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I'm Just Fit To Be Tied, Shes Getting Worse With Storms


Guest masa
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I know I have posted a few times about storms, but I'm almost ready to cry over this.

Swirl has always been scared of storms, we knew this when we adopted her. I have myself had three dogs and they went from either sleeping through storms or my second dog hid in the closet or corners and shook. OK I can understand that. My parents have grown up with dogs, none of us have ever seen anything as bad as Swirl's storm phobia. Before she would just lay in the garage (She wanted to go there) we would turn up soft soothing music and she would lay or stand and pant and shake. OK no problems. But then she got worse. She was in her crate five maybe less minuets when a storm hit and she grabbed the bars on her crate and bent them open trying to get out. So we fixed her crate with some rope and watched for storms more and if we though it was going to storm we put her in the garage. (where she seems to want to go) Sadly one time my dad and I were not home and it stormed BAD, it wasn't calling for a storm, it didn't look like it was going to storm, it just sprung up. We drove home through hail and down pouring rain, trees were falling down and we almost wrecked three times. We got home as my mom was standing outside. "go see what your dog did" fearing that her crate bars were bent I looked. No dog, the crate was unlocked but the bungee cord was still across the door. I walked into the kitchen and my first though was that a tree had went through our window, no broken window thank God. But Swirl managed to unlock her crate somehow, shoved past the bungee cord and ran to the kitchen hopping up on our table, shoved everything off, broke dishes and glass, pooped and pee'd everywhere. Luckily our kitchen window is double sided with glass. She would have smashed through if it hadn't been, there were paw prints all over. Chocolate cake was smeared all over, like she took the lid off with her teeth and then smeared it with her paws all over the carpet. I was mad but worried that Swirl had hurt herself so I ran to check her, my mom had already and thank God she was fine. We had hoped this was the worst.

We were wrong

The second storm after this she barked and barked, her eyes were huge and black. We put her in the garage again and barricaded the door hoping she would lay down. She tore everything down, pooped and pee'd everywhere and smeared it around with her face and paws. leaped at the door and ripped our blinds down.

It cant get worse right?

Ha

Today was the worst, it wasn't even storming that bad, these last two storms since the really bad one, have not been that bad.

I literally put everything but the freezer and two tables in-front of the door she tore everything down at least 6 times, knocked everything over, pooped and pee'd everywhere. I had to keep shoving her back, because now she was LEAPING on top of this stuff to try and beat her head against the little part of window she could see. I had to use my knee to shove her back because she was out of her head bonkers, I felt so bad for shoving her, let alone with my knee but here is the scary part, she started to snap at me (hence me using my knee) she wasn't growling just snapping at the air. Her eyes were huge and black and rolling in her head. This isn't my sweet little girl. In desperation I called the vet and he could hear her barking and crashing in the background and said to give her two acepromazine. Because he even said she's going to hurt herself or someone. Thirty mins later, out like a light, and sure enough her legs are cut up from her mad scramble up to the window countless times (oh and she tried pulling open the garage door that you would lift to pull your car in) I know most of you don't like this med, but I'm fit to be tied, my parents are talking about giving her up. God knows the last thing I want to do is give her up, but she is getting dangerous. Not only to herself but to us.

I'm sorry this is so long, I'm just desperate and if anyone would have any advice I would be forever grateful

As a side note, thunder shirts and benadryl have no affect on her. The vet wants to keep her on the ACE, and try her with a regular at least during storms dosing of prozac.

We are supposed to get storms all week this week. Please any ideas or thoughts, tips

Thank you all ever so much<333

Edited by masa
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Guest IrskasMom

This is just awful . Have you ever seen on TV about " Thundershirt " ?? Please go give it a try. I believe PetsMart has it or Petco.Does she go any other time in the Crate?? She might not like the Crate and goes bonkers already by having to go in the Crate. I know you cant be home everytime it happen, but if you are, keep her close to you and maybe have a Bedroom Closet ready so she can hide in there. That poor Baby is scared out of her Wits. Or last Resort , calming her with Medication .

