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storm/thunderphobia and anxiety meds

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Noise phobias are common in Border Collies. It seems to have a hereditary aspect and the symptoms can be ameliorated by anti-anxiety medication. It is also often (but not always) associated with other anxiety-related problems in dogs -- a large study of a clinical population demonstrated that about 70% of dogs presenting with noise phobias also have separation anxiety. All of these lines of evidence suggest a biological basis for noise phobia, in other words, a condition that can be treated medically. This is why my project is doing a study exploring the genetic basis of noise phobia in dogs, and especially in Border Collies.

 

Dogs who are noise phobic tend to have a stereotyped set of reactions that are all indicative of fear or panic: pacing, drooling, dilated pupils, panting, efforts to hide, efforts to escape, the latter of which can become extremely destructive and dangerous to the dog. Dogs who are noise phobic almost invariably become worse over time, as continued exposure to the problem noises causes the association between noise and fear to become stronger, and the dog's fear reaction to become more and more ingrained (practice makes perfect, after all). In my opinion, if you see any of these signs of fear or panic developing in your dog, and you live in an area where noise events are seasonal, frequent, and impossible to avoid, it is better to start treatment sooner rather than later. I am NOT a vet or a behaviorist. I base my opinion on my experience with my own dog and from observing other noise phobic dogs I have known.

 

For dogs with situational anxieties like noise phobia, benzodiazepines are ideal for treatment because they are short-acting, extremely effective, have specific anxiolytic effects, and can be given on an "as per needed" basis. Yes, they can be addictive in humans. This does not matter for dogs, because dogs cannot go out and find their own pushers. My own dog got Xanax for every storm at first, and as the association between storms and panic began to dissipate for Solo his fear reactions became manageable and he no longer needed Xanax for every storm. Instead of stuffing himself into tiny spaces, like two-gallon pails, or my Papillon's crate, Solo was able to lie quietly and only look somewhat perturbed during storms. After a while I reserved the use of Xanax only for extremely severe storms and events like the Fourth of July. Solo is not sedated at all on Xanax; he merely becomes a bit more charming, like some people will after a glass of wine. Most people would not notice any difference at all in his demeanor. I only do because I know him so well.

 

Most owners of noise phobic dogs will report that the dog only became phobic after adulthood. Usually what is happening is that the dog has always been afraid of noises, but that owners don't notice until the dog has become panicky enough to have really noticeable symptoms. Anyone who has lived with a noise phobic dog recognizes that this is something qualitatively different from a normal conditioned fear. I have one normal dog and one noise phobic dog. My normal dog, Fly, had presumably never heard a bad storm until after she came to live with me, because she grew up in the UK and they just don't have the kind of horrible storms we had in the mid-Atlantic region of the United States. During her first storm, Fly jumped about five feet into the air with the first boomer, recovered from her startle, looked at me, and said, "What was that?" Five minutes later she'd gotten used to the noise and completely ignored it. Phobic dogs are different. They are generally terrified to the level of panic (which can be static or active; the dog might freeze, or attempt flight) and cannot be treated by normal counterconditioning means. In fact, for phobic dogs, attempting to desensitize them to noise can be counterproductive as phobias, in both humans in in dogs, generally worsen with exposure rather than getting better. I've heard of people trying to "fix" their dogs' fear of gunshots by forcing the dog to sit beside them while they fired a gun, over and over. All they succeeded in doing was completely scrambling the dog.

 

Dogs suffer from many behavioral problems that are similar, and probably homologous, to some human psychiatric disorders. There has often been a resistance to recognizing human disorders are legitimate medical conditions, but anyone suffering from depression, or panic disorder, will be able to tell you that it doesn't help when people tell them to "just snap out of it." Likewise, among dog owners, there has been a resistance to the idea that not all behavioral problems can be fixed by training, and that some problems may indicate something about the dog's biology itself. However, the evidence is overwhelming that some problems are biologically-based -- even anecdotal evidence and the "common wisdom" of dog people suggests this.

 

Problems that are biologically-based call for medical solutions. My favorite dog is on anti-anxiety medication on a daily basis. He is what many dog people would refer to as "not wired right." There is something about his brain chemistry that makes it impossible for him, without meds, to act like a normal dog in most situations. However, with the meds, he does a remarkably good impression of "normal" in the majority of circumstances. Having seen him both on and off meds, I can tell you with certainty that he is not sedated or otherwise adversely affected by his medication (a combo of fluoxetine and amitriptyline) -- his energy level and "normal" behavior are the same both on and off, the difference is that he can be normal in more circumstances. No one who didn't know Solo as on meds would guess by looking at him. He has had no side effects and his bloodwork continues to be excellent. To me there is no difference between Solo being on anti-anxiety meds, and a diabetic being on insulin. Both medications alleviate some sort of inherent shortage or imbalance and facilitate normal function.

