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Rescue Remedy

By: Dr. Nicholas Dodman

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  • Rescue Remedy® is the trade name for an herbal remedy sometimes used to reduce fearful behaviors in pets. It is considered to be an "alternative" therapy to "mainstream" pharmaceutical solutions.
  • Rescue Remedy is the combination of extracts taken from five flowers: cherry plum, clematis, impatiens, rock rose and star of Bethlehem.
  • Advocates of alternative medicine say Rescue Remedy is an effective treatment for various behavioral problems. However, the evidence is anecdotal, and proper trials have not yet been conducted to substantiate these claims.
  • Rescue Remedy has not been properly tested for safety, but the preparation has been used extensively for quite some time and no adverse effects have been reported.
  • Rescue Remedy is typically available in health food stores as an over-the-counter medication but should not be administered to animals except under the supervision and guidance of a veterinarian.

    Brand Names and Other Names

  • Rescue Remedy is intended for use in humans only.
  • Human formulations: Rescue Remedy® (Bach Centre) is the brand name
  • Veterinary formulations: None

    Uses of Rescue Remedy

  • Rescue Remedy is used to treat fear-based behaviors, such as thunderstorm phobia, separation anxiety, and anxiety caused during car travel or veterinary office visits.
  • Rescue Remedy has also been used as a treatment for anxiety-based urine marking in cats and dogs.

    Precautions and Side Effects

  • There are no known precautions and no side effects have been reported to date.

    How Rescue Remedy is Supplied

  • Rescue Remedy is available in a 20 mL bottle, containing extracts of cherry plum, clematis, impatiens, rock rose, and star of Bethlehem in 27 percent alcohol.

    Dosing Information

  • Never administer any medication to an animal without first consulting your veterinarian.
  • For dogs, there are three methods of administration of Rescue Remedy: in the drinking water (5 drops in 1 to 2 cups of water, or 10 drops in 3 or more cups of water); directly by mouth (place drops between the lip and gum); or added to food (mix remedy with water at a ratio of 2 drops of essence to 1 tablespoon of essence and mix with food. This is the least preferred method).
  • For cats, use 4 to 8 drops twice a day mixed in food, gravy, water, or squirted directly into the mouth.
  • The duration of administration depends on the condition being treated, response to the medication, and the development of any adverse effects. Be certain to complete the prescription unless specifically directed otherwise by your veterinarian.

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