CEVA Animal Health is looking to develop an equine pheromone to assistwith the management of equine stereotypies, and is asking horse ownersto help.

The pharmaceutical manufacturer is working in partnership with the University of Nottingham’s veterinary school to carry out initial research in the UK. It is asking owners of horses that display any type of stereotypical behaviour, such as crib biting, weaving or box walking, to complete a simple online survey about their horse and their management regime.

CEVA currently markets two synthetic pheromone-based products for small animals – DAP (dog appeasing pheromone) for dogs and Feliway for cats. Both have been designed to reproduce natural pheromones that provide a feeling of comfort and help prevent or reduce stress-related behaviours such as urine spraying in cats and firework fears in dogs.

Liz Mossop, from the University of Nottingham’s veterinary school, said “Equine stereotypical behaviour, such as crib biting and weaving, is a difficult problem to manage for many owners. We are delighted to be involved with this project, which should help to provide some new ideas and answers for both owners and the veterinary surgeons dealing with their horses and ponies.

Pheromones have been shown to be very effective in supporting behaviour management of dogs and cats and we hope that an equine pheromone would prove equally useful.”

Anyone wishing to participate can visit www.nottingham.ac.uk/vet/Horseownersurvey and click on the survey link. It should take no more than 15 minutes of your time to complete the survey and your involvement would be very much appreciated.

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