Evaluation of the effect of topical application of lavender oil on autonomic nerve activity in dogs

Komiya M, Sugiyama A, Tanabe K, Uchino T, Takeuchi T
American Journal Veterinary Research, 2009


ABSTRACT:

OBJECTIVE:
To investigate the effect of topical application of undiluted lavender oil on sympathovagal activity in dogs.

ANIMALS:
5 healthy adult male Beagles.

PROCEDURES:
An ambulatory ECG monitor (Holter recorder) was placed on each dog (day0), and 48-hour ECGs were recorded, beginning at 8:00 the next day (day 1). Lavender oil (0.18 mL) or saline (0.9% NaCl) solution (0.18 mL) was topically applied to the inner pinnas of both ears of all dogs at 8:30, 12:00, 15:30, and 19:00 on day 2. Each trial was duplicated in each dog, with an interval of 3 to 4 days between trials. Spectral indices of heart rate variability, power in the high-frequency range, and the ratio of low-frequency to high-frequency power were calculated as an indirect estimate of autonomic nerve activity.

RESULTS:
When dogs were treated with lavender oil, the mean heart rate was significantly lower during the period of 19:00 to 22:30 on day 2, compared with the mean heart rate during the same period when dogs were treated with saline solution. On the other hand, high-frequency power during the period of 15:30 to 19:00 was significantly higher when dogs were treated with lavender oil, compared with the high-frequency power during the same period when dogs were treated with saline solution.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE:
The study revealed some evidence that topical application of lavender oil affected vagal activity in dogs. However, whether such an effect exists and whether lavender oil has a calming effect on dogs remains equivocal and requires additional investigation.

CITATION:

Komiya M, Sugiyama A, Tanabe K, Et Al. Evaluation of the effect of topical application of lavender oil on autonomic nerve activity in dogs. Am J Vet Res. 2009;70(6):764-769.


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