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Thank you for the advice :)

Yes we have tried a thunder shirt :c sadly it has no affect on her

Our closets are little to small to fit her in, and there would be no way to keep her in there. im afraid she would break the door down trying to get out.

As far as her crate she love it :) its her favorite spot to roach in and she chews all her treats and bones in there, even when the door is open, she likes to go lay in there and take a nap. She is in her crate when we leave for work/school exc and she happily sleeps the day away

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a lot of people discount what I am about to tell you but a lot of people also know it can sometimes work with amazing results. BACH flower essence therapy would surely help her-how much I couldn't say. But in a nutshell her energy is all screwed up and everything, everything is energy. If you can find a qualified practioner(holistic vets sometimes are) see what they recommend. If not then get the book(s) and info and do it yourself. She should immediately be on Rescue Remedy. Put a couple drops in her water so she gets it continuously in addition to dosing her on it several times a day to start. Rock Rose & minimus may help her. Once you purchase a bottle of the stock solution the books will tell you how you can even use just a few drops of it in some spring water with a little alcohol or vinegar for preservative. If you use it that way it is very cheap. If you just give her drops of the stock solution you buy for convenience sake it is still cheap at only 4 drops a time. It is SAFE to use with other meds etc. and you don't have to worry about giving them too much or the wrong one. If you select the wrong one it won't have any negative effect. I tell you true I have had REMARKABLE results using BACH flower essences. You have to be sure and use the BACH ones from Great Britain. The others are copycat versions and who knows if they work or how good. Give it to her several times a day to start. Amazon has books and some flower essences too. Only other thing I can think of is might also consider help from a good animal communicator. I have seen remarkable behavior changes also once it was "explained" to the animal what "the deal" is. I think you may just have to try everything you can think of until you hit on the thing that works. It is good the ace can knock her down and keep her from hurting herself but it isn't doing anything to help her get over her problem since she is still aware. God bless you! Keep in touch and let us know how she is doing.

Edited by racindog
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Our dog Darby is also terrified of stroms and has destroyed things in the house plus had accidents all over. Their fear is not their fault, they are dogs and they don't understand what is going on or why they are so afraid. We do not put Darby in his crate because he becomes so terrified that we fear he will hurt himself. We talked with our vet and he is on xanax. We watch the weather very carefully and if there is a chance of storms or just rain Darby is given his meds, depending on the severity of the storm or rain tells me how much he will get, if they are calling for hard storms throughout the day he gets 2 pills which is 2 mgs, if the storms are mild he gets one. I will also give him 1 melatonin pill along with his 1 xanax this helps him sleep and the xanax helps him stay calm. he may still get slightly upset but he doesn't destroy things nor does he do any damage that he could get hurt. I have read many articles on this fear and as far as I can tell, Darby will never get over this fear. he is 9 soon to be 10, and if he has not gotten over this fear by now I don't see where he ever will. I know it is frustrating but it seems to me that having him on xanax or valium would be safer for him than ACE. Ace does nothing to calm his fears it just knocks them out, al least the xanax or valium helps calm them. Please talk with your vet and if he insists on keeping your pup on Ace than I h think I would look for another vet. Your pup needs help in calming her fears she does not need to be knocked out. I have also tried the thundershirt for Darby and that did not help nor did the natural remedies that is why we went to the xanax and it has helped. Good Luck, there is help for your pup, you just need to be patient and help them get through it.

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Wow, I feel for both you and your sweet hound. I had two greys who were fearful of storms (and fireworks). Not as badly, though, as it seems your girl is. My first thought is that confining her makes her more fearful, i.e., the crate locked. She seems to be in such a panic that all she wants to do is escape and so there is where all the destruction comes in. One of my greys would go in the bathroom and into the bathtub and just lay there in a storm. She did not want a blanket or anything in there, just the cold porcelain. At the height of the fireworks, I gave them a vet prescription to calm them - I think it was like Valium. It helped and they just laid down, but they still were a little worried. Since she does like her crate, could you put a blanket or a sheet over the whole thing, but leave the crate door open, so it feels like a cave for her?

