Using Meds for Storms

Discussion in 'Dogs - General Dog Chat' started by JacksonsMom, Apr 12, 2013.

  1. JacksonsMom

    JacksonsMom Active Member

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    Does anyone use meds for storm-fearing dogs?

    Jackson is 4 1/2 now and has gotten progressively worse during thunderstorms. Rain, loud wind, etc, does NOT bother him, but thunder DOES. This morning, we had a little bit of thunder, not super loud, and ended within 10 mins, but he immediately jumped off the bed, began pacing, scratching at my gate, trying to get away.

    He used to just be okay with going under my bed for the duration of the storm. And last season, we had so many. He paces and he pants. I just want to be prepared since thunderstorms are right around the corner and I hate to see such a usually confident dog become so fearful.

    Believe me when I say I've tried de-sensitizing (he won't eat when he's that frightened, so rarely I may be able to get a bit of cheese for him, but it doesn't matter, he's still terrified), Thundershirt did nothing.

    I am certainly not opposed to trying prescribed medicine from the vet if I know that a storm is coming. It would make his life so much easier and mine. He is going to the vet on Monday for a dental cleaning and I may ask then.

    I just was curious if any of you had any experience with these meds and what they take, how it works, etc.
     
  2. sassafras

    sassafras mushinois

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    I don't with any of my current dogs, who are blissfully oblivious to storms, but my old girl Roxy was terrified of them.

    I like to use alprazolam (xanax) alone or sometimes with a touch of acepromazine (never use acepromazine alone, though).
     
  3. BlackPuppy

    BlackPuppy Owned by Belgians

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    Have you tried a Thunder Shirt?

    I have a couple of dogs afraid of storms. My dogs improve over time, not get worse. My dog that is no longer with me improved a great deal just by ignoring him during storms. He had a routine. If there was a bad storm, he was allowed to sleep in my walk-in closet. He liked it in there so much he wanted to sleep in there all the time, which I did not allow.

    My Malinois used to be very bad. When she was younger I would let her on my bed and I would put my arm over her and do my best to fall asleep. Now she only jumps on the bed when the storms are very bad.

    My youngest is also improving. At first he would crawl on my head during storms. Now he is willing to lay on the floor next to the bed during bad storms.

    These guys used to have major drooling and shaking, but not anymore. Like I said, the best thing to do is ignore them entirely. Petting and "soothing" just makes it worse. But I have a friend who says the Thunder Shirt is great!
     
  4. JessLough

    JessLough Love My Mutt

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    Ugh, I understand that :( Poor Jackson.


    I just knock Ren out with Benedryl at the first sign of a storm. :rofl1:
     
  5. ~WelshStump~

    ~WelshStump~ New Member

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    Yes, two of mine get Melatonin and it works pretty good. A tight regular doggie tee work for Noods, bought a thundershirt for Enda for hunting season, didn't do a dang thing for her it's only function for her is that it looks cute. You can pop a 1MG melatonin whenever you have "storm warnings" out, then a second just as the storm is hitting if they start to get restless, but one usually works.

    I also tried for Enda's gun/fireworks phobia a non-essential amino acid called "L-Theanine". I would say proceed with extreme caution with that one, I've read many reviews where it worked GREAT for dogs, and truly it actually did cure her noise sensitivity, but it also made her insane, to the point it ended with a large gash in her leg from Jinj, that fight was the last straw and I dumped the rest of the bottle of product. You could try it, they're are even a few brands of "treats" with it in them, but be very watchful of your dogs behavior, especially if they're already prone to fight behavior.
     
  6. LostAndConfused

    LostAndConfused Active Member

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    Does he react to thunder on tv or a computer?
     
  7. Fran101

    Fran101 Resident fainting goat

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    Family dog gets benadryl or dramamine when we hear a storm is coming.

    Sleeps like a rock.
     
  8. MericoX

    MericoX Roos, Poos, & a Wog!

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    I've heard of melatonin being used for noise-phobic dogs.
     
  9. *blackrose

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

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    This is what we've done as well.

    Melatonin would also be something to try if you wanted to try a natural supplement first, but if he's severely fearful it may not do enough on its own.
     
  10. Emily

    Emily Rollin' with my bitches

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    My roommate's dog takes Xanax. He used to be on Trazodone... My roommate did not like the Trazodone. It made him into a zombie and he also acted quite hung over afterwards. Not pleasant for anyone. He would stare at you like he couldn't recognize you when you said his name.

    The Xanax is a much, much better choice for him. It relieves his anxiety without sending him out of orbit. If anything, it makes him kind of silly and drunk acting, but not to a disturbing extent. It also gives him the munchies, which I guess is a human side effect as well! No hang over afterwards. He still knows who and where he is on the Xanax.
     
  11. Southpaw

    Southpaw orange iguanas.

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    Yeah we tend to prescribe either alprazolam (xanax) or diazepam (valium).

    Definitely don't do straight up acepromazine.

    I've never had a dog that cared about thunderstorms but I don't think there's anything wrong with trying drugs. After seeing the huge difference drugs make for Juno's other anxiety issues, I don't think I will ever hesitate to medicate for anxiety. Just not fair to them when oftentimes it's an easy solution.
     
  12. JacksonsMom

    JacksonsMom Active Member

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    It didn't do anything unfortunately. :(

    Oh and I never coddle or pick him up, because he HATES that lol. His first reaction to any big fear is flight. He just wants to get as far away as possible. Cannot stand being constricted or me soothing etc, so I just tend to ignore, but it still makes me feel bad when he's over there like completely stressing himself out.

    LOL, not a bad idea, actually....

    Nope. And that's what sucks. I can't even use recordings to help de-sensitize him to it because he doesn't react. But there's been many movies (and I have a big surround sound system, and always listen to movies loud) and he has never reacted.
     
  13. JacksonsMom

    JacksonsMom Active Member

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    I think this might be my first option. See if something like Benadryl will work or not.

    See, that's definitely what I don't want. No zombie dogs wanted in this house :rofl1:

    Xanax seems to be the best option if Benadryl doesn't work.
     

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