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Late-Occurring Thunderphobia


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Guest bonniesbullet

Any thoughts on this? We've had Bullet now for 8 years--got him when he was four, he's now 12. He's never been afraid of loud noises or storms, except the occasional fireworks. Within the last year, he has become thunderphobic. It started with the pacing and panting and has now escalated to the "whole body" shaking. It just breaks my heart! I can't figure out why this has come on all of a sudden? I can't think of a time when there was a "bad" experience for him and my husband and I actually love the storms--so no fear on our part. I've read previous threads on some things to try--going to start with the storm defender cape, I think. He has his annual appt witht the vet next week so I will ask her about it, too. Just curious as to why this would come on so much later in life when there have never been any other problems? Just as a side note, I can literally run the vacuum cleaner up on him with no reaction whatsoever...go figure?? Thanks for any thoughts you have.

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One of my girls had no problem with thunderstorms and then suddenly she did the same thing, whining, shaking and panting. I have no clue what set her off either. Melatonin works well for her if I can get it in her well ahead of the storm.

Judy, mom to Darth Vader, Bandita, And Angel

Forever in our hearts, DeeYoGee, Dani, Emmy, Andy, Heart, Saint, Valentino, Arrow, Gee, Bebe, Jilly Bean, Bullitt, Pistol, Junior, Sammie, Joey, Gizmo, Do Bee

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Guest BooBooMama

It could be due to her hearing. As dogs age they have hearing issues just like humans. Noises begin to 'run together' and sound like mumbling. This can make low rumbling sounds, like thunder, seem magnified.

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Sammie the Mut did the same thing. The first few years she I had her she didn't mind thunder but it seemed that once we moved our of our condo into a house she started having thunderphobia. I though maybe the condo had better sound proofing.

Now she is at least 13 years old and seems to have lost most of her hearing so she just sleeps through the storms.

Edited by fionasmom
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Maddy did this too. She wasn't thunderphobic when we got her, but now can be. She isn't always, it's sort of hit or miss. I just tell her she needs to lay down and chill out - that she's not afraid of storms. She looks at me like "I'm not??" :lol

She was a brood on a farm in Kansas, I'm sure she saw more than her share of thunderstorms.

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Monty (now 4) is now reacting to storms and firecrackers and other sharp noises that he didn't even notice before. It's very odd because as far as we can tell nothing else has changed. Same neighbors with firecrackers, same types of storms.... We just try to ignore his pacing and eye-rolling and just call him back to his bed and encourage him to lie down again. Sometimes it works.

 

The funny thing is now he's on melatonin for butt-hair-regrowth and there's one of those DAP diffusers in the kitchen where he sleeps (because Allie gets restless at night). She still doesn't respond to storms at all.

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Storm Defender cape did not work for my grey. T-shirt worked much better. I had to cut it from the neck to the middle of the chest to get it large enough for him..Not pretty, but who cares? I also use the "Ultra Calm" pills from Foster and Smith...Dee told me about all of this..

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Guest Heehoo

Every once in a while Jack who is 10, will suddenly get frightened by the noise. But most

of the time he's okay.

My older cat, Jjetz gets afraid also. I've never had a cat that was afraid of thunder.

My 13 yr old Banker has always been afraid of thunder & after reading about the capes

and coats people put on them, I tried putting just a light coat on him & it worked wonders.

He even went outside in the thunderstorm. With Snowy, she would go in the closet or

the crate, so when she went in a crate, I put a dark colored sheet over the crate & that worked

wonders.

Banker goes in either the den or the bedroom closet.

 

Maddy did this too. She wasn't thunderphobic when we got her, but now can be. She isn't always, it's sort of hit or miss. I just tell her she needs to lay down and chill out - that she's not afraid of storms. She looks at me like "I'm not??" :lol

She was a brood on a farm in Kansas, I'm sure she saw more than her share of thunderstorms.

I had a norwegian elkhound who would get in the bathtub when it stormed & if

the curtain was closed, it was instant calmness. My vet told me not to console

them. I gave him a dirty look. But then I noticed when she didn't know I was home

she was as afraid as when I was there. So I tried the oh you'll live, routine &

slowly she became less "needy".

Now he did tell me that when he worked the ER, the nights with thunderstorms &

holidays with fire works, was his busiest nights from dogs jumping through plate

glass windows & getting hit by cars from jumping fences. So when it storms

regardless of whether we're having tornadoes or what...all my doors are shut.

I've never lost one during a storm, don't want to start now.

 

That's supposed to be wasn't as afraid. Sorry...stupid computer.

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i posted this last week:

 

we love the storm defender cape. we thought murray would have a heart attack when storms came. he shook so badly. we put the cape on in advance of storms and he barely shakes at all. you get a 100% money back guarantee so you have nothing to lose with the cape. his fierce shaking and panting have turned into only mild concern when he wears his cape.

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Edited by 45MPHK9

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  • 2 weeks later...
Guest chaoran22

we're waiting for a delivery of the thundershirt - try googling it and seeing if it's something you might want to try. my boy also developed this fear later in life :(

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Guest DoofBert

It could be due to her hearing. As dogs age they have hearing issues just like humans. Noises begin to 'run together' and sound like mumbling. This can make low rumbling sounds, like thunder, seem magnified.

Changes in hearing or changes in sight may be the culprit.

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