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Fireworks fear--what helps?


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Nate, my 4 y/o blind boy (PRA) doesn't like thunder and is absolutely terrified of fireworks.  Last night, July 4th, we had an extremely loud and long round of neighborhood fireworks.  Poor Nate retreated to the bathroom, wedged himself between the commode and the wall and vibrated with fear for most of 4 hours.  I think he is a hound that may need some pharmaceutical support for firework nights.  What works to help your noise sensitive hounds? 

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Lucy with Greyhound Nate and OSH Tinker. With loving memories of MoMo (FTH Chyna Moon), Spirit, Miles the slinky kitty (OSH), Piper "The Perfect" (Oneco Chaplin), Winston, Yoda, Hector, and Claire.

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My two get trazadone for thunder. It really knocks them out. The problem is that I need to get it into them before the first clap of thunder. (Q goes nearly rigid, and prying his jaws apart to get a pill into him is difficult.) They don't have good hiding places here. In the past, I've played a white noise app on my cellphone for a dog, and that seemed to work. (She put her head down on the phone and went to sleep.) Sometimes I have Alexa play thunderstorm noises in hopes that the inside noises will beat the outside noises, and sometimes that works. (Works better when my electricity isn't flickering.) But my two are so stressed, and I'm afraid one of them will literally die of fear.

I have a 67-pound boy and a 53-pound girl (she's 13 years old). The vet prescribed 1 to 1.5 pills (100 mg pills). I've never given more than one pill per dog. (Oh, jolly: the weather forecast for Marietta, Georgia, is thunderstorms Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday. We're expecting bits of Elsa.) You can try cotton balls in Nate's ears and louder-than-usual television or music. Sometimes you need something over the dog's head to keep the cotton in place; try cutting the top "tube" off a tube sock; that should be stretchy enough to be comfortable. (Some people have used ace bandages.)

My two are thunderphobes, but they were okay with the fireworks last night. I had the TV on CNN, where they were showing firework displays that had muffled thumps for sound--in between music performances. The fireworks in my neighborhood sounded much like the TV thumps, and my guys ignored them all. I went out last night with the trash at 11pm, and the folks a few blocks away were still at it.

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Kathy and Q (CRT Qadeer from Fuzzy's Cannon and CRT Bonnie) and
Jane (WW's Aunt Jane from Trent Lee and Aunt M); photos to come.

Missing Silver (5.19.2005-10.27.2016), Tigger (4.5.2007-3.18.2016),
darling Sam (5.10.2000-8.8.2013), Jacey-Kasey (5.19.2003-8.22.2011), and Oreo (1997-3.30.2006)

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We had thunderstorms AND illegal neighborhood fireworks last night and previously on July 3 (and probably again tonight). I got Trazadone anti-anxiety Rx from my vet several years ago and it helps a bit. Sheba also heads to my small bathroom, so now I move one of her beds in there in preparation for the ordeal. I turned on all three TVs in an attempt to soften the sounds. I will do the same tonight as it seems to help a bit. It's so sad to see my trembling, panting hound in such stress. She's 13-1/2 years old so it worries me even more.

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We also had illegal fireworks last night. 8:30p-1:30a. Sigh. Punkin got 50mg of Trazadone at 7:00p (she’s almost 70#) and both the dosage and timing were just right. She did really well. 

Poor Nate. I feel for both the hounds and their peeps going through this holiday nonsense. 

Old Dogs are the Best Dogs. :heartThank you, campers. Current enrollees:  Punkin. Annie Oooh M. 

Angels: Pal :heart. Segugio. Sorella (TPGIT). LadyBug. Zeke-aroni. MiMi Sizzle Pants. Gracie. Seamie :heart:brokenheart. (Foster)Sweet. Andy. PaddyALVIN!Mayhem. Bosco. Bruno. Dottie B. Trevor Double-Heart. Bea. Cletus, KLTO. Aiden.

:paw Upon reflection, our lives are often referenced in parts defined by the all-too-short lives of our dogs.

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Hada the podenco maneta, Georgie Girl (UMR Cordella), Lulu the podenco andaluz, Rita the podenco maneta
Angels: Charlie the iggy,  Mazy (CBR Crazy Girl), Potato, my mystery ibizan girl, Allen (M's Pretty Boy), Percy (Fast But True), Mikey (Doray's Patuti), Pudge le mutt, Tessa the iggy, Possum (Apostle), Gracie (Dusty Lady), Harold (Slatex Harold), "Cousin" Simon our step-iggy, Little Dude the iggy ,Bandit (Bb Blue Jay), Niña the galgo, Wally (Allen Hogg), Thane (Pog Mo Thoine), Oliver (JJ Special Agent), Comet, & Rosie our original mutt.

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Trazadone here.  It's been our miracle drug since we had our spooky Cash.  

Felicity and Andi are fine, but (as I said in the Club) Lilly has become extremely noise phobic as she's gotten older.  Even getting a pan out of the cupboard and knocking it into the other pans will send her running upstairs.  Fortunately the trazadone works for her as she reacts weirdly to most drugs.  I do have to sit right next to her during the worst part to keep her calm, but I'll take that over the alternative.

Make sure you talk with your vet and get enough to try it out a few times before you really need it.  You need to see how he reacts and if you need to adjust the dosage and timing.  It does work better when it's in their system a bit before they begin freaking out.  Lilly weighs about 85# and 50mg does her just right.  It lasts about 6 hours for her, then she's back to normal.  Andi gets 75mg for her SA and she only weighs 65#.  And a dose will sedate her for 8+ hours.  Felicity hardly reacts to the same dosage and she's smaller.

Some people have had really good results from the (relatively) new drug called Sileo.  Some have no reaction at all.  It's one of those things you need to try on your individual dog to see their reaction beforehand.  It all depends on how their particular brain chemistry reacts to individual anti anxiety drugs.  If Spirit is on Gabapentin, you may want to try Nate on that as it can also help in cases of thunder or fireworks fears at the proper dosage and you already have it on hand.

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

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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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Posted (edited)

Poor Conner was so bad with both thunder and fireworks that I dosed him up with a mix of things. He still went into the bathroom and panted, but the shaking and drooling stopped. I had a crate pad that I got out when storms and/or fireworks were expected and put it in the bathroom so he wouldn’t have to lay in the floor.

For fireworks he got Xanax, Composure treats, CBD oil, and I ran the diffuser with Calm-a-Mile non stop. Sileo worked well for fireworks, not so much for thunder. :grouphug for Nate, it is terrible to watch.

I forgot to add, the thunder shirt worked well for Conner, much more so for thunder than fireworks. Some dogs  don’t respond to the thunder shirt at all, like the drugs, trial and error because they all react differently.

Edited by Remolacha
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I use an Adaptil diffuser which sends calming hormones into the air which I plug in a few days before and Adaptil Express tablets which I give to Grace a couple of hours before the event. While she is still nervous and shaking I think it takes the edge off and she seems to recover quicker.

Grace (Ardera Coleen) born 18 June 2014
Raced at Monmore Green, Wolverhampton UK - 68 Races, 9 wins, 5 second places
Gotcha Day 10 June 2018 

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Trazadone helps a lot, but ideally an hour at least before the storm/fireworks start. I also put him under a little bit of a weighted blanket (I sat with him the whole time) and that seemed to help on top of the medicine.

Beth, Petey (8 September 2018- ), and Faith (22 March 2019). Godspeed Patrick (28 April 1999 - 5 August 2012), Murphy (23 June 2004 - 27 July 2013), Leo (1 May 2009 - 27 January 2020), and Henry (10 August 2010 - 7 August 2020), you were loved more than you can know.

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