Pheromonatherapy: an integral part of modern companion animal practice

Mills, D. S. (2002) Pheromonatherapy: an integral part of modern companion animal practice. UK Vet, 7 (2). ISSN UNSPECIFIED

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Abstract

Pheromones are chemicals released from the external surfaces of the body, from where they diffuse into the surrounding environment and affect the behaviour of other individuals (normally of the same species). In mammals they are normally detected in a specialised structure called the vomero-nasal organ in the rostral end of the hard palate within the nasal cavity. Connection with the oral cavity varies between species. The receptors in this organ are neurologically linked to the limbic system of the brain so the pheromone molecules can rapidly moderate emotional behaviour without necessarily invoking any conscious awareness of this. The term “Pheromone” is derived from the two Greek words “pherein” meaning “to carry” and “horman” meaning “to stimulate” and was first coined by Karlson and Luscher1 to describe these important chemicals. They may are also be referred to as ectohormones or social odours, in some situations, but regardless of this the term pheromonatherapy is now widely accepted for the use of these chemicals in a clinical context to manage the behaviour of mammals. A mixture of relatively simple chemicals in a particular combination often forms the specific message, but in some situations a single chemical may be sufficient in triggering a response.
Patrick Pageat, a French veterinary surgeon and behaviour specialist, has been at the forefront of the initial isolation of these products in cats and other species, but many other scientist have examined their application. In the cat 5 functional fractions (F1-F5) have
been isolated from the facial secretions, each with a distinct role. Two of these can now be synthesised artificially and used to help manage a variety of stressful situations in the cat. More recently, one pheromone has been identified from the inter-mammary sulcus of the lactating bitch (Dog Appeasing Pheromone) which appears to have a calming affect on this species.

Keywords:Pheromone therapy, Feliway
Subjects:D Veterinary Sciences, Agriculture and related subjects > D300 Animal Science
D Veterinary Sciences, Agriculture and related subjects > D328 Animal Welfare
Divisions:College of Science > School of Life Sciences
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http://purl.org/dc/terms/isReferencedbyhttp://eprints.lincoln.ac.uk/14615/
ID Code:14679
Deposited On:12 Aug 2014 15:55

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