Stephane Bleuer-Elsner 1, TiphaineMedam 2, SylviaMasson 3
1 University of Haifa and Private Practice, Tel
2 PhD Cognitive Psychology, Jouques, France
3 Private practice, Voreppe, France
Background: Storm phobia in companion dogs is a common disorder that significantly impacts dogs’ welfare. Gabapentin, the action of which is only partially understood, is widely used for its antiepileptic and analgesic properties.
Only recently, the veterinary community began to use gabapentin to address phobia and anxiety in dogs. This study tested gabapentin to lower fear responses of dogs during a thunderstormevent.
Methods: Eighteen dogs suffering from stormphobia completed our doubleblind, placebo-controlled crossover trial. Each dog’s behaviour was evaluated twice by his owner: once under placebo, once under gabapentin. The treatment was orally administered at least 90min before the exposure.Gabapentin was given at a dose ranging from25 to 30mg/kg.
Results: Our results indicate a significant reduction of the fear responses of dogs under gabapentin. The adverse effects were rare, and the most frequent amongst them was ataxia. Conclusion: In this trial, gabapentin appears to be an efficient and safe molecule that should be considered as part of the treatment plan of storm phobia in dogs.