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How do your dogs react to thunder?

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It's been horribly hot today and it just now started to thunder. Yay... it'll finally cool down. I'm listening carefully to see how Zeeke will respond to it all. He just started barking at the grumbles of thunder. He's definitely a dominant, confident dog.

 

Now Oreo, on the other hand... she's been absolutely terrified of thunder since she was a puppy. She's almost 9 years old and if she hears thunder, even far far off, she'll come running into the room with her tail tucked and huddle up against you. If it's thundering, I can't read, can't eat, can't type, because I have a terrified 45lb dog climbing onto my lap. At night it's worse because she won't let me sleep... she'll nudge me if I try to fall asleep, cower up against my side, and can't sit still for more than 5 seconds.

 

So... how do your dogs take it?

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My border collie is fine as long as she is in the house.

 

My husky wants to be in the house during thunder but it fine once in the house.

 

My Mastiff could care less about thunder but yet he is scared of the noise the garbage can makes coming up the driveway. Nuts.

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For dogs that show a real fear reaction to thunder you may wish to try a homeopathic remedy. The remedy for intense fear in this situation would be Aconite .... you need to make sure, however, that you get a homeopathic preparation. The most potent remedy you will commonly be able to obtain would be 30c which would be fine for most situations.

 

Homeopathic preparations come in many forms but the easiest to administer to dogs would be either the liquid form (a drop in the mouth) or in treated sugar pill form (one or two pills by mouth - this is what we use).

 

Both of our dogs are very unsettled by distant thunder and show an acute fear reaction to loud thunder. Application of aconite removes the extreme fear though they may still be unsettled. Aconite would also be appropriate for dogs that are fearful of crowds, loud noises (e.g. fireworks), travel, etc.

 

Homeopathic remedies are not going to cause any harm if you administer a single dose to see what the effect is .... so you're not going to harm your dogs. Repeated doses of the incorrect or unnecessary remedy is another story.

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Spinner, I'll look into that. Oreo really does get very freaked out... thunder and firecrackers. Halloween is never fun.

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Well My 5 year old Max is terrified of thunder. He shakes and pants and goes from one bed to another if it is night time. He does better durning the day but at night he doesnt take it well at all. He will hide and cuddle up next to anyone who will take him. Now our 6 month old Reno has sleep thru it all so far. But that could change as well. Usually the first few big storms of the season shake Max up and then he gets better about it. Like he forgets about thunder booms over winter LOL

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Firecrackers...oh man, i forgot about that one. We dread fourth of july and new years. Poor maggie about has a nervous breakdown.

 

Then there is the halloween thing...all those weirdo's coming up and ringing her doorbell.

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Fergie thinks Halloween is great. OF course, if we get 6 kids it means my doughter and her husband came with the two girls.

 

Fireworks? Her it's not just July 4; it's New Years' Eve. Ferg hates them. SHe also panics when the wind is right and we can hear the skeet shootin over about 5 miles away. Walks become drags - she drags us home ASAP.

 

Thunder is not the only part of storms that bothers her. She senses a low pressure area before the weather man can. The becomes Velcro Dog, and sudders. She paces, until she finally decides to hide in the bathroom. At night, she wedges her 50 lbs in the tiny space between the bed and my bed table. Benadryl helps some.

 

I hate to go to Valium. We've survived 8 years. And I hated it when my gynecologist forced me to take Valium for what seems to have been post partum depression. Or maybe it was just having two kids (the second and third) in 18 months. Now I refuse most all drugs. For me and for Ferg.

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Jazz is the same as Piper. Not the slightest reaction to loud noises! It could be that all the jets from the nearby air station have made him fairly accustomend to noise. And we are close to a train station, too.

 

We had a Shiba mix (a mixed-up Shiba?) some years ago that freaked out and was a nervous wreck after a friend dropped by on his Harley. He revved it up a few times before he left and the dog (Mac) was hugging the ground, never fully to recuperate.

 

Jazz's pal,

Kevin

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Nancy, I can understand your aversion to drugs ... and I would not recomend anything to anyone that could hurt them or their dogs. I am not a vet (nor do I play one on TV) and I would not presume to suggest that drugs are the answer.

