Background: Dogs can suffer from inappetence caused by a variety of medical conditions. This may present as anorexia (complete loss of appetite), hyporexia (decreased appetite) or dysrexia (change in food preferences). A drug with a new mechanism of action, capromorelin, has potential to stimulate appetite in dogs. Capromorelin is a ghrelin receptor agonist, which mimics the action of endogenous ghrelin. It is a member of the growth hormone secretagogue (GHS) class of drugs. Capromorelin oral solution (ENTYCE®) was tested in healthy adult male and female Beagle dogs (n=6 males and 6 females per group) for its effect on food consumption and body weight. A randomized, masked, placebo controlled study was conducted to measure the effects of a daily 3 mg/kg oral dose given over 4 days. Dogs were observed for clinical signs, physical examinations were completed prior to and at the end of treatment, and blood was drawn before and after treatment for evaluation of serum chemistry and hematology parameters. Results: Capromorelin was well-tolerated, with no abnormalities seen on physical examination or clinical pathology. Some dogs showed increased salivation. Capromorelin treated dogs had increased mean (±SD) food consumption compared to placebo treated dogs (60.55±39.87% versus -11.15±14.23% respectively, P<0.001). Treated dogs also had increased mean body weights compared to placebo treated dogs (5.96±1.76% versus 0.053±1.14% respectively, P<0.001). Conclusions: This study supports the effectiveness of capromorelin oral solution as an appetite stimulant in dogs. Treatment with the oral solution resulted in dramatic increases in appetite, as measured by food consumption, of over 60% compared to placebo. The drug was well tolerated. Capromorelin is the first ghrelin receptor agonist developed for appetite stimulation in any species, and represents a novel mechanism of action for this clinical use.
Zollers, B., Rhodes, L., & Heinen, E. (2017). Capromorelin oral solution (ENTYCE®) increases food consumption and body weight when administered for 4 consecutive days to healthy adult Beagle dogs in a randomized, masked, placebo controlled study. BMC Veterinary Research, 13(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12917-016-0925-z