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Sudden Thunder Sensitivity In Non-Greyhound


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All our dogs are greyhounds, except Tito, an 80-pound bucket of fur.uN2KkuT.jpg

 

We've been fortunate that all of our dogs and fosters have been pretty much bulletproof when it comes to thunder and fireworks. But a few years back, Arizona legalized certain fireworks, and people took advantage of that and started using whatever the heck they could buy, and now twice a year Tito gets very upset.

 

And when an 80-pound dog that is pure muscle gets upset, he can tear a house apart. Crating doesn't help; he gets destructive, starts chewing the bars, and won't settle down. The past year or two, putting him in the spare bathroom helped, but then we decided- hey, let's get all chemical and Ace him (acepromazine) for New Years. Let's see if that helps.

 

It kind of helped. He was whacked out, and he recovered the next day. Fourth of July, same deal, except now he needed several treatments (including split pills for the "light" days that preceded and followed the 4th), and he was kind of whacked out but generally did OK.

 

After this past NYE, he didn't do so well. His storm-buddy, Minerva, is now gone; She Who Must Be Obeyed would vault out the dog door and bark at the sky- just once- when there was thunder. Nothing that girl back. She is gone as of her 13th birthday. Tito had his first Minerva-less NYE, and didn't do so well. And this 4th of July was even worse. I think the acepromazine has left him more stressed out from the experience, and now he acts even worse from the Ace alone. Most recently, he's started acting up and getting destructive even when the wind picks up. We tried putting him in the closet- he seeks refuge and will not settle down- and he completely tore the closet apart and tried to core out from the walls. The 4th of July fireworks seem to start earlier and stop later, and just a single "pop" will cause him to start looking for a place to hide, and turning the place upside down.

 

I've never tried a "storm shirt" or anything like that. I don't know how well it would work.

 

So, if anyone has any bright ideas, I'm all out of options. I think he was doing kind of OK, but the acepromazine made it much worse. Not having Minerva is part of it, but none of the other greyhounds get anxious so he's not cueing in on them.

Coco (Maze Cocodrillo)

Minerva (Kid's Snipper)

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My daughter has a GSD girl that is on Xanax daily for other problems & wears a phermon(sp) collar to keep her settled & when the storms come thru she gets ace. This poor girl was rescued from a good GSD rescue group where she was attacked by 2 alpha females when she first went to their farm-lost part of her ears in that fight. Lola is a sweet girl that loves living with her GSD brother, a grey sister, a grey brother, who also needs ace during storms, & a corgi/healer sister. I got the idea of the collar from some folks here on GT & it helps she doesn't hear the fireworks much as the ranch is not near where folks set them off but she hates the hunters that come to the govt. land to hunt. It's hard to see these dogs go thru this fear. Sending ear rubs to that cute dog & good luck to all.

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I would ditch the ACE and try something else. I know it works for some people, but I don't like it. Conner (80 lb) gets two Xanax and wears a thunder shirt. it isn't perfect, but he mostly just goes to a safe place (which changes) and shakes. There are other drugs if Xanax doesn't work, but I would definitely try something other than ACE. The thunder shirt doesn't work for all dogs, but if I get it on him before the thunder starts, it really helps. We have managed to avoid the big fireworks shows in the two years he's been with me, so I'm not sure how well it would work for that.

 

Good luck, it is terrible to watch them go through this.

 

And I am sorry to,hear your Minerva is gone :bighug

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Get thee to a vet behaviorist. Sileo may be a good option for him, but if he's generalizing to other sounds a longer acting anti-anxiety drug like Prozac might be needed. Unfortunately Ace is about the worst thing you can do for a dog with noise phobia. It sedates them so they can't it "escape", but it does nothing to reduce their anxiety. So as you've seen, over time, it worsens their fear. I know you were just trying to help and your instinct to seek out help from medication was a good one, but shame on the vet who prescribed it.

 

I hope you can find a good solution, poor guy (and poor you!).

Edited by NeylasMom

gallery_12662_3351_862.jpg

Jen, CPDT-KA with Zuri, lab in a greyhound suit, Violet, formerly known as Faith, Skye, the permanent puppy, Cisco, resident cat, and my baby girl Neyla, forever in my heart

"The great thing about science is that you're free to disagree with it, but you'll be wrong."

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Sileo may be a good option for him, but if he's generalizing to other sounds a longer acting anti-anxiety drug like Prozac might be needed. Unfortunately Ace is about the worst thing you can do for a dog with noise phobia.

 

We took him to the "usual" vet, but he was out and we got some guy that must've gotten his degree from the University of Transylvania. He just wasn't very useful, and instead of getting a benzodiazepine like I was hoping for, we got Ace. That was a mistake.

 

Hadn't heard of Sileo. Aside from the price and how it can't be stored for any length of time, it looks like another option that's better than Ace. I forgot to mention that Tito is now getting thunder-phobic, but it's been a miserable monsoon season here in Phoenix so there's not much thunder, really.

Coco (Maze Cocodrillo)

Minerva (Kid's Snipper)

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