 

I have some (limited) experience with homeopathy (which is very different to allopathic medicinal systems) and have had some success with our dogs in the same situation .... that's why I suggested that its something people may wish to consider.

 

Homeopathic remedies do not work on a molecular level like allopathic medicines and they work on emotions as well as physical systems (well not all do, but many) ... they are truly holistic. You should see the results from administering the correct remedy very quickly (if not immediately). Best of all trying homeopathic remedies (with a sensible approach) won't cause any harm.

 

The sudden and extreme fear reactions to thunder and loud noises described in this thread tend to suggest Aconite .... however, I would encourage you to discuss the situation with a homeopathic vet or a conventional vet who is aware of or at least sympathetic to homeopathy. If you don't have access to a homeopathic vet, then try talking ot a human homeopath. The system works the same on humans and animals but the syptom indications and disease pictures are different because of course animals can't tell you what is wrong and some interpretation of the animals demeanour and habits is required.

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I am interested in the homeopathic approach. I sure took care of first child's horrible cholic. I was nursing her, she had no other foods, I did everything the doctor said. Still she was a red face with a loud and constant cry unless she was nursing. Then the doctor told us to try Humphrey's Number something (It's only been 37 years; why can't I remember?) Anyhow, it cured her.

 

Someone mentioned an oil that you rub in the dog's ears. I have to get to the place that carries it. Before the storm season hits. It does hit hard here in North Carolina.

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Each of my dogs is different.

 

Daisy- Until nearly 2 years old never gave a hoot about storms. Didn't bother her at all. But the summer we lived in Myrtle Beach, we had 3 tornadoes one afternoon, one an F3 that swept right behind our house. Since that day, she has been terrified of storms. I thought time would help, but we just had a severe storm a few nights ago, and I had 80lbs of dog shaking on top of me for 3 hours. I felt awful for her. I normally don't coddle a fearful dog, but I understand her fear, so I just let her huddle with me and try my best to soothe her. I just wish I could explain to her that not ALL thunder means another twister is coming. :rolleyes:

 

Dale- He doesn't mind much. But if it's loud, he gets a tad nervous. As long as he's in the same room with you, he's fine.

 

Ari- He's a typical Golden. Just like Daisy used to be, he snored all the way through our 3 hour adventure the other night. And it was a BAD storm. We lost power for 9 hours, and even our 14 year old son got scared and curled up on the floor by our bed for the night. But Ari just snoozed away as though nothing was going on.

 

 

Sometimes I think air pressure has alot to do with it. Our storm the other night was constant lightening and thunder...some so close it was deafening, for 3 solid hours. Dale and Ari weren't affected by it. But yesterday we got another bad storm... this one was much shorter and less intense...yet all 3 dogs were up my butt for the duration. :confused:

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My holistic vet gave me a homeopathic remedy for my thunderphobic dogs, called Animals' Apawthecary Tranquility Blend (ingredients [for those of you with some sort of herbalist knowledge]: valerian root, skullcap herb, oat flower, "ethically wildcrafted" [huh?] passionflower herb, vegetable glycerine and distilled water). Having been trained as a chemist and biologist I am quite a skeptic when it comes to homeopathic remedies, but since I don't like many of the alternatives (valium, ace) I am going to give it a try. If it works, then maybe I'll become a believer (at least in that particular product). Since I got the stuff we haven't had any thunderstorms so I'm still waiting to try it out.

 

J.

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Solo had a rapidly worsening thunder phobia until he rode through a few (literally 2-3) of bad storms with the benefit of xanax. This allowed him to decouple the approaching storm from a feeling of panic, and he learned that for some reason, he feels pretty damn good during storms.

 

Since then, he more or less ignores most storms, aside from looking mildly restless if there's a particularly loud boomer. Occasionally we'll have one of those enormous, catastrophic-sounding gigantic thunderstorms that seems to happen right on top of you, and those can still undo him (for Solo, it's all about the noise, he doesn't notice any of the other signs) although his reaction is still not nearly as bad as it used to be. If they're that loud, then I'll give him a xanax.