 

I am always struck by how many people will not consider psychiatric medication for their dogs, but are willing to stuff the dogs full of "homeopathic" treatments and folk "herbal" remedies, or spend hundreds of dollars trying to find what they consider a "legitimate" medical explanation for their dogs' behavior, such as thyroid problems. If Solo's problems were due to his thyroid and not his brain, it would not make a difference to me. Either way there is a medical explanation for what ails him, and a medical treatment that is appropriate. And as far as what is in the pills I give him, personally I'd rather give him a prescription drug that is formulated consistently and that has ingredients and a dosage that are predictable, than some "herbal" remedy that is subject to no such regulation, and that probably contains a lot of other chemicals that I might not want to be giving him.

 

I would hate if owners of dogs that would benefit from anti-anxiety meds read some of the knee-jerk reactions in this thread and were scared away from medical options that would benefit them and their dogs. People who won't consider medical alternatives for their dogs because the idea of behavioral medication makes them feel "icky" are doing themselves and their dogs a disservice. To me, it is a quality of life issue. People need to stop being afraid of these medications.

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^ very insightful read. i dont know whats wrong with clover...she can be the bravest at times and the most chicken at other times. during the first couple of T-storms she would run towards the door and claw at it madly to let her in. she knows that the house is her safety net and she feels totally safe inside.

 

xanax may be archaic but it still is one of the safest psych medications available with a wide therapeutic dosing window. to this day benzodiazepines remain as the first line therapy for many psych conditions

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Anyone considering giving medications for any form of anxiety in their dog should consult their veterinarian.

 

My last dog was put on Amitryptylline for separation anxiety after consulting his veterinarian. It worked well for him and I wish I had started him on it sooner. If I had, I feel that he would have made more progress in the initial stages of training/behavior mod.

 

I have friends whose dogs have benefitted from DAP, anxiety wraps, melatonin, etc. Each dog is different and no single treatment will work for all.

 

I did the Amitryptylline for my last dog shep/collie mix who had thunderstorm fears and seperation anxiety. I only gave it over the summer. I liked it because it worked better then the other calming meds the vet tried. I also liked that you didnt have to be present when the storm started to give it, it was a once a day med.

My dog passed away, as eventually she was diagnosed with cushings disease, but she had her thunder issues years before the diagnoses.

 

Today I emailed my vet because I now have a 16 month old BC who has decided that thunder is a noise that needs to be answered with a bark! he will calm down when given his cage as an option to feel safe. But July 4th is fast approaching and I want to be ahead of the game this time. So I am waiting for the vets reply. I used RESCUE REMEDY on him for OCD as a puppy, just rub a dab on the inside of the ear or paw pads if giving orally is a pain.

It seems to help and as someone else said, I have tried it too and it does take the edge off.

I am not sure which way this "Barking Back" thing will go, will he just get the idea that 'yea the sky makes noise' as he gets older and grow to accept it? Or will be become another anxiety issue? I am hoping it won't, he doesnt act scared just in Attention mode like when he hears another dog bark or sees a cat.

Oh and I don't approach any health issues with my dogs without an email to my vet. It would naive of me to assume I knew the answers, even with the internet. i use the internet to research a subject so that i can talk with some intelligence to my vet. I use these boards to see that others are facing the same problems I am, I find that interesting reading.

( and the misery loves company theory works too) :rolleyes:

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Melanie, thanks for the post. I am currently waiting on the kits as I would like to participate in the study. Although none of mine currently have the issue, I would like to help.

Reading your post also made me think of a piece I just saw on TV about medication given to people to help with traumatic incidents to minimize post traumatic stress disorder. Or actually try to eliminate. When I read your post and you mentioned the dogs association between the noise and bad feelings, I wish I could remember the name of the medication.

If you know what I am refering too, is that kind of the same line of attack?

In my mind it all boils down to the fact that at times the choices we have to make may not be what we would prefer but in light of the wellbeing of the dogs, they have to be made. Plus never to forget that no two dogs are alike.

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Melanie,

I too thank you for your post and thank all who understand the benefits of medicating

when needed.

