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Tess32

Rain Anxiety

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Tess32   

Hey all,

 

My dog Winter barks non stop whenever it is raining, whether heavy or light.  Doesn't matter where she is, inside, out, garage, bedroom, anything, she barks hysterically at it.   

I haven't considered medication before but considering it now, any other ideas?

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Hi :) 
What breed is Winter, How old  is she , and has she always barked at rain ? 
What else is she anxious about /does she bark at ? 
have you ever walked her when it's foggy/misty/rainy ? 

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Tess32   

Hey,

 

She is a Collie Rough, almost 4 years old, we've had her since Aug 2017.  

She's fairly confident about most other things, no issues with people, flooring, other dogs, other animals.

Noises like a blender she will bark at but with the rain comes anxiