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I Used To Like Thunderstorms, But Now...


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So, like pretty much everyone else in the US, we've been in a severe drought. Well, last night we got our first measurable rain in the area in what seemed like forever, but we got it in the form of 4 inches in 10 hours with LOTS of thunder all. night. long.

 

Rocky didn't sleep, and spent the entire night panting wildly, shaking severely, with eyes fully dilated and drooling all over himself and everything else.

 

Thundershirt? No help. Rescue remedy? No help. Benedryl? No help. I felt powerless and awful that there was nothing I could do to help him. I simply crated him, covered his crate with a blanket, and turned on a whitenoise machine that I bought for him and let him ride out the storm...it was the best that I could do.

 

As soon as the vet opened, I put in a call for meds. The vet wasn't in yet and I had to go to work, but it sounds like they will have *something* for me to pick up today after work. I would assume Xanax. The good news is, there are no more storms in the forecast for the next few days, and the way this summer has gone there may not be any more storms for all I know. But I do know that I don't want Rocky feeling like that again if there's something I can do to help (medications).

 

Rocky is 73 lbs and is otherwise young and healthy. What type of dosage would you expect and does anyone have any experiences to share regarding treatment for thunderphobia?

~Amanda

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Guest sweetpea

Awww, I'm sorry for Rocky.

 

I came home after a 4th of July outing to find my Ridgeback in my bathtub.

We don't get many thunderstorms here at all so I had no idea he was boom-phobic.

I felt so awful, I mean, how stressed out does a dog have to be to voluntarily climb in to the "rainy closet of def"?

 

The next year we had drugs on board, closed him up in the laundry room with the noisy ventilation fan going and he

tolerated it much better. I don't remember the dosage, but I do remember we had to trial and error it for a couple of

days before hand to figure out the best dosage for him. (He was 8 or 9 and 80 pounds)

 

:goodluck that you find a workable remedy.

 

Buzzy

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I sure was glad to get that rain last night but whenever it thunders like that I always feel so bad for dogs (and their folks!) that are so very afraid of it. Luckily ours don't bat an eye, but our bridge Schipperke Captain was HORRIBLE. We had "happy pills" for him too (can't remeber what it was, may have been valium?) but the problem we had was sometimes storms come out of nowhere and there's no time to medicate. That, and they had a tendency to make him VERY aggressive the next day, I don't know why .. so we only gave them when we knew for sure a storm was coming. Plus, when they hit when we'd be a work we obviously couldn't do anything either...I remember sitting at my desk when big storms came up and feeling horrible that my Poofers was terrified at home :(

 

good luck and I really hope it helps!

Kim and Bruce - with Rick (Rick Roufus 6/30/16) and missing my sweet greyhound Angels Rainey (LG's Rainey 10/4/2000 - 3/8/2011), Anubis (RJ's Saint Nick 12/25/2001 - 9/12/12) and Zeke (Hey Who Whiz It 4/6/2009 - 7/20/2020) and Larry (PTL Laroach 2/24/2007 - 8/2/2020) -- and Chester (Lab) (8/31/1990 - 5/3/2005), Captain (Schipperke) (10/12/1992 - 6/13/2005) and Remy (GSP) (?/?/1998 - 1/6/2005) at the bridge
"Always do sober what you said you'd do drunk. That will teach you to keep your mouth shut." -- Ernest Hemmingway

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Our Mr. Darby is not only afraid of thunderstorms he is afraid of just rain. We tried the thundershirt, melatonin, Benadryl, nothing worked we finally got Xanax from the vet. I watch the weather and if the storm is going to be mild he gets one pill which is 1mg if it going to be a heavy storm he gets 2 pills. The only problem is that for the meds to do the most good they should be given an hour before the storm, that works if I am at home and watching the weather but most times these storms just pop up or they happen while I am at work. I do watch the weather before I go to work in the morning and if it looks like we have a storm coming through I will give a pill or two before I leave. We tried putting his crate back up and covering it with a blanket so it would offer him a dark place to go but he wouldn't use it so the crate came back down. I won't put him in the crate while I am gone during a storm because I am afraid he might hurt himself trying to get out. If you find any other solutions that help your pup let us all know. I wish I could help him overcome it but at 9 years old I don't think that is going to happen.

