The Best Veterinary Breakthroughs of 2007

New Drug for Separation Anxiety

In more than 10 million homes in America, pet owners leave home in the morning only to return to a pet that has chewed shoes, torn pillows, soiled the carpeting or worse. Often times, pet owners assume the dog is "just being a dog" or the owner feels guilt for leaving the pet home alone. Other times, the pet is sent to an animal shelter when the behaviors become intolerable.

The bad behavior may actually be the result of a medical condition known as separation anxiety and it affects an estimated 17 percent of dogs. In 2007, Eli Lilly and Co. introduced Reconcile, the first selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) approved by the FDA for treatment of canine separation anxiety in conjunction with a behavior modification plan.

Reconcile is a once-daily, chewable, flavored tablet that reduces inappropriate behaviors, minimizes the pet's distress and increases receptivity to the BOND at-home behavior modification training program. The BOND behavior modification program is an easy-to-implement, at-home training plan developed by Lilly and a team of veterinary behaviorists as well as veterinarians.

The simple plan allows pet owners to take an active role in the treatment of their dog's separation anxiety. Dog owners whose dogs have been prescribed Reconcile receive educational materials to enable them to follow an easy four-step training plan to reinforce positive pet behavior which helps to reduce or eliminate inappropriate responses to anxiety.

Components include a take-home DVD, printed materials and in-home reminders so the whole family can reinforce behavior modification training for the dog.

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