All I know is how it benefits my storm phobic 7 yr old bitch. Noise doesn't

bother her,she'll sit with me watching neighbours shooting off bottles rockets (yep rural

area).

The change in the weather,precursors to t-storms would have her hitting a high

trot from one safe spot to another, a lot of panting and obviously worried ... with meds

she is herself ,pure and simple... a relaxed, friendly and not bothered by anything, type

of BC. Molly is the first BC I have had bothered by storms, although I have been around

quite a few herding breeds and several Goldens afflicted. No Molly's anxiety isn't BAD,

but isn't she entitled to live without fear if I can do something about it?

 

A thing to remember too as far as meds... a lot of these drugs were labeled safe for humans

after being used on dogs to start with. There have been many dogs that otherwise would have

been PTS, if it weren't for the meds and the behaviour modification that was able to be done

BECAUSE of the meds. And I am not saying all can be saved nor should be saved.We have

come so far in understanding how the brain works, how it can be fixed sometimes and sometimes

not.

 

Yep definitely quality of life issue, with seemingly biological components.

Funny how humans are really quick to take meds for their own issues but

can't bring themselves to do it for their dogs. <sigh>

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To me noise phobia in dogs is very curious. My Tyra (6 yrs old) is thunderstorm phobic. She has been her whole life. She is also afraid of gun shots and fireworks. When she was about 2 she also because phobic of all sorts of things. Like if you dropped a piece of paper on the table it would send her running. Luckily after a couple months that craziness abated and she went back to being just afraid of storms, gunshots, and fireworks. She also is not hard to manage with regard to these fears. She simply wants to curl up in someplace cavelike and wait it out. She doesn't drool or pant. But she is clearly tense. Also, with storms this behavior starts well before we can hear the thunder.

 

My Seamus has no fear of storms, gun shots, or fireworks. BUT he is very sensative to metal banging (like fence gates), swatting flies noise, or get this..........the crunch when you eat chips!!!!!!!!!! He is so sensative that last summer he would not come in the kitchen for a month after we had been swatting flies in there. Why can you fire a gun next to this dog but not eat chips around him??

 

My puppy also barks at thunder, but I think he is just still figuring the world out. He likes to bark at anything he doesn't understand.

 

BTW, everyone should know that Rescue Remedy is primarily alcohol! You can find flower essences that are not in an alcohol base. No wonder it relaxes!

 

Jennifer

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Oh, I forgot, my Tyra is also terribly afraid of hiccups!!!!!!!!

 

Jennifer

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I am so glad someone started this topic. Buster never had a problem until his buddy went on to doggy heaven. I am fortunate that all he needs is company, and he is fine. If he is left alone he is not a happy camper.

 

He does have major separation anxiety. My husband and I are torn between him being the center of the universe and getting a companion for him. I take him to visit my friend's dogs, but sometimes when we get there, he is afraid to get out of the car. He is fine once "the girls" come out to see him. We are pretty sure he thinks we forgot to pick up his friend and is afraid we are going to leave him somewhere. Any advice on getting him a buddy is welcome.

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Getting another dog can help with separation anxiety, but it doesn't always. Personally I think dogs are better off in twos (or mores) so I say go for it with a second dog but don't count on it fixing the problem. Dogs can have different sorts of idiosyncrasies with separation anxiety. Solo had massive separation anxiety when I first got him, and if he was with another dog it helped a bit but being with humans, except me, didn't help at all, and he was really only comfortable if I was around, specifically me, me only. He was like this less than 24 hours after I got him. I like to joke that he knew we were meant for each other before I did, but at the same time it was highly distressing for both of us.

 

Separation anxiety is a condition that benefits greatly from the use of anti-anxiety medications like TCAs or SSRIs (not to be confused with benzodiazepines like Valium or Xanax). Ideally, if you are treating a dog for separation anxiety, you want to desensitize the dog to your absence by leaving for EXTREMELY short periods of time (I'm talking like 30-60 seconds at first) over and over again and then slowly, slowly lengthening the time you are gone. It's difficult to make a dent in serious separation anxiety without meds because the dog is usually highly distressed by being left alone even for very short periods of time, and it is impossible for most people to never leave their dogs alone longer than the dogs can handle, since most people have jobs and lives. The problem is that even one absence that is longer than the dog can handle without freaking out is enough to undo all the good you've done up to that point. Anti-anxiety meds help people get their foot in the door to treating the anxiety, and I think most dogs in this position can eventually be weaned off the drugs.