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My little Echo used to pant heavily and shake when we had a storm. I feared she would have a heart attack it was so bad. When she was 9, she came and got in my bed one night during a bad storm. I snuggled up to her and sang her lullabies and she calmed down some. The next storm we had, I sang Brahm's lullaby. She eventually got more comfortable and the next year she took all the storms well. This year has been really bad but I just have to sing using la-la-la (much easier than singing the words) and she calms down. I keep thinking I'll record it but then I'd have to listen to it also. I know. It's weird but I wish I had discovered it a few years ago.

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My little Echo used to pant heavily and shake when we had a storm. I feared she would have a heart attack it was so bad. When she was 9, she came and got in my bed one night during a bad storm. I snuggled up to her and sang her lullabies and she calmed down some. The next storm we had, I sang Brahm's lullaby. She eventually got more comfortable and the next year she took all the storms well. This year has been really bad but I just have to sing using la-la-la (much easier than singing the words) and she calms down. I keep thinking I'll record it but then I'd have to listen to it also. I know. It's weird but I wish I had discovered it a few years ago.

 

I've tried reading to Rocky (Selections from Whitman's Leaves of Grass as well as Shakespeare's Sonnets) but it didn't make any difference. I haven't tried singing, but I don't think that would be very soothing to anyone...lol

~Amanda

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I found that thread about the biscuits:

 

Dale Edgar Calm K 9. I bought them directly from their website and used the coupon code facebook332 for 25% off. I cannot believe how well they work, it's kinda freaky. My vet said just to be careful and not give too many, they could cause diarrhea. I've only had to give one per evening and no one had the runs the next day. I gave my friend two last night for her greyhound who isn't any too happy about the sound of all the fireworks - she reported a little bit ago that he was sleeping through them tonight, too! I think she's going to buy a jar, too.

 

They had a booth at the PetExpo in April and had free samples. I tried them the first night the Dodgers had a Friday home game (fireworks for every Friday home game) and Carl laid on his dog bed next to me at the computer and didn't so much as raise his head! The windows were open and neither dog could have cared less. I was immediately sold and went online that night and bought a big container of them.

~Amanda

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I hope it was Xanax or Valium, and not acepromazine, that your vet had you pick up... A lot of vets are still using ace for storms, and most behaviorists do not consider it an appropriate anti-anxiety medication.

 

Here are a couple articles that explain why ace isn't the best option for anxieties:

Acepromazine for Dogs: Is Acepromazine a Good Medication for Anxiety?

Storm Phobias (info about ace on 3rd page)

Jennifer &

Willow (Wilma Waggle), Wiki (Wiki Hard Ten), Carter (Let's Get It On),

Ollie (whippet), Gracie (whippet x), & Terra (whippet) + Just Saying + Just Alice

gtsig3.jpg

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Received a Rx for 2mg alprazolam (xanax) as needed administered 2-3hrs prior to storms. We're supposed to have more storms tues-thurs of this upcoming week, so we'll see if we need it and if so, how well it helps.

~Amanda

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I found that thread about the biscuits:

 

Dale Edgar Calm K 9. I bought them directly from their website and used the coupon code facebook332 for 25% off. I cannot believe how well they work, it's kinda freaky. My vet said just to be careful and not give too many, they could cause diarrhea. I've only had to give one per evening and no one had the runs the next day. I gave my friend two last night for her greyhound who isn't any too happy about the sound of all the fireworks - she reported a little bit ago that he was sleeping through them tonight, too! I think she's going to buy a jar, too.

 

They had a booth at the PetExpo in April and had free samples. I tried them the first night the Dodgers had a Friday home game (fireworks for every Friday home game) and Carl laid on his dog bed next to me at the computer and didn't so much as raise his head! The windows were open and neither dog could have cared less. I was immediately sold and went online that night and bought a big container of them.

