interview Transcript (slightly modified for readability)

“Another technique that we can use to alleviate fear, anxiety, and stress in the veterinary hospital associated with handling and restraint is when we don’t have what we call a non-stressful starting point, where the animal is willing to be distracted or willing to take food and we can’t create a positive emotional response, using nutraceuticals or pharmaceuticals, specifically to decrease anxiety associated with the veterinary visit. It happens all the time in dentistry in human medicine; certainly, [the idea of] a little extra help to make the dentistry visit less stressful for human patients [can be applied] to our canine and feline patients as well.

There are a lot of nutraceuticals available; some of them that are commonly used are: Zylkene, which is put out by vetoquinol, Nutramax has a new one called Solliquin, which is a combination medication, and then Anxitane, which is a healthy immune extract; [a] green tea extract is another option.

Pharmaceuticals, conventional medications, [and] there are things like trazodone or gabapentin that are commonly used to help cats and dogs come to the vet hospital.”