 

If you are interested in going this route I highly recommend consulting with a veterinary behaviorist.

 

As to getting Buster a buddy, that would depend on his personality and temperament. When I got a second dog I knew I wanted a dog that was very confident and had no anxiety issues whatsoever, to be a positive role model for Solo and also because I knew I could not do justice to two project dogs at once.

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As a result of this discussion, I will be starting a dog on Xanax today. I hope that it will quell her extreme noise phobia. This dog tends to bolt away when hearing noises associated with fear, not necessarily loud noises, though I'm sure it started out that way. This includes thunder (unheard by me), firecrackers, airplanes, and now, hot-air ballons (thanks to the jerk who landed one in my neighbors yard last week-what a terror that was!). This is a dog who is required to work off leash and many of these noises are seasonal, yet unpredictable. If her reaction was anything other than running off, perhaps I would consider on-the-spot relaxatives, such as skullcap and/or valium. As it is now, this dog is a potential flight risk and can clear a 4-ft fence without hesitation. I don't believe that electronics, such as an e-fence, or an e-collar can help contain her when in a state of panic. I truely hope that the Xanax will give me a leg up on the panic/flight reaction and I can continue to use the dog for the work it was intended.

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Hi Wendy,

 

I am glad to hear that our discussion here may make a difference for your dog.

 

Is there a vet behaviorist you are consulting with? The reason I ask is that if the noises can happen at any time without notice (unlike storms which can be predicted by watching the weather forecast) one of the longer-acting anti-anxiety meds may help, something that is given daily like amitriptyline or fluoxetine. It would be worth asking a certified vet behaviorist about for more info. I may be off-base but sometimes these kinds of meds are indicated because they are much longer acting than alprazolam (Xanax).

 

Let us know how it goes.

 

-- Melanie

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I'm glad everybody 'in the know' piped in.

 

My mother's dog has run off twice now because of thunder. She has been on anti-anxiety meds (I believe it's a generic Paxil?) for approximately 6 years now, and also has normal bloodwork. The only reason she got out the second time (last week!) was that she was left loose, alone, and thunder hit before I could get to her and put her in her 'safe' crate in the basement. She went out a 10" by 10" screen window opening. She is about 40 lbs, not small for a bitch, and going on 9 years old. Luckily we got her within 2 hours because she ALWAYS wears ID tags (starting the first time she got out, 6 years ago).

 

The first time she got out, she went through a pressure-gated baby gate, and shoved her way through the tiny corner of a 5-foot chain link fence that wasn't attached quite good enough to the side of the shed. It took effort. It also took almost 3 days to get her back. It was immediately after this even that she was taken for a consult at Univ of Penn vet hospital in Philly. She does NOT have separation anxiety. After that first thunder episode she was becoming more sensitive to ALL loud noises (trucks, jets, motorcycles, anything) and for a competitive agility dog this is very tough. She travels a LOT. Was VERY socialized.

The Paxil helped her to be calm enough to learn that those other noises, which she was not fully afraid of yet, were nothing to worry about, and now she knows the phrases "just a truck" or "just the rain" and will settle down immediately. I and my mother both believe it's the anti-anxiety meds that have helped her learn this. She is also able to quell the need to run, as long as someone is around to hold her or take her down to her safe crate. Unfortunately last week she got out while no one was home. She will not be left alone loose or with open windows ever again.

 

By the way she went on to WIN the 26" USDAA Nationals a year after her first escape, and has had a long and successful career since. She is ramping down now due to other physical limitations but has always been the same happy, excitable, serious agility and house-dog that she was before the meds. Like Solo, she is just able to be Normal in more situations.

 

She also has alprazolam (sp?) for situations requiring a little extra calming effect - which is pretty much ONLY if a large storm is coming. We do live in Southeast PA, and right now is thunder-season. This drug does make her every so slightly dopey, but it is situational only, and we would never dream of asking her to do agility or some such on this drug.

 

Obviously these meds are not for every dog, but in some situations they make a huge difference.

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I to have decided to do a bit more research on helping some of my dogs with their thunder phobia. This discussion and yesterday's 4 hr. thunderstorm has me thinking that doing something about it would stop the escalation that seems to be happening.

 

Does anyone notice that it seems to be contagious? The ones that suffer most from it didn't start their issues till around 2. After yesterday the 1 yr. old puppy seemed to be pretty upset about it too. I'm hoping that treating the older ones will help the younger ones to not "catch" the phobia. Yesterday even my 8 yr old who’s never shown any signs of stress was showing signs of worry. It was an extremely long lasting storm.

