Pheromones and 25 years of pheromonotherapy: what are they and how do they work?

Claire Hargrave
Friday, April 2, 2021

The capacity of animals to communicate via pheromones is long established and, for generations, pheromones have been unwittingly used by man to manage the behaviour of animals in agriculture — using the chemicals produced by an individual member of a species to alter the behaviour of another member of that species. More recently, insect pheromones have been used in managing insect infestations of crops. However, approximately 25 years ago the French veterinary surgeon, Patrick Pageat, began to investigate the production of pheromones in both farm and companion animals and how synthetic analogues of pheromones could be used to improve animal welfare, creating a new field in veterinary medicine — pheromonotherapy. This article aims to summarise the main developments in pheromonotherapy over the last 25 years.

Figure 1. Flehmen and the vomeronasal organ.
Figure 1. Flehmen and the vomeronasal organ.

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