 

We tried valium, but it made him "stupid" and clumsy and I can see why a lot of people don't like to use it, although it has great effects with some dogs. Xanax just appears to make Solo normal and happy. I can't tell that it has any effects on him other than he isn't freaking out when he might otherwise be freaking out. It also clears the system very quickly, which is nice.

 

I've never tried aconite. Being a scientist, I have to admit that homeopathy sounds like a bunch of hooey to me. I'll be interested to hear of Julie has any results with her dogs because I think Julie and I have the same sorts of biases about these things. Something else I'm going to try, which many people I trust have raved about, is the Comfort Zone plug-in that dispenses "Dog Appeasing Pheromone." It's the same pheromone produced by lactating bitches and is supposed to have a calming effect. When I've had a chance to see it in action, I'll report back. I thought it would be especially nice for when I travel with the dogs -- I can plug it in at the hotel, and alleviate some of the stress Solo feels at being in a strange place.

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Sasha doesn't seem to care about storms.

 

Nik, my GSDx is absolutely terrified by thunder. Since most storms hit us at night, he'll come into the bedroom (if he can get in - he usually just explodes through the door if it isn't latched) and runs from one side to the next, panting and shaking. And 75lbs of shaking, terrified dog isn't usually compatable with sleep. :rolleyes:

 

We used to get up and sit with him until the storm passed. We figured that the 6 months he spent in the shelter with all the other freaked-out dogs may have something to do with it.

 

Thankfully, we discovered that it's not necessarily our presence that is required, so now when he wigs out, we turn the tv on to ESPN Classic, and turn the den lights on, and that's usually enough to distract him. (And we use ESPN classic, because there's commentary on all night = people talking.)

 

Now, he's conditioned himself to calm down with that set of circumstances, and life is easier on all of us.

 

I love ESPN,

Danielle

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My bc mix is sound sensitive but was not thunder phobic until recently. She is 4 years old now.

 

There is a bunch of construction going on behind us, including blasting. This construction has been causing a lot of problems for Charlotte. Now just my neighbors or even my husband pounding on the wall with a hammar sends her into a frenzy. A week ago we had a nasty thunder storm and she freaked out.

 

She will jump in my lap and try to snuggle up as close as she can (crawl in my skin if she could)... and it does not matter what might be in my lap, including another dog, computer, food etc...

 

When she does this I just tell her off non-chalantly and she will go lay down up against the corner of the couch and fall asleep.

 

This is the same dog who freaks out over a lot of barking. Luckily, at flyball she has no problems but pop in a video of a tourney and she will freak unless you mute it because of the barking.

 

She has learned how to deal with her sensitivities because I do not console her when she freaks out. The fear of noises and such are sometimes made worse by people doing what comes naturally, which is consoling their scared pet. When you console a dog, you are telling them it is ok to be afraid. Don't get me wrong, this is not the case with some dogs. There are some dogs that just cannot deal with things naturally, no matter what, and medicine is the only the answer for some, as in Solo's case. We have all read Solo's story and Melanie has done everything she possibly can for a dog that has issues. If Xanax makes Solo a happier more content dog, then Xanax is the correct answer and Solo can still function as a dog. Don't ever discount drugs as a therapy but it should never be the first or even second thought in correcting the problem and medicine should not be used without trying to also re-condition the dog.

 

Just my .02

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Oreo doesn't have much of a reaction to thunder, if any. Then again, we have been in a drought for a couple of years so he hasn't experienced storms very often.

 

I have read that it helps the dogs if we don't react to their reaction, or if we use calming signals (yawning, stretching, etc.) to let them know we think thunder is no big deal.

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Tenaya, our young BC, didn't seem to mind with the couple of thunderstorms we had last year, after we brought her home. But she hides from the evil vacuum cleaner monster and hates it if I'm hammering anything (well, she barks at the hammer and tries to bite it, if I'm nailing down low). I've had a couple of other dogs who were terrified of any loud noises--thunder, fireworks, etc.

 

Willow our Collie, on the other hand, thinks Mr. Vacuum is her friend and wants to play. She even likes it when I vacuum HER.

