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Hello and Happy New Year to all,

Last night and tonight has brought on a new problem for Jackie, who we've had for 7 months. She hears firecrackers set off in the neighborhood, and starts shaking and panting really, really hard.

It seems to be getting worse; this was not a problem on 4th of July. First of all, is this much anxiety harmful for the dog if she's shaking and panting for several hours?? AND, is there anything we can

do for her? I tried turning up the football game. I feel bad for her that she is this scared. The firecracker noise stopped long ago. Thanks for any advice!

tracy

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A quick fix for tonight might be benedryl, melatonin, rescue remedy, or perhaps a noise machine to block the outside sounds. If this becomes a serious problem for your dogs there are prescription meds like prozac, or even a little valium. But, this seems to be her first exposure, so she might get better over time.

Good luck with your girl.

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Some dogs are much more noise-sensitive than others. Sunny is very afraid of fireworks and other bangs too and hasn't really improved much with time. We find that putting on some music with a good beat (we use Queen Greatest Hits!) helps quite a lot but we also keep valium in the house for times when there are a lot of fireworks, such as over new year, and give him 10mg if necessary, which takes the edge off his fear. Stress puts a lot of strain on the adrenal glands, and depletes the body of vitamins and minerals (vitamins B and C and magnesium for example) so it's better to avoid it if you can. There are lots of things you can try before resorting to medication, such as valerian and other herbal remedies, rescue remedy, DAP etc. None of these helped Sunny at all, but some people seem to have success with them.

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Guest SusanP

Our old girl Zippy will go on like that for hours, and it looks so horrifying--I'm always afraid she'll give herself a heart attack or something. Even clomipramine and valium have not helped her. She is more willing to at least lie down if she has Alprazolam, but I don't think she's less stressed. If you can make a special hiding place for her it might help: Our Dr. Doug goes to an old soft sided crate in the basement with blankies in and over it. Zippy doesn't settle easily, and so far her best place is on our bed resting her head on my ankles if it's only a little stormy, and if it's really thundering, there is no place that soothes her.

 

We do start her on clomipramine at the start of the thunderstorm season here because she will get so revved up after a few storms that she beings to experience daily "imaginary storms" even when the weather is fair. The medication keeps her from having the imaginary storms but doesn't do much about the real ones.

 

Good luck to you and your girl.

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Both of my greys are extremely fearful of fireworks/fire crackers. On the 4th of July, because we know the noises are coming, I give them Bach's Thunder Storms remedy, which is similar to Rescue Remedy. It helps to calm them, but they are still anxious. My male grey is the worst with the panting like a train and shaking so much he vibrates. It is painful for me to watch. Unfortunately when the fire crackers go off unexpectedly in the neighborhood due to a celebration like New Year's (they are illegal here to do so), I don't have time for the remedy to work, so basically he just needs to work through it.

 

For us, mostly I wait for it to pass. They are both fine once all the commotion is over and don't seem too much worse for the wear. One is 8 years and one is 9.

 

Interestingly, nothing else seems to bother the guy. He barks at the UPS truck, he barks at the wind and thunder, and he barks at the train sound in the distance. But sounds like shotguns or fireworks turn him to putty. The female goes into the bathtub during a thunderstorm.

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Guest Willerton

I don't know if the reaction is exactly the same in dogs, but people are only capable of panicking for a certain period of time. If you are panicked for too long and wear yourself out with the stress of it, you'll fall asleep. I'd recommend the benadryl or valium to prevent the stress, but while it may look bad, the panicking shouldn't cause any lasting harm physically. However, allowing them to get to that really panicked state should be avoided, because at least for people it reinforces the fear of whatever caused the panic in the first place.

 

Edited to add: It is REALLY important that you act as though nothing is wrong--because nothing is wrong. If you get anxious too, the dog will know it and their anxiety will be higher as well.

Edited by Willerton
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Guest sheila

just another note I haven't seen addressed yet. If you dog is getting antsy please don't try and comfort them. In dog talk this is reinforcing the idea that there is something to be frightened about. When there is a loud noise you should yawn and act bored by it all and the dogs may follow your cues.

If you really feel that you must react, have treats in hand and when something goes BOOM! act happy about it and give the dog a treat. This seems to work around here.

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I have a dog (Elsie) that is so thunder/ rain / and firework phobic that I was afraid she was going to have a heart attack when she sences any of these things.

 

She knews by barmometic pressure when it's going to rain and thunder. After trying and failing the "natural" approaches, I broke down and gave her 10mg of valium that my vet prescibed for her.

 

It makes a big difference and she doesn't suffer anymore. 10mg for a greyhound is not a lot but it shouldn't me more than that.

 

See if your vet is OK with that. It sure helped both my broodies.

 

 

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