Efficacy of L-Theanine in the treatment of noise phobias in dogs: preliminary results

Aim of the study - The treatment of noise phobias in dogs consists of behavioural therapy and, sometimes, of pharmacologic support. Aim of this study is to determine the efficacy of L-Theanine, a natural substance derived from the tea plant, used in conjunction with behavioural therapy in the treatment of such disorders and to assess any consequent change in blood cortisol levels. 

Materials and methods - Twenty subjects with a specific noise phobia were selected through a behavioural examination
and thereafter divided into two groups (“ANX“ and “NOANX”). For 63 days, the “ANX” group received behavioural therapy in conjunction with L-Theanine, while the “NOANX” group received only behavioural therapy. All subjects underwent blood
sampling, before and after treatment, for the evaluation of blood cortisol. Twice a week owners were asked to fill in a
questionnaire containing a list of symptoms related to the phobic state. Two telephone interviews were made to assess adherence to therapy. Statistical analysis of the data collected was carried out.

Results and discussion - A statistically significant reduction in the intensity of phobic symptoms was observed in both
groups; a decrease in certain specific behaviours (panting, drooling, lip licking, yawning, drawing the attention of the
owner, vocalizing, exhibiting compulsive behaviours) was observed only in the “ANX” group. This is suggestive of the fact
that L-Theanine may be useful in the treatment of sound phobias in the dog. No difference was detected in the concentration of blood cortisol.

Additional Info

  • Authors: Michelazzi M., Berteselli G. V., Talamonti Z., Cannas S., Scaglia E., Minero M., Palestrini C.
  • Year: 2015
  • Reference: Veterinaria Anno 29, n°2, Aprile 2015
  • Pages: 53 - 59
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