 

But I don't know what will happen for Tenaya now. She shared a traumatic exerience with a lot of other dogs here in Corvallis 2 weeks ago. Oregon State U has a Vet school that sponsors "Pet Day" the first weekend of May, with "everything pets"--agility demos, herding demos, booths from all the local trainers and dog food sellers and kennel club, frisbee contest, animal-stuff vendors, dog rescue groups with some of their kids looking for homes, pack llama demos--all at the Vet school on campus. "Well-behaved pets on leash welcome!" It's a fun event, which Tenaya attended with my husband, Don. They competed in the Frisbee contest (Tenaya got 4th!).

 

Well, the Athletic Dept. decided they had to have a Spring Football game on the same day to celebrate expansion of their stadium. And some idiot decided, 2 weeks before, that fireworks (in the middle of the afternoon!) would be a great idea, along with cannon fire. The Vet School folks tried to convince them this was a really bad idea, but they went ahead with it. The early warning that was supposed to come didn't happen because an Athletic Dept. idiot's cell phone battery was dead.

 

Even dogs like Tenaya that hadn't been bothered before FREAKED. And those poor animals that are sensitive to loud noises tore their way out of their owners arms, leashes, jumped X-pens, even tore out of crates! Some of the poor BC Rescue dogs really hurt themselves trying to escape, from what I was told. Quite a few dogs took off and were lost for hours, and one wasn't found for 2 days, a BC/lab mix names Spooner. And when he was reunited with his owner, who raised him for 8 years from a young puppy, he hid and peed in fear, associating her with the horrible trauma.

 

This all created quite an uproar in our little town. The University president apologized to the community and amazingly, the Athletic Dept. promised never to use fireworks or cannons again (they had started firing a cannon at regular football games a few years ago to celebrate touchdowns).

 

But I think there will be a few more dogs around here who are now sensitized to loud noises. Fortunately for us, thunderstorms are infrequent in western Oregon.

 

Deanna

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I used to have a dog really scared of thunder. I'd just crate her during the storm and she did fine with that. I did NOT let her crawl all over me out of fear.

 

My current lot of dogs do fine with thunder, but don't particularly care for the rednecks shooting off fireworks in my neighborhood. :rolleyes:

 

-laura

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Bailey has no problem with thunder, gunshots, or firecrackers. I got him used to loud noises by doing target practice here at home. And he has no fear of the vacuum cleaner. He gets in the way while I am vacuuming and I have to tell him to MOVE, which he understands. The only noise that scares him is when something clangs on metal. That kind of frightens him. I think that is because when something close by falls down and almost hits him, then he is afraid of getting hurt.

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I've only had my dog for about three months, and we've now made it through (well, sort of) 3 thunder storms.

 

Finn is definitely very agitated by thunder, and he runs around the house and if I don't have him in my lap, he is at the front door trying to get out.

 

I've tried doggie massage, and that seems to keep him still in one place but the panting doesn't seem to stop with massage. I have not yet tried, but I have been told to try either Bach's Rescue Remedy or melatonin. I'd be interested to hear if anyone has tried melatonin -- I am told it will not make your dog sleepy but will help him/her through storms.

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Neither of my pups even notice a storm. We had a tornado touch down in Walters a few weeks back and other than looking a little peeved at not being able to go outside, they didn't notice.

 

Now, how do -I- handle storms and the like? Ha. I need to just be knocked out for the whole thing. Maybe I can convince the dogs to hold ME.

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A few years ago I lost my dog for three days after he was spooked by a freak thunder cloud. Really, there was one cloud in the sky, over our head, and from it came a random huge boom of thunder. Andy ran like hell. I went and looked for him in that park every morning and evening. I thought he was gone for good. I guess he finally got hungry enough and presented himself to another dog-walker, who called us from the number on his ID tag. Now I have him microchipped, which I recommend in addition to collar ID tags.

 

He still has a dislike of thunder, but has never had another event like this. When it's really bad he goes in a dark closet and stuffs his head into a bucket until it passes (I mean that literally!). He has enjoyed the move out to the desert, there isn't much thunder here compared to back home.

 

kevin

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