 

I bought a jar of these to help Annie Bella with her anxiety on car rides. One "cookie" worked great for her. Her anxiety was decreased by 80 to 90 percent and it didn't matter if she was already a bit anxious, which she gets when she senses I'm planning a car ride. The thing about Xanax (and maybe other drugs but I've only used Xanax) is that it has to be given in advance of the anxiety-producing event or else the nervousness the dog feels overwhelms the calming effects of the drug.

Edited by Feisty49
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I found that thread about the biscuits:

 

Dale Edgar Calm K 9. I bought them directly from their website and used the coupon code facebook332 for 25% off. I cannot believe how well they work, it's kinda freaky. My vet said just to be careful and not give too many, they could cause diarrhea. I've only had to give one per evening and no one had the runs the next day. I gave my friend two last night for her greyhound who isn't any too happy about the sound of all the fireworks - she reported a little bit ago that he was sleeping through them tonight, too! I think she's going to buy a jar, too.

 

They had a booth at the PetExpo in April and had free samples. I tried them the first night the Dodgers had a Friday home game (fireworks for every Friday home game) and Carl laid on his dog bed next to me at the computer and didn't so much as raise his head! The windows were open and neither dog could have cared less. I was immediately sold and went online that night and bought a big container of them.

 

I bought a jar of these to help Annie Bella with her anxiety on car rides. One "cookie" worked great for her. Her anxiety was decreased by 80 to 90 percent and it didn't matter if she was already a bit anxious, which she gets when she senses I'm planning a car ride. The thing about Xanax (and maybe other drugs but I've only used Xanax) is that it has to be given in advance of the anxiety-producing event or else the nervousness the dog feels overwhelms the calming effects of the drug.

 

Well, I went and placed an order. Won't hurt to have on hand and there have been a couple strong recommendations for them now.

~Amanda

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Dang it....had large storm cells heading this way--scheduled to start thundering by 7pm (100% chance of heavy precipitation), so gave rocky 2mg of xanax at 5pm. Now it's pm and I check the weather to see how far away it is, and the weather (in the last hour) suddenly said their is NO chance of precipitation and the storm (which was the entire size of WI) has disappeared!

 

Now I have a 75lb goofy stumbling dog who is feeling frisky and running and falling everywhere. He's so happy and I am just laughing my ass off, but now I am going to have to leash him or kennel him to keep him from crashing into something or breaking a leg.

 

Stupid weather.

~Amanda

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Rocky is hyper hyper hyper and, as my grandma would say, "full of piss and vinegar". How long lasting are the effects of xanax? He won't stop pacing, whining, barking at me and grabbing at things. I tried to walk him and he was an overly-excited bucking, pulling, bronco the whole time. Sigh...

~Amanda

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Hopefully Rocky's calmed down by now, but Xanax usually lasts an average of 4-6 hours, with some variation between individuals. It sounds like he had a paradoxical reaction as it is supposed to help him relax. A small percentage of dogs actually become more hyper and restless like you saw with Rocky. You can try giving 1/2 the tablet next time, or talk to your vet about switching to a different medication. Actually, I usually recommend doing a trial dose on a calm day without storms to make sure the dog isn't going to have this hyper reaction while he's also freaked out by a storm.

Jennifer &

Willow (Wilma Waggle), Wiki (Wiki Hard Ten), Carter (Let's Get It On),

Ollie (whippet), Gracie (whippet x), & Terra (whippet) + Just Saying + Just Alice

gtsig3.jpg

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Thanks for the advice. He finally calmed down enough to lie down around 9:30 last night, so approx. 4.5 hours after being dosed. He certainly did had a paradoxical reaction, and I'll be calling the vet to see if there is something else we can try. I saw a veterinary article online that suggests Clonidine when dogs have had paradoxical reactions to alprazolam.

 

Bad news is the thunder is in full effect this morning, but I didnt want to give him another doze of alprazolam so he's just shaking in his kennel.

~Amanda

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Guest HHHounds

One of our first hounds was thunderphobic. A behaviorist told us to act very normal during storms and do not try to comfort her because that was making it worse. We would medicate her and try to act normal.

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