 

We live near an army training base. The huge artillery noises don’t seem to bother them but close range gunshots and fireworks do.

 

Relating to JVW about the strange noises that can set them off. During her fear period my young pup decided she was deathly afraid of fart noises that people make with their mouths. Not passing gas by anyone but the noises that people make with their mouths. It’s taken some extreme convincing of my extended family that it isn’t funny one little bit. When telling people of this fear they are compelled to try to make the noise just to prove me wrong or thinking it’s funny to see her be so afraid. Poor girl will run under the bed and hide out for hours. I don’t think it’s funny in the least and more than one family member has suffered my wrath for doing it out of spite or thinking I’m making it up.

 

Do you think a reg. vet will be of any help? I'm not sure there are any behavior specialists in this area.

 

Thanks for this insightful discussion

Kristen

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My mother's jack russell is about 5 times worse when she's around the phobic dog. She has begun to deliberately separate them. Revel (the phobic one) goes in an airline crate in the basement anyway as the noise is lessened and she is happiest there. She had begun to put her JRT there as well but she seemed to calm down somewhat once Revel was out of the same room. Dogs can learn a lot of things from each other. If any of my 3 ever starts to show more than mild fear symptoms I will definitely try to separate them somewhat during storms. As it is, luckily, the worst I have is one that jumps on the bed/couch/chair with me and once he's touching me he goes right back to sleep. He's almost 5, so (crossing my fingers) hopefully he won't get worse. He has no relatives that I know of with fear issues.

 

And I think Melanie's absolutely right about the genetic/biological basis. Revel's mother was not thunder-phobic at the time when she had the litter, however about a year later (I think the bitch was about 5/6?) she become progressively worse and worse. Her hearing was still great.

Also, at least one of Revel's littermates is very thunder-phobic and has a fear/running response.

I guess it's actually somewhat fortunate that the litter was shown to have loose hips quite early in life and thus the bitch was spayed and never bred again.

Unluckily, her son was left intact and has accidentally bred a litter :-(

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Does anyone notice that it seems to be contagious? The ones that suffer most from it didn't start their issues till around 2. After yesterday the 1 yr. old puppy seemed to be pretty upset about it too.

 

Kristen

Just think of how stressful the environment is for all the other dogs when one of their pack is in full panic and you are stressed because of the thunderphobic dog. I'm not sure thunderphobia is contagious; however, dogs do learn routines. The routine is when it storms a pack member is stressed; therefore, the others get stressed by the coming storm in anticipation of their pack member getting stressed. The stress level in the other dogs can/will ease as the routine changes.

 

Mark

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Mark,

 

The 'pack effect' was just one of the reasons that I got Molly some help. I have some of her pups, now 18 mos old,

and did not want them to start picking up Molly's stress. Right now my youngsters don't have sense enough

to come in out of the stormy weather , after all it's a chance to take nose to tail mudbaths!

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An update...

 

The Xanax has made the dog extremely hyper and agitated, and so I have discountinued it's use. I will look into the Paxil-type meds next. I have Valium on hand, in the meantime.

 

Thanks for the info.

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Hi Wendy,

 

Good luck finding a solution for your dog. Are you working with a veterinary behaviorist? If not, and there isn't one available, some will do long-distance consults with your own vet. There are many medications available, and individual dogs respond differently, so sometimes the routine can be difficult to optimize.

 

If anyone here is interested and hasn't signed up yet, the Canine Behavioral Genetics Project is doing a dedicated study on noise phobia in Border Collies. You can download a flyer about the project here:

 

Flyer for noise phobia study (pdf download)

 

If you would like to sign up, you can either do so directly on our website (see .sig), or email me: [email protected] If you have questions, comments, or suggestions, you can also email me, or feel free to post them here.

 

-- M

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Hi Wendy,

 

Good luck finding a solution for your dog. Are you working with a veterinary behaviorist? If not, and there isn't one available, some will do long-distance consults with your own vet. There are many medications available, and individual dogs respond differently, so sometimes the routine can be difficult to optimize.

 

If anyone here is interested and hasn't signed up yet, the Canine Behavioral Genetics Project is doing a dedicated study on noise phobia in Border Collies. You can download a flyer about the project here:

 

Flyer for noise phobia study (pdf download)

 

If you would like to sign up, you can either do so directly on our website (see .sig), or email me: [email protected] If you have questions, comments, or suggestions, you can also email me, or feel free to post them here.

