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My dog has developed anxiety when riding in a car. He never…

Customer Question
My dog has developed anxiety...
My dog has developed anxiety when riding in a car. He never had this anxiety before. What would cause this sudden anxiety? His whole body is shaking like he is cold.
Submitted: 8 years ago.Category: Dog Veterinary
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Answered in 4 minutes by:
6/8/2010
Dog Veterinarian: Dr. Gary, Dog Veterinarian replied 8 years ago
Dr. Gary
Dr. Gary, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 20,000
Experience: DVM, Emergency Veterinarian, BS (Physiology)
Verified
Hello,

There is not really an easy way to tell what the underlying cause was of this but many dogs will have anxiety in cars.

You can deal with it in a variety of ways:
1. De-sensitization by taking frequent short distance car rides to get him used to getting in and out of the car and showing him that there is nothing to worry about. Eventually work him up to normal car rides.
2. Try not to stimulate him or praise him when he is having these anxiety attacks. The best thing is to ignore it as if you stimulate him then it'll teach him he gets a positive response when he is stressing- showing him that this is the proper response to cars.
3. Medications- either Clomicalm, Alprazolam (Xanax) or Prozac. Any of these will help with behavior modification and anxiety. They can be obtained from your vet.

I hope this helps, let me know if you have any other questions.
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Customer reply replied 8 years ago
I would really like to know the cause for sudden anxiety when he did not display this behavior before.
Dog Veterinarian: Dr. Gary, Dog Veterinarian replied 8 years ago
You're not going to ever find out the cause- it may have been a bad experience he had when getting into/ out of the car, it may have been something he heard/ saw while in the car or it may have been from falling off a seat or even nausea experienced while in the car.

There are many possibilities, unfortunately you'll probably never know why. The main thing now is to re-create a positive experience for him every time he gets in the car and to reward normal reactions and not reward the negative reactions of anxiety.
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Customer reply replied 8 years ago
ok thanks!
Dog Veterinarian: Dr. Gary, Dog Veterinarian replied 8 years ago
You're welcome.

Don't forget to click accept so I may be compensated for my time. Thanks!
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