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Dexmedetomidine oromucosal gel for noise-associated acute anxiety and fear in dogs—a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical study
  1. M. Korpivaara, DVM1,
  2. K. Laapas, MSc1,
  3. M. Huhtinen, DVM, PhD1,
  4. B. Schöning, DVM, PhD2 and
  5. K. Overall, MA, VMD, PhD, DACVB3
  1. 1Orion Corporation Orion Pharma, R&D, Turku, Finland
  2. 2Hohensasel 16, Hamburg 22395, Germany
  3. 3Biology Department, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA
  1. E-mail for correspondence: mira.korpivaara{at}


The aim of this randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled, clinical-field study was to evaluate the effect of dexmedetomidine oromucosal gel at subsedative doses in alleviation of noise-associated acute anxiety and fear in dogs. On New Year's Eve, 182 dogs with a history of acute anxiety and fear associated with fireworks received treatment as needed up to five times: 89 dogs received dexmedetomidine and 93 dogs received placebo. For the primary efficacy variables, dog owners assessed the overall treatment effect as well as signs and extent of anxiety and fear. The overall treatment effect was statistically significant (P<0.0001). An excellent or good treatment effect was reported for a higher proportion of dogs treated with dexmedetomidine (64/89, 72 per cent) than those receiving placebo (34/93, 37 per cent). Additionally, dexmedetomidine-treated dogs expressed significantly (P<0.0314) fewer signs of fear and anxiety despite the noise of fireworks. No local tolerance or clinical safety concerns occurred during the study. This study demonstrated that oromucosal dexmedetomidine at subsedative doses alleviates noise-associated acute anxiety and fear in dogs.

  • Anxiety
  • Dexmedetomidine
  • Dogs
  • Fear of noises
  • Fireworks

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  • Provenance: Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Competing interests MK and MH are employees and KL is a former employee of Orion Corporation. KO and BS were paid consultants in veterinary behavioural medicine.

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