New Equine Product Review
by Dr. David Sauter, DVM
Kulshan Veterinary Hospital
Pheromones are chemicals secreted by an animal whose purpose is to influence the behavior of the receiving animal of the same species. There are many different pheromones for influencing many different categories of behavior. For instance, some pheromones are designed to alert or alarm other individuals to a threat. Other examples of types of behavior that pheromones influence include sex, food trail, territory, and many others. The sensory organ that receives the signal is the vomeronasal organ, which is at the base of the nasal septum between the nose and mouth. The chemical signal triggers the release of neurotransmitters in the brain, affecting behavior.
Mares release a “soothing” pheromone from their mammary glands called Equine Appeasing Pheromone that sends a calming signal to her foal indicating that the environment is safe and secure. There is a new product called ConfidenceEQ available for horse owners that uses a synthetic form of this same pheromone. The purpose is to assist horses to cope with new or unexpected situations. It can reduce the stress in situations that can commonly cause nervousness or anxiety, such as:
It is not a drug or sedative. It is safe, relatively inexpensive and does not require a prescription. Overdosage is not a concern but there is no advantage to administering more than the recommended amount. It’s effect lasts for about 2-½ hours and can be reapplied at that time. It is not a sedative or tranquilizer, so, although it won’t have as strong of an effect, it also won’t cause the incoordination and sleepiness that they cause. If you have more questions or would like to try it out, give us a call.