Dealing with chronic stress

Chronic stress is one of the foundations of disease in dog, leading to adverse stress-related behaviors which arise because their needs are not being met.

Adverse stress-related behaviors, such as destructiveness and self-injury occur when dogs feel as though their needs are not being met. Veterinarians and pet owners are often challenged in their efforts to help dogs with behavior issues that arise from stress, anxiety, fears and phobias because these conditions have many causes. Treatment and support requires great patience, teamwork, and often multiple therapeutic strategies:

Folic Acid (Vitamin B9): Deficiency can induce irritability, behavior disorders, reduced appetite, weight loss, and weakness.

Cyanocobalamine (Vitamin B12): Maintains normal brain and CNS functioning. Deficiency can lead to severe and irreversible CNS damage.

Magnesium: Essential for basic cellular life. Deficiency can aggravate sleep disturbance, irritability and depression.

Selenium: Helps regulate the thyroid gland; deficiency is rare in pets, but can cause muscle weakness, increased susceptibility to infection, cancer, and heart disease.

DL-Phenylalanine: Comprised of a combination of the D and L isomers of the amino acid phenylalanine. Acts as a natural pain reliever by blocking the enzymes responsible for endorphin and enkephalin breakdown.

Eleuthero powder (Eleutherococcus senticosus): Also known as Siberian ginseng, it’s an adaptogen that helps the body adapt more effectively to stress. Enhances immune function, and reduces cortisol levels, inflammatory response, and the depletion of stress-reducing hormones.

Inositol: Plays an important role as a component of several cellular messengers, including some lipids such as phosphatidylinositol phosphate.

L-Tyrosine: Necessary for neurotransmitter synthesis, such as epinephrine, norepinephrine, serotonin, and dopamine, each of which can regulate mood. Assists in the synthesis of enkephalins (pain-relieving effects). Research suggests tyrosine acts as an adaptogen, helping the body adapt and cope with the effects of stress. It is a building block for norepinephrine and epinephrine, two of the body’s primary stress hormones.

St. John’s Wort (Hypericum perforatum): Reduces anxiety and stress, and is used in dogs to help alleviate mild anxiety, fears, and phobias. It acts via a mechanism similar to opiates such as morphine.

Passion Flower (Passiflora) Extract: Its flavonoids have relaxing and anti-anxiety effects. Can help with sleep problems and restlessness. May also be effective in reducing neuralgia, including (theoretically) neuralgia in cats infected with FHV. The herb of choice for chronic insomnia.

L-5-hydroxytryptophan (Griffonia simplicifolia botanical): Has a documented sleep-inducing effect. It is a direct precursor to serotonin, which has a calming effect and regulates sleep. Griffonia seed has been shown to raise serotonin levels in the brain, relieving anxiety and improving sleep patterns.

All 11 of the natural and complementary ingredients above are contained in Serenin Vet™. This product down-regulates the triggers that over-stimulate a dog’s brain, and is formulated to help dogs suffering from separation anxiety, hyperactivity, noise phobias, sleep disturbances, etc. Any of these conditions can seriously affect the quality of your patients’ lives, and that of their owners.

Dr. Terri McCalla is a board-certified veterinary ophthalmologist and a member of Animal HealthQuest, LLC.