 

-- M

 

HI

Just read your info, very interesting, U of Pa almost in my back yard.

Even though I have no papers on this rescue BC I would like to partcipate, as I find this noise thing quite different from fear, more like reaction as in 'answering' the noise.

Thanks, and good Luck to you in your studies

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can a regular vet perscribe these things? we dont have a vertrinarian behavioust here. I have been seriously conisdering starting Blair on anxiety meds. EVERYTHING panics him so completly that he howls, barks and attacks and is otherwise beside himself in fright, that combined with being a moron makes behaviour modification impossable, he litterally forgets within seconds, so we have company for 2 weeks and every single time he see's them he will panic and begin howling, and run to hide in his crate. within a few second he walks out all fine and dandy see's the "stranger" and panics again. as you can imagine, this gets old quick. we have been putting up with this for almost 4 years, EVERY SINGLE DAY. cell phone rings, he panics. storm? he panics. company? he panics. the wind blows? he panics. someone walks by? he panics. we have actually had people ask if he was abused. nope, he has lived in the lap of luxery his entire life. I remeber the vet gave us ACE once, so we could clip his nails, know how well that worked? not at all, we still needed 3 people, several pillows, blankets and a muzzle to clip his nails. when he gets injured we cant do anything because he panics and bites if you touch his feet, or try to take a look at his belly. when he was neutered he was so panicked that the vets had a chair in front of his cage and were absoulty terrified of him.

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Check with your vet. If you're within driving distance of a university that has a school of veterinary medicine give them a call, and see if they have a behavioral clinic. I had a dog who was simply generally anxious, and medication made a huge difference for her.

Good luck,

Ruth & Gibbs

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On 6/21/2007 at 12:52 PM, jvw said:

BTW, everyone should know that Rescue Remedy is primarily alcohol! You can find flower essences that are not in an alcohol base. No wonder it relaxes!

I know this is an old thread but had to respond to this now that people are reading it again.

First of all, the dose of Rescue Remedy is mere drops, not enough IMO for the alcohol to have an effect.

Secondly, there's also an alcohol free version of it marketed for pets. That may not have been true at the time of the original writing, but the point is that if it's effective for any pets or humans, then it obviously isn't due to the effect of alcohol.

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Welcome to the Boards, BCmiler. Sorry your first post is about something so troubling.

Checking with your vet is a good start. I've had several dogs that were thunder- and noise phobic. I wish I knew with the first one, who was by far the worst, what I do now about medications and things hat could help.

Some people swear by Thundershirts. I haven't used one but I do hug my current dog, but his fear isn't anywhere nearly as bad as the first one was. I also use melatonin for him. Usual dose for a dog his size (38-39 lbs.) is 3 mg. but it's safe to use twice that much, which I often do with him. It doesn't work with all dogs and even with Bodhi it's not 100%, but it takes the edge off enough that between it and my hugging him it makes the difference between his shaking and cowering and being nervous and just wanting to be held but able to cope. If he were worse I'd be looking into pharmaceuticals for him.

I've also used some of the various calming treat formulas available for my other anxious/reactive dog. Like melatonin, not all work equally well with all dogs and you have to experiment to see what's effective for your particular dog. She's also on fluoxetine (generic Prozac), which has helped her. She's not noise sensitive, so I'm just adding this in support of the idea that some things work better for some dogs and that meds can help.

In one of the posts earlier in the thread someone mentioned one Dr. Nicholas Dodman's books w/ regard to anxiety meds. He's written another, Pets on the Couch, that uses a number of case studies to illustrate how veterinarians are finding that animals suffer from the same psychiatric illnesses that humans do and that the same medications can often be used to treat them.

I'd also like to add that I disagree with advice not to console a dog. It's not the same thing as coddling and it can help, at least with some dogs. With Bodhi coming to me for comfort during storms I remembered reading about the hug machine Temple Grandin had built. She'd found herself craving pressure and also observed how cattle relax and calm when pressure's applied in a chute and built something for herself to help alleviate her own anxiety. I'd also noticed that my noise phobic dogs would try to squeeze into tight spaces, so one day when Bodhi was trying to squeeze behind my back on the sofa I decided to try a firm hug with him. It really made a difference and he almost instantly became much more relaxed.

Wishing you the best in finding a way to help your dog.

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