 

I wish I could help you with perfect advise, but ask your vet to see if he could prescribe something. It doesn't seem to me that if she is left alone in a storm she will be calm enough to not be destructive and medication might help her. I am not an expert on which med is good or bad as I rarely use them, but others here on the forum will know.

 

Good luck. Thank you for trying to help her. I feel bad when they just don't understand they won't be harmed.

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Guest KennelMom

I would not do ace for phobias...I've not had much luck with it in greyhounds (fearful reactions) and you'll find a good bit of debate on its use for anxiety/fear. We've always used Valium on our stormphobic dogs with great success, though none have had the severity of your pup :(

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Wow, your hound is beyond terrified...I'd certainly give medication a try. Poor baby.

Jan with precious pups Emmy (Stormin J Flag) and Simon (Nitro Si). Missing my angels: Bailey Buffetbobleclair 11/11/98-17/12/09; Ben Task Rapid Wave 5/5/02-2/11/15; Brooke Glo's Destroyer 7/09/06-21/06/16 and Katie Crazykatiebug 12/11/06 -21/08/21. My blog about grief The reality is that you will grieve forever. You will not get over the loss of a loved one; you will learn to live with it. You will rebuild yourself around the loss you have suffered. You will be whole again but you will never be the same. Nor should you be the same, nor would you want to. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

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You don't say if you have tried medicating her, but I would try that. I think her fear is beyond anything you can correct with behavior modifications at this point. You may have to try a few different drugs to see which works best, I'd start with Valium or Xanax. Melatonin works well for some dogs (works on one of mine, but her fear is mild). I know ACE has worked for some people, but I would not recommend it, it isn't really geared towards anxiety. Good luck, I know you must feel so bad for her.

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Thank you all for this great advice! I am forever greatful and will be looking into all of these options :)

 

Since she does like her crate, could you put a blanket or a sheet over the whole thing, but leave the crate door open, so it feels like a cave for her?

Yes but sadly she wont stay in there, she will stand for a minuet or so and then go running through the house throwing herself at any window she can see.

Thank you for the advice! :)

Edited by masa
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If you try prozac, it is an ongoing process. You can't use it for when you think you might need it. And, that might not be a bad thing. If you can calm her down, overall, she might relax more when a storm comes. You start at a low dose and build up to a point where she seems calmer to you. I believe you could still use your rescue remedy or melatonin with it. Also, how about a white noise machine, loud radio or tv to mask the storm's noise? You need to put the thunder coat on when a storm is expected, not when it has already arrived. My vet, when we lived in New Jersey, did not like to prescribe ACE.

 

I am sorry that your family is going through this and your girl is so frightened. John E used to hide in the closet, where he felt safe, and was on prozac for the last three years of his life.

Edited by Houndtime

Irene Ullmann w/Flying Odin in Lower Delaware
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Guest LindsaySF

If this dog is prone to jumping out a window, and the Ace worked the first time, I'd give her the Ace. You need to keep her safe. For the future though, can you ask your vet about valium or xanax?

 

I wouldn't crate her if she can bust out of the crate, she can get stuck trying to get out. Can you dog-proof a room in your house really well for her to stay in while you're gone? Do you have any interior rooms without windows?

 

How does she do with storms when you are home? I think putting her inside the garage, when you are on the outside, is only making her panic more, she seems desperate to escape her confinement.

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Wow. How awful for you; how awful for your pup. Poor Swirl.

 

I adopted a 12+ yr old female in April who has history of behavioral issues (long story, I won't digress). Anyway, while she hasn't exhibited extreme reactions like Swirl, she will not go out to potty nor eat during stormy weather. The past month has been doubly challenging due the the stupid fireworks in the neighborhood. My poor girl flips out and tries to hide, shakes, pants, pees and poops in the house. You know the drill.

 

When I adopted her she was wearing a DAP (dog appeasing pheromone) collar, which I have continued. Not sure if it truly helps? I just don't know but may be worth a try.

 

Also my vet recommended "Composure" chews by Vetri-Science. Again, not sure how much they help? (although I do think they turned her into somewhat of a zombie dog for a few days).

 

I still plan to try Rescue Remedy. And my pet sitter does essential oil treatments on her periodically.

