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Tommy Coyote

Noise Phobia Question

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I was just reading an artcle about noise phobia.   There was just kind of an aside at the end of the article that noise phobia has been associated with early spay/neuter.

So I thought I would ask how many people with noise phobia had dogs who were spayed or neutered early?

All but one of my border collies have had noise phobia.   All of my 3 that I have now are noise phobic and none were spayed or neutered early.

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Was this the one from Dr. Karen Becker? https://healthypets.mercola.com/sites/healthypets/archive/2018/08/31/noise-aversion-in-dogs.aspx?utm_source=facebook.com&utm_medium=referral&utm_content=facebookpets_lead&utm_campaign=20180831_noise-aversion-in-dogs

If so, I saw it too and that caught my attention.

None of my dogs who've been noise phobic were spayed or neutered early. The one whose phobia was the worst was intact his entire life.

I also noticed in that article that she mentioned certain breeds, including border collies, as being predisposed. But she doesn't mention genetics as a factor, though I suppose it could be inferred. And if it's genetic, then I don't think most of the methods of desensitization she mentions are going to be much help. I've never found them to be.

And none of my dogs has ever "learned" to be noise phobic from the ones who were. The ones who weren't just weren't, no matter how terrified the others were.

The one thing that really piqued my interest was the suggestion in the title that it could cause nerve damage in some dogs, but that's not followed up in the article.

Not the best of Dr. Beckers' articles. I think she's doing some great work in the area of raw feeding, but a lot of her stuff published by Mercola's leaves much to be desired.

 

 

 

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It was that article.   The only thing that gas ever really worked for me has been drugs.

I think that trazodone I have been using may be helping.  My dogs have been better even when I haven't given them anything.  Still early to really know.  Tommy had gotten really bad and she has been much better.  And trazodone is about $1 a pill and lasts 8 to 12 hours.

I was thinking that one thing we should say to people wanting a BC is that they are almost all thunder phobic.  And firework phobic.  It can be a really big problem. 

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All four of my Borders have been somewhat noise phobic.  None were spayed or neutered early.  I'm curious at what age did it appear?  Mine were all ok as puppies and young adults.  It didn't show up until maybe age six.  After that, each year it is a little worse although none of mine have been bad enough to medicate.

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From my experience and knowledge of the breed I do not agree with “almost all border collies are thunder phobic”.

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You were lucky.  Or maybe I was just unlucky.  

Some of mine have been a lot worse than others.  I got Bandit because his owners were going to have him euthanized because he completely destroyed a screened in porch.

One of my dogs died.   He was only 5.  His heart gave out.  And the storm wasn't even close.  It was way off to the North.  He also had mild seizures so that may have been a factor.

Most of mine were noise sensitive but not really awful.  Xanax helped but Trazodone works better so far.

Joey and Zeke aren't too bad.   I can crate them and cover the crate up and they will settle down.

A friend lived on the third floor and her dog tore through the screened porch and jumped off the balcony.  You really have to be careful.

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Not been lucky

got so bad Bue would panic when he saw any cloud in the sky even on the highest dose of Xanax 

many broken teeth and toe nails panicking to get out of a crate when a storm popped up

would not settle loose

bloody paw prints on sliding glass door when storm popped up while we were out; fortunately glass did not break

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My vet was telling me about a dog that was awful.  As a last resort they tried putting him in a room in the basement that had a solid oak door.  He went through the wall.

it can get absolutely horrible.   If you live where there are lots of storms like here in Missouri it gets impossible.

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I've had some border collies who were noise phobic and others who weren't. I really can't remember specifically about several of them, so it was either not present of extremely mild.

My first one was by far the worst and he was nowhere nearly as bad as what Mark & Tommy Coyote describe. I don't envy you guys at all.

My current one is but it's manageable most of the time. For some reason his reactions last year were worse than they had been before or have been this year. 6 mg. melatonin is usually enough to take the edge off for him so that he's just nervous but not terrified.

IIRC none of mine started out noise phobic. It developed at a couple years of age. Bodhi was estimated to be ~1 1/2 when I adopted him and he showed no signs of it that summer. The next year however, he was.

 

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Even with our experience I still do not agree “almost alll border collies are thunder phobic”.  This is based upon talking with many owners of many dogs at sheepdog trials and my years working on the ABCA health and genetics committee and now on the ABCA health and education foundation.

 

have you searched this sight for posts on thunder/noise phobia?  There was a genetic study in 2008 collecting blood samples from border collies (soloriver’s graduate research).

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Finley did great with fireworks and thunder the first 2 1/2 years, neither bothered him at all.  Then this spring we had a huge hail storm.  The pounding on the roof and windows was the loudest storm I've ever encountered in my almost 60 yrs.  Fourth of July and summer thunder storms are now an issue, not bad enough to require meds, but the happy go lucky attitude to noise is definitely gone.  We tried treating and distracting, he will take a treat but can't distract his attention for more than a split second.

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2, 2 1/2 years seems to be when it starts to develop in my limited experience. It doesn't even have to be because of a particularly bad storm. I suspect Finley would have become noise phobic even if that severe storm hadn't occurred.

And as I said, my memory's not perfect in remembering each dog in this regard, but I'm pretty sure I've had slightly more border collies who have not been noise phobic than who were.

One of my dogs loved thunder. He'd run across the yard or a field looking up into the sky chasing it. :rolleyes:

Mark, I remember when samples were being collect for that study, but don't recall every having seen any results. Were any published?

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I will check for published research tomorrow.

I suspect there are those that learn the phobia and those that are genetically predisposed.

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This was the publication 

https://academic.oup.com/jhered/article/100/suppl_1/S28/886713

It did not get into the genetics of noise phobia because the samples did not all come from the same gene pool.

 

From the discussion section 

”These results have important implications for genetic association studies in dogs. Contrary to common assumptions, within-breed population structure can be significant in some breeds, and this stratification may be explained by geographical origin, by artificial selection criteria used by dog breeders, or both. Demographic and pedigree information should be used to guide the collection of study samples that are free of significant within-breed population structure. In addition, genetic data gathered during the performance of GWAS can be used to statistically adjust for substructure.”

 

 

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