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Our 5 yr old has gotten bad anxiety of late when these things hit. Excessive panting, hides, no appetite that type of thing. Odd because for most of his life these never bothered him.

Anything that can help treat this?
 

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I just made a vet appointment for Friday for the same problem. Mine is 9 years old and this just started in the last couple of months. He has started panting, whining, and he chewed up the casing on my bedroom door last night. He had kept me up for hours and I guess when I just finally gave it up and fell asleep I had the luxury of finding my door chewed to bits. I'm hoping I'll get some help Friday. I'm at my wits end. After all these years I don't understand what changed. He just had a head to toe checkup last month. All labs and everything were perfect. I just don't know...
 

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We have worked our way up to valium for Jasper. We started with the thundershirt and then melatonin and finally valium. It works if we get it into him early, but if not, he panics until it finally kicks in.
 

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My 12-year-old hound mix has gotten worse and worse about storms--fortunately, we don't get them often here. At this point, I give him some "milk that tastes funny"--milk with valium crushed into it--Big Bang Theory devotees will get that reference!--when I even think there might be a storm. It's so sad to see him so terribly frightened, not to mention that I know there's a storm coming in because I suddenly have 70 pounds of shivering hound trying to hide in my armpit.

I think some people have had some success with the shirts and with the desensitization CDs, but in Jack's case, it's my theory that he's sensing the barometer dropping because he gets nervous before blizzards and noreasters as well. Not much I can do about that except make him a little milk...
 

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Fly free, my sweetheart
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Our 5 yr old has gotten bad anxiety of late when these things hit. Excessive panting, hides, no appetite that type of thing. Odd because for most of his life these never bothered him.

Anything that can help treat this?
I have tried Valium and Xanax which work fine, but I don't like seeing mine acting groggy and having trouble standing. So, I am back to more holistic remedies: Rescue Remedy and "Comfort Zone" (from Drs. Foster & Smith on-line) plug-in. They seem to work as good as anything.

When the storms are coming (every afternoon here in Florida), I put my dogs in the bedroom with some relaxing music and shut the blinds. They do calm down after a little time. (But they like it better when I am in there with them!)

And, yes, barometric pressure has a lot to do with why they react to storms. Some dogs are more sensitive than others ... my seizure dogs were definitely more sensitive.

It's a l-o-n-g season ahead: hope you find a remedy that helps you!
 

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Kate
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Getting my 6 year's thyroid numbers all figured out + giving him hiding spots to hang out did wonders for him.

He went from being a dog clawing at the walls at the sound of rain (not even thundering yet!) to peacefully hanging out behind my chair mostly. We had a fast moving storm blow through here and other than him briefly visiting the bathtub during the worst of it, he's been fine.

He heard his brother nomming supper and he came charging out for his bowl. We were laughing about Jacks risking his life (in his mind) to eat his supper. :)
 

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I've never had any of my boys be overly nervous around storms. Many times we would sit outside on the patio and enjoy them together. My wife did tell of the one time that Buddy and the two cats were anxious and all of them, wife included were huddled in the inner bathroom. That storm was extremely damaging with softball size hail that damaged the roof, car and even the bark on trees still shows the impacts. I believe they sized up the danger pretty accurately. Regular old thunderstorms I never noticed them reacting to much though.
 

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We're navigating through this with Charlie. Thundershirt, rescue remedy and letting him hang out in basement family room seem to help. I even let him eat down there and he did fine. If I had forced him upstairs he wouldn't have eaten. I agree they can sense the change before it happens.


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I'm lucky my two don't seem to get too excited about storms.
(my childhood dog, was scared of storms, gunshots, & fireworks)
A friend wanted to get a Thundershirt for her dog, but didn't want to spend the money without knowing if it would work for her dog.
I did some surfing and found a couple sites of DIY thundershirts.
This worked really well for her and she purchased a real thundershirt after seeing her dog's reaction with the DIY one on!
DIY THUNDER SHIRT – dogs and storms | My Old Country House
How to Apply the Tellington Touch Body Wrap to Your Pet
Hope these help someone...
 

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Bella's Dad
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I have heard from several who have had good success with the thundershirt, but have no personal experience with it.
Every thing I've read, tends to down play reaction, during a thunderstorm.
Over consoling will tend to reward & encourage the behavior.
Our Bella went through the "thunder & lightning" fear at about 1 year (a year ago). Following the literature, we would give her a couple of strokes & words of encouragment,
"You're OK" to assure her all is well, then at bed time we'd tell her to lay down on her bed, during the day we'd redirect by calling her to come with either of us, & go about chores as usual.
It took several months but now she ignores the thunder & lightning, other than she still hates going out in the rain for bathroom duties.
Mike D
 

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Our Darcy is scared of thunderstorms. What MdDolson stated is absolutely correct. The more you try to console and make feel better the more you encourage the fear.
I have tried to stay home with them more during the past few days but acted like there was nothing wrong, encouraged play between the two dogs and trained. When I left the house I put classical music on (Bach, Vivaldi, Chopin not Wagner). I put the CD on repeat (either the entire CD or a certain part) thru the time I am away.
 

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Acepromazine or ACE for short

Our 5 yr old has gotten bad anxiety of late when these things hit. Excessive panting, hides, no appetite that type of thing. Odd because for most of his life these never bothered him.

Anything that can help treat this?
Dear Seamas2008,

We had the same problem with all our Goldens. Sammy, Emily and Teak would become so upset when we had thunderstorms or fireworks that they would try getting into unbelievable places, along with panting and terrible anxiety. It was strange because the first years of their lives, the noise did not seem to bother them. I don't remember the age they were but it was like someone flipped a light switch and all of the sudden they were terrified. Sammy started first and it could be Emily and Teak sensed his anxiety and then also became terrified of the thunderstorms/fireworks. Our Vet tried Xanax first but that didn't work well and then Valium which worked only sometimes. Along with the medication we tried numerous things, i.e. thunder blankets, etc and nothing seemed to work. Then our Vet prescribed ACE which did help tremendously in helping to reliever their anxiety. The dose our Vet gave us was 25 mg but we cut in 1/4's which if you try this I highly recommend. The reason being is not all our babies reacted the same way. Emily and Teak we needed to give 1/2 a dose of the ACE (12.5 mg) but with Sammy, he seemed to metabolize differently and could only tolerate 1/4 dose of the ACE (6.25 mg). When we gave him 1/2 dose, Sammy was totally out of it which is not what we wanted and the next morning we rushed him to our Vet because he was still very drowsy. We just wanted enough in their system to take the edge off. Again, it's a good drug but you really need to start off with a small dose. I'm not sure this is the answer but maybe it will help as it is heartbreaking to see our babies in such distress. Oh, we also kept them in one room with us with the TV on. Not always possible but for the most part in our area most of the Thunderstorms and Fireworks came in the evening.
Please take care and wishing you the best of luck in finding something that will work for your baby :)
Elizabeth
 
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