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Old 07-23-2012, 09:26 PM
Kaydee
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Default Thunder Fear Increasing???

We got Sophie as an adult and have no history about her at all. But we've had her for four years and the thunder fear seems to just get worse. She used to walk with me in the rain. She would even walk if there was thunder and lightening in the distance. But now she starts trembling at the first raindrops and won't leave the house at any sign of rain.

Today I tried to show her it's okay. I picked her up and put her in the car to drive hubby to work. She shook on the way, but on the way back alone with me she curled up like a cat on the front seat. She stopped panting and shaking for awhile. But as soon as we got home she raced under one of her safe spots. I got her to eat a bit, but the storms still out there. Is the car thing a good idea??? Suggestions???
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Old 07-23-2012, 09:35 PM
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So weird you posted this... Jackson's thunder phobia seems to be increasing too. He will be 4 in October.

As a pup, I don't really remember much to be honest. But I got him in December so I don't really think we had many storms while he was young.

But this past year or so, he's begun shaking during loud thunder. He used to just crawl under the bed usually, but now he KIND of paces (not *extremely* non-stop moving, but he won't lay down and get comfortable) and pants. He usually only does this during LOUD booms. But he acts nervous right before a storm too now, because he tends to sense when they're coming.

Luckily, he generally will still take high value food, such as cheese. So the last storm I kept giving him a bit of cheese every time the thunder went off, but I could tell he kept wanting to jump away. He also does not like to be held or comforted when he's scared.

So I'm kind of at a loss. Unsure if he's not severe enough to be medicated or not. Thundershirt did nothing for him, we returned it.
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Old 07-24-2012, 07:29 AM
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Have either of you tried a thunder coat? I'm tempted to buy one.

My Peanut will be 6 years old next week. About a year or so ago storms started to bother him. He's progressively getting worse. We don't even realize the clouds are getting a little dark, and he's already looking nervous. Once a storm comes in, he is shaking uncontrollably. I've tried massaging him to calm him down with no results.

I gave him a Benedryl the other day when it was a like rain coming which seemed to help a little. I may try it again before buying the thunder coat.
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Old 07-24-2012, 09:02 AM
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Chulita never was very afraid of thunder or fireworks when she was younger...a little nervous, but barely. I use to do things to try and associate a storm with an extra fun time...games, toys and yummy treats were pulled out at times of thunder and lightening. Most of my dogs have not been afraid of storms at all. (my childhood dogs were) As
Chulita has gotten older, she's much more scared. But usually cuddling on the couch with a blanket over her suffices. She gets clingier and wants to be near me. I don't make too big a fuss over her, but just kind of hold her on my lap and talk soothingly.

If it's louder and scarier outside, I wouldn't take your dog in the car. I'd keep her at home or wherever she feels the most secure...where she can't see or feel the weather as much. Lightening puts a lot of ions into the air, which she may be reacting to also. Sometimes a crate or a small, dark room helps. You might try turning on something that makes some noise that she's use to to try and mask the thunder and rain....the washing machine, radio, a fan or other white noise type of thing. If Sophie is intensely nervous, I'd talk to a vet and see about some anti-anxiety thing you could give her to help her feel more calm. I hope she can get some relief, poor girl.
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Old 07-24-2012, 09:21 AM
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Chloe has also gotten worse with her thunder phobia. There doesn't even have to be thunder now - just the mere hint of a storm will send her into a panic. This morning we have a bad storm going to our east. It won't hit us, although we may get some rain, but the skies are dark and it is really windy. I barely got her out the door to go potty and she is glued to my side like velcro. I just gave her a Xanax, so hopefully it will help. I will say that as long as she can be beside me she is alright - she just picks the closest "safe" spot to me (under something, or a corner - right now she is under my desk) and goes to sleep. Always before she would just pant and shake and be miserable.
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Old 07-24-2012, 10:38 AM
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If someone needs a size large Thundershirt, I have one I'd be willing to part with. I got it to see if it would help with Scout's anxiety issues and it does nothing for her. Its basically brand new, probably a few long fluffy hairs on it but thats it.
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Old 07-24-2012, 10:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by *blackrose View Post
Chloe has also gotten worse with her thunder phobia. There doesn't even have to be thunder now - just the mere hint of a storm will send her into a panic. This morning we have a bad storm going to our east. It won't hit us, although we may get some rain, but the skies are dark and it is really windy. I barely got her out the door to go potty and she is glued to my side like velcro. I just gave her a Xanax, so hopefully it will help. I will say that as long as she can be beside me she is alright - she just picks the closest "safe" spot to me (under something, or a corner - right now she is under my desk) and goes to sleep. Always before she would just pant and shake and be miserable.
How do you go about getting Xanax for a dog? Does the vet prescribe it, fairly easily? Or do they have to be deathly afraid. I'm just not sure if xanax would be appropriate for him or not. Like I said, Jackson's definitely gotten worse instead of better. I just don't know how bad it should be before giving medication such as Xanax.
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Old 07-24-2012, 10:43 AM
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Crystal's thunder phobia has gotten worse, too. Today it got cloudy and sprinkled a little (a thunderstorm missed us though, so she didn't fully have a panic attack.) and she started panting. She wouldn't even accept high value food rewards like cheese! Which is quite the surprise since she likes "human food". We bought the thundershirt, and it never really did anything. I'm not sure what to do anymore, because she gets ultra stressed out. Once it stormed all day and all night and she peed herself, because she wouldn't go outside!

I wish I could help, but I need help with Crystal's thunder issues myself!
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Old 07-24-2012, 10:49 AM
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Thanks for commiserating, at least I know that Pookins isn't way overreacting. We borrowed a Thundershirt for awhile and it didn't change anything. I guess just letting her hide in her storm bathroom upstairs and having a big hug ready when she comes out is the best we can do.
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Old 07-24-2012, 11:52 AM
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I'm on my second thunderphobic dog and I opted to medicate earlier rather than later. He's scared enough that he huddles in a corner, shakes, and won't take food. That's all I need. He's unhappy. Letting him be scared will just make him more scared.

You should be able to get a prescription for Xanax or something similar from your vet. Do NOT NOT NOT allow them to give you Acepromazine. Ace is a sedative but does nothing for actual anxiety. It can also amplify sound sensitivity.

Steve is happiest, actually, in the car. I don't know if the rubber tires contribute to that or not. When I can, I put him in my car in my attached garage for thunderstorms.
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