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My dog is afraid of thunder & loud noises in general. I have

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My dog is afraid of...
My dog is afraid of thunder & loud noises in general. I have to work. I keep her gated, as she also has a habit of tearing up my house & furnishings when If I leave her free to roam. There was a storm; I came home to find that she had pooped, which she has never done & tried to escape the gate, in doing so she skinned the top of her nose, to the point of bleeding. This is the worst I have seen her react. I believe this severe reaction is because my daughter moved back in for a little while and she was free to roam most of the day & she just moved out. Again she is alone most of the day. What can I do?
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. The Expert will know what to do about this bleeding. I'll connect you ASAP. Is there anything else the Dog Trainer should be aware of about your dog training?
Customer: No she is usually very mellow, loves kids & people in general.
Submitted: 4 months ago.Category: Dog Veterinary
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Answered in 4 minutes by:
7/12/2017
Dog Veterinarian: Dr. Meghan Denney, Dog Veterinarian replied 4 months ago
Dr. Meghan Denney
Dr. Meghan Denney, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 1,476
Experience: Veterinarian at Kingsland Blvd Animal Clinic
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Hi I am Dr. Denney. I am currently reviewing your post now. Please give me a few minutes to type my response. Thank you or trusting us with your question.

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Dog Veterinarian: Dr. Meghan Denney, Dog Veterinarian replied 4 months ago

What have you tried besides her gated up just so I do not repeat anything you have tried?

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Dog Veterinarian: Dr. Meghan Denney, Dog Veterinarian replied 4 months ago

Going off the information I have there are some recommendations we can try as far as home therapies go and then there are some things we can try with assistance from your regular veterinarian.

Holistic ideas to try together

1. Thundershirt : this is a shirt that goes on tightly with velcro and help suppress the fight or flight response from noise anxieties by exhibiting a good amount of pressure over a lot of body surface area. You can buy this online at amazon.com or at petsmart. You have to put it on quite tight (it does not put pressure on the neck so it is ok). I use this in my own dog who has severe storm anxiety and firework anxiety.

2. Adaptil collar:this collar is placed on the dog and is infused with calming canine pheromones (the pheromones are synthesized after the calming canine pheromones that the mother dog exudes to keep her puppies calm and happy) the collars work for 30 days. You can get this also at petsmart or online at amazon.com

3. Composure treats: calming canine treats ( works similar to how we feel after eating a large amount of dark turkey meat at thanksgiving making you feel contented and a little sleepy). The cheapest I have found them is on amazon.com and chewy.com. These are a daily supplement and will not make her too sedate

therapies from your regular veterinarian can be used in conjunction with the holistic therapies listed above

1. Gabapentin : slight sedative with some anti anxiety effect dosed every 8 hours if needed

2. Trazadone: anti anxiety can be used every hours if needed

I use the two in conjunction with the above therapies with my own dogs and my patients and get good effects ( some dogs do just fine with just the holistic therapies, but if they are not enough you can add on the above therapies from your veterinarian)

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Dog Veterinarian: Dr. Meghan Denney, Dog Veterinarian replied 4 months ago

Other information to try and consider

Acute Management Strategies for Storm Responses

Create a safe and secure environment for the dog. For storms this might be a darkened room where lightening flashes will not be noted or a windowless indoor room where sound is muted.

If your pet has self-selected a hiding place do not try to forcibly remove them, this is not helpful and may result in an aggressive response.

Punishment must never be used since it will only increase rather than decrease your pet's distress.

Encouragement, praise or fostering may not be helpful either as the pet may interpret them as rewards for the behavior they are performing at the time. If they do calm the dog then they are worthwhile interventions.

Playing music that is loud or has a strong beat or some type of white noise (exhaust fan) may aid in muffling the outside noises that cause the distress.

Playing with familiar toys, engaging in games or practicing obedience may help to distract the pet.

Long-Term Treatment Strategies

Inherent in changing anxiety is shaping alternate behaviors and then controlled exposure to the stimulus to help the pet learn to remain calm. The goal is to teach the animal to experience the anxiety-provoking stimulus and remain in a non-anxious state. These two techniques are coupled together as counter conditioning and desensitization.

One technique is to teach the pet to relax on a verbal command. This must be taught in locations and situations where the pet does not experience anxiety. Often food is used to facilitate a change in emotional state. This is not an exercise in "stay" but rather an exercise in relaxation; the goal is for the pet to be both physiologically and emotionally relaxed. This is often referred to as counter conditioning or response substitution. For storm phobias it is useful to practice in many situations, but also create a safe area where sound and visual input from the storm can be controlled and diminished.

The next phase is gradual introduction to the anxiety producing situations at a low level not likely to cause the anxious response. The owner requests the pet to assume the relaxed posture and then rewards the behavior with food and/or praise. This is called desensitization. Exposure is gradual with the intensity of the stimulus only increased once the pet has mastered the lower level of exposure.

The owner must also learn to respond in a new manner. Reactions such as scolding, jerking or tightening the leash, punishment or any aversive response must be avoided. The owner should use a "happy voice" and relaxed body postures to help the pet learn that the situation is non-threatening. Additionally, the owner should avoid reinforcement of inappropriate responses through their body posture or vocal intonation.

These techniques are used with thunderstorm phobias. The dog is taught to relax on a verbal command and if possible in a specific location such as a mat or rug as discussed above. Head collars can facilitate training and calmness during storm situations. The basic treatment modality is to obtain a recording of a thunderstorma, and play it at low intensity and reward the dog for non-anxious, fearful behavior. The lightening and the drop in the barometric pressure are two conditions that frighten some dogs but are difficult to simulate in training. With time, some dogs will learn to attenuate their response, and will tolerate storms. Treatment seems to work best when done outside of thunderstorm season because ongoing exposure to the stimulus makes desensitization difficult.

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Dog Veterinarian: Dr. Meghan Denney, Dog Veterinarian replied 4 months ago

I hope this helps with your dog and give you ideas to try as well as medical therapies to add on if needed.

If this was helpful and guided you on what to do I would be most appreciative if you could take the time to rate my assistance so the site will credit me with helping you.

Without a rating (the stars at the top) the site will not compensate me for helping you.

I am also here for additional questions you may have just reach out to me here and I will be more than happy to assist you.

Kind regards,

Dr. Meghan Denney

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Dog Veterinarian: Dr. Meghan Denney, Dog Veterinarian replied 4 months ago

You never responded did this help? Do you have any further questions?

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Dog Veterinarian: Dr. Meghan Denney, Dog Veterinarian replied 4 months ago

I never heard back from you. I can also research veterinary behaviorists in your area if you would like as well.

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Dog Veterinarian: Dr. Meghan Denney, Dog Veterinarian replied 4 months ago
Hi,

I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?

Dr. Meghan Denney
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Dr. Meghan Denney
Dr. Meghan Denney
Dr. Meghan Denney, Dog Veterinarian
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Satisfied Customers: 1,476
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Experience: Veterinarian at Kingsland Blvd Animal Clinic

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