 

I have not medicated her to date (although she was medicated in the past).

 

Obviously none of you can continue like this indefinitely. Such a heartbreaking situation. I hope you can find something to help Swirl.

Edited by IndyandHollyluv
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I wish we could keep her in a room in our house :( But we all have larger windows in every room in the house. On a normal day she would be fine staying there but since she has such a desire to get through a window I would be scared to see what she might do with a larger window.

It doesn't seem to matter to her if we are home or not, sitting with her doesn't seem to help either, its like she blocks everything out that isnt a window.

Thank you all for you're kind words and advice<3

I feel so bad for my little girl watching her be so terrified.

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Acepromazine is a sedative, not an anti-anxiety medication. Your dog will still feel extreme fear, she just won't be able to react to it. This is the reason most of the greyhound people on GT do not like the drug for anxiety. Also, many greyhounds have a bad reaction to it.

 

Xanax and valium are fast-acting and fast-metabolizing drugs. Both are used for general anxiety disorders. The limitation is that they both must be given BEFORE the dog becomes anxious. And because they metabolize so quickly, daily use is less than optimal (though it can be done).

 

Prozac and other anti-anxiety drugs of this type - clomicalm (specifically developed for dogs), and other human drugs like paxil - can take up to three weeks to reach a clinically effective dosage, but the effects are then also long-term. Many people use a general drug like prozac with a fast-acting drug like xanax during storm seasons.

 

Do a search for "anxiety" and "storm phobia" for other threads with more info.

Chris - Mom to: Lilly, Felicity (DeLand), and Andi (Braska Pandora)

35764734494_93de5b5963_b.jpg

Angels: Libby (Everlast), Dorie (Dog Gone Holly), Dude (TNJ VooDoo), Copper (Kid's Copper), Cash (GSI Payncash), Toni (LPH Cry Baby), Whiskey (KT's Phys Ed), Atom

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I understand what you are going through. Our first greyhound, who we adopted when she was 8, was terrified of storms. I came home one day to find her behind our frig. Our frig was between the counter and washer. She also chewed through a hollow door when a freak storm came and I was not home. We had to give her a sedative which I am thankful for. Best of luck with Swirl, it is sad to see how scared they are.

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A couple of my adopters had excellent results with the Storm Defender Cape. One dog would go stand by the coat closet and ask for it before any storms even showed up on the radar. I think it is different from a thundershirt because of the lame lining. It's a bit pricey, but it comes with a money back guarentee. Why not try it?

http://www.stormdefender.com/how_it_works.htm

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Guest iconsmum

How much exercise does your dog get? A proper leash walk lasts an hour at least - you may need to build up to it over some time if you aren't walking much/at all. That will drain off a lot of the adrenalin, get her large muscle groups worked, and tire her mind enough that she will be way less reactive and better able to cope. Exercise is better than drugs any day. Good luck

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Please read this article on Storm Phobia about why it is important to treat storm anxieties early and aggressively. With mild cases, I believe you have time to experiment with various holistic remedies and tools like the Thundershirt. But with more severe cases, or at the first sign that the problem is escalating, I would not hesitate to start medication. It should not be a last resort.

 

It is not unusual for storm phobia to worsen with time if the problem is not addressed adequately or appropriately, and it frustrates and saddens me that so many dogs suffer through such terror during storms because their owners are unaware that vets and vet behaviorists can help, or are resistant to the idea of medication.

 

With such a severe case, the best option would be to work closely with a veterinary behaviorist to find the right combination of medications that gives your dog some relief. If there are no vet behaviorists within a reasonable distance of you, there are many who are willing to do long distance consultations with your local vet. Here's a list of board certified veterinary behaviorists.

 

I typically recommend against the use of acepromazine for anxieties, and I would never use it alone. However, in cases where the dog is in danger of injuring herself, it can be useful when used in conjunction with true anti-anxiety meds. Most severe cases do better with a steady 'background' medication that they get daily through the storm season, such as Prozac/Reconcile (fluoxetine) or Clomicalm (clomipramine). Keep in mind that these usually take at least 3-4 weeks to really kick in.

