Thunder Fear Increasing???

Discussion in 'Dogs - General Dog Chat' started by Kaydee, Jul 23, 2012.

  1. Kaydee

    Kaydee Guest

    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. :confused:

    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???
     
  2. JacksonsMom

    JacksonsMom Active Member

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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.
     
  3. Barb04

    Barb04 Love my pets Staff Member

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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.
     
  4. Doberluv

    Doberluv Active Member

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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.
     
  5. *blackrose

    *blackrose "I'm kupo for kupo nuts!"

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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.
     
  6. monkeys23

    monkeys23 New Member

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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. :)
     
  7. JacksonsMom

    JacksonsMom Active Member

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    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.
     
  8. CrystalGSD

    CrystalGSD Member

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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!
     
  9. Kaydee

    Kaydee Guest

    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.
     
  10. elegy

    elegy overdogged

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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.
     
  11. JessLough

    JessLough Love My Mutt

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    I wouldn't force her/carry her outside in a storm, all you're teaching her is if she's scared, stay away from you or you'll take her to the scary thing.
     
  12. monkeys23

    monkeys23 New Member

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  13. Doberluv

    Doberluv Active Member

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    Monkey, I'm glad you brought that up. It totally slipped my mind. I use to recommend that at one time. I've heard good things about it. Kudos for thinking of that! It's a definite possibility.
     
  14. JacksonsMom

    JacksonsMom Active Member

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    I definitely try this, to kind of condition him. But once the booms get loud enough, he doesn't care about even the highest value food anymore. :(

    Also, he can very easily tell the difference between real thunder and thunder from a TV show or CD. Are these CD's made to be more "realistic", perhaps? I just know that I can have my surround sound up pretty loud on my TV and if there's loud lightening and thunder on the movie/show I'm watching - he could care less and sleeps through it.
     
  15. monkeys23

    monkeys23 New Member

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    Also it was way too easy to get Scout anxiety meds at the vet.

    I'm a pretty peeved about that whole process actually because 1. I was not involved in any of the decision making about which one to put her on (though she did pick the one I thought would be our best option from my own research... I am still really mad about this and actually considering changing vets), 2. She didn't require to see Scout, didn't run any bloodwork, and verbally admitted to me over the phone that she did not read the anywhere near the whole behavioral history I provided, 3. There was no discussion as to possible side effects (some of which are very serious, like bone marrow loss from long term use or possible seizures in a small number of dogs) or any future weaning off when they've served their purpose working through her plateau (luckily I did my own research, but what about all those who wouldn't even think of being that proactive????), and 4. Well since she didn't read her behavioral history and obviously didn't actually listen to anything I said in our conversations, she doesn't know/care/think its qualified I've been working with her on behavior modification training (CU and BAT) with and without an experienced positive trainer(s) and she suggested a behaviorist, which hey I'm totally open to.... so I go pick up the drugs and referral.... yeah its the f'ing Sit Stay quacks!!! I am still really upset that they would even recommend that to dogs with zero issues, much less a dog with issues like Scout. What if it were some clueless pet owner who did go there trying to help their dog because they don't know any better??? Omg, that would destroy a dog like Scout. Ugh!

    So far I see no change either way with the drugs. Maybe that'll change as I'm supposed to bump up her dose by starting twice a day instead of just once today.
     
  16. monkeys23

    monkeys23 New Member

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    Thanks, I kinda want to try the fireworks one. Lily hates fireworks. She might be too smart for a cd though lol. She just husky balls in my lap during them and eventually relaxes like a limp dishrag once she's laid on me long enough.

    Hmmm you know Jackson's Mom, I think a big factor with dogs predisposed being freaked by thunder are the air pressure changes and atmospheric electricity associated with them. Also it may take a really, really long time of working subthreshold (i.e. at the lower level where he is okay) before he's ready to move up. Once a dog in counterconditioning gets put over threshold its turns into an ugly cycle of one step forward, ten steps back. Kinda like how Scout's current anxiety spike came about... :rolleyes:

    I know our old BC was TERRIFIED of them his whole life, even when he was almost totally deaf and old. He always started freaking out long before they even started. One time he got in the house (outside dog) somehow during a storm, no idea how as no doors/windows were open. He was a BC, maybe he just opened the door. LOL

    My parent's current dog (also BC) is scared of them too, but I've seen them exacerbate it greatly in him by making a big deal out of it. Whereas he can function enough with me to listen to things
     
  17. Kaydee

    Kaydee Guest

    I never saw those CDs before, I guess the idea is they gradually get use to the sound as no big deal. I've read they train soldier dogs similarly. I'm going to check out leashes on that site, might not have to special order like usual.
     
  18. Kaydee

    Kaydee Guest

    I feel for Sophie, she was AHS for three months before we got her. Picture huge dirty brick kennels and like 50 dogs in central holding. Then imagine a thunderstorm reverbing off the bricks, the dark and the other dogs all reacting in their own way. Canine chamber of horrors, I theorize if she wasn't afraid of storms before she got there, that probably did it.
     
  19. shazbot

    shazbot not so newby

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    I love the thunder shirt...I have one for my girl and it's worked wonderfully. We also use it when she goes to the vet for her anxiety and it works for that also.
     
  20. Barb04

    Barb04 Love my pets Staff Member

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    I sent you a pm.

     

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