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Use of gabapentin, CBD oil, and tryptophan for noise phobia?

    • 287 posts
    September 18, 2018 2:45 PM EDT

    Question submitted as part of the Crash, Boom, Bang: Update on Canine Noise Phobia Treatments webinar:


    Comments about use of gabapentin, CBD oil, and tryptophan?


    Answer provided by Julia (Julie) Albright, MA, DVM, DACVB:


    Gabapentin is prescription medication that has a chemical composition similar to GABA and GABA agonist drugs like the benzodiazepines. It has been a successful adjunct in some of my noise phobic patients. 

    Tryptophan is a precursor to serotonin and available alone or in combination with other natural ingredients in a supplement chew or capsule. CBD (or cannabidiol) is a very en vogue supplement right now.  I get several calls each week about its usage.  I would encourage veterinarians to try to learn more about the mechanisms and regulations through other available venues, as it I do not feel as if I have sufficient knowledge at this time to provide good advice.  I can say that I have had some clients report back with success with CBD whereas others report no noticeable change. That is a common theme for most supplements in my clinic patients.  It may be the compound, or it may be a poor-quality product. Supplements are not well-regulated by the FDA.  Many noises trigger a strong fear/startle response in animals suffering from noise phobias and I do not find a supplement alone to be satisfactory during these panic events. They may have a place for mild cases, as a maintenance adjunct treatment during storm season, one layer of therapy to help reduce the clinical signs and stress response by a few degrees, or help the animal return to normal baseline anxiety more quickly.  I just take each patient and family individually and I encourage you to talk to your veterinarian.

    • 287 posts
    April 8, 2019 1:27 PM EDT