 

In addition to the background anti-anxiety drug, severely storm phobic dogs also need a stronger situational medication to use during storms such as Xanax or Valium. If these commonly used meds don't help enough, there are other drugs available such as trazodone and clonidine. Because there are so many options, and often the need to use multiple meds together and adjust meds and doses until the right combo is found, veterinary behaviorists are the most knowledgeable and experienced experts to guide you through this process.

 

There are also training and behavior modification techniques that can help with storm phobia, rather than just relying on meds. The most common method is gradual desensitization to storm CDs to get them used to the noise. For dogs that react to other aspects of the storm like rain, wind, lightning flashes, waving tree branches, air pressure changes, etc. there may not be a practical way to desensitize, but I've seem some behaviorists get pretty creative too. Working on desensitization is something that is best done during the off-season so that real storms don't interfere with your progress.

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

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How much exercise does your dog get? A proper leash walk lasts an hour at least - you may need to build up to it over some time if you aren't walking much/at all. That will drain off a lot of the adrenalin, get her large muscle groups worked, and tire her mind enough that she will be way less reactive and better able to cope. Exercise is better than drugs any day. Good luck

 

I fail to see how any amount of exercise is going to help stop a severely scared and panicked dog from throwing herself through a plate glass window. Yes, it can help with cases of moderate anxiety, but the situation as described above has moved well beyond that point.

Chris - Mom to: Lilly, Felicity (DeLand), and Andi (Braska Pandora)

35764734494_93de5b5963_b.jpg

Angels: Libby (Everlast), Dorie (Dog Gone Holly), Dude (TNJ VooDoo), Copper (Kid's Copper), Cash (GSI Payncash), Toni (LPH Cry Baby), Whiskey (KT's Phys Ed), Atom

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Thank you all for the good advice :), and Swirl gets walked almost every night for at least an hour and played with outback for at least 25 minuets.

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Guest Snazzy_Chloe

Wow, you dog has it bad. I thought our dog was bad but yours is going out of his mind - and needs some strong drugs. I tried Ace which worked, but then I read about what it must be like for the dog and the vet switched me to Xanax which helped a lot - not as much as the Ace but at least he wasn't immobilized while still living with the fear. You have to get the Xanax into her an hour before the storms come which is hard to do sometimes (you may need to give her a strong dose). Our grey sitter also gave her valium which also helped but the vet wanted to try the Xanax before going to that. Our dog aged, hearing decreased and the fear was reduced somewhat with it - but she seemed to be better if she was around other dogs who were not afraid when the storms came. Never did try the other drugs (clomocalm, prozac, etc) mentioned. The lame thundershirt, greyhound melodies CD, and several homeopathic grugs did nothing for her. Actually, I think the shirt caused to to heat up more as she was panting and shaking so bad-she didn't need another coat on her, it just made her pant more. I guess they (shirt and homeopathics) do help some dogs but only with mild cases - not like yours. Mine wanted to go outside, and when the rain subsided, I would often take her out after the storm or when the rain let up somewhat, so she could see and smell what was going on - mind you I had a good hold on her leash. It seemed to help her, I know the cool air that the storm brought helped cool her down - and it was good for her to hear the thunder as it got further away -so she would settle down afterwards, knowing the storm was leaving. I think that they feel trapped in a house, and they are frightened, and their instinct tells them that if they get scared they need to run away from what they are frightened of - so that is why I think some want to go outside. (Others like closets or bathtubs, go figure). I would usually take my dog for a walk when I knew to the storm was coming so we got the pee and poop out of the way outside. I hope you vet can help you as you dog is getting way too destructive to himself and to others. Good luck

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Guest greygirls2

I sent you a message but thought posting the link here might help others too. I have no affiliation with this except that my DIL has tried it with her grey and it's working well for him. I can't seem to post the link here so just got to Calmingcollars.com and check it out. They are totally natural and guaranteed to work. Might be a better alternative to medicating her each time especially if a storm crops up fast. Within 20 min or so the collar works if it's put on during the storm........works much better if it's put on before.

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