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Fireworks & Fido Don't Mix, But Now A Drug Can Help

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) - If your dog loves being outside, this may not going to be a great weekend for them.

It's the July 4th holiday weekend and that means your neighbors will be setting off firecrackers and bottle rockets through Monday. Loud noises from fireworks, or even thunder, can leave some dogs trembling with anxiety.

Arlene Lenok knows. Her dog Zoe loves being outside except when loud noises make her extremely afraid and anxious.

"Her tail immediately zooms between her legs. Her body starts shaking. She starts to pace, then she pants with her tongue out," said Lenok.

About a third of all pets suffer what's called noise aversion. Now the Food and Drug Administration has approved the first, and only, drug to help dogs with this problem.

Veterinarian Dr. Gary Yarnell said the drug Sileo provides a calming effect without sedating the animal.

"It's not a tranquilizer, per say. It works on the nervous system to inhibit the release of adrenaline or nor-epinephrine," said Yarnell.

Yarnell cautions that dogs with severe heart, breathing, liver or kidney problems should not take the drug. He suggests owners try comforting their pets before turning to medication.

"One thing I would recommend, if your dog has a serious noise aversion tendencies you should probably to stay with the animal. Do not leave them at home alone," said Yarnell.

Lenok said she's glad she has options.

Some symptoms of dogs who have noise aversion include panting, trembling and running away from home. In fact, shelters say the July 4th holiday is one of the busiest times of the year with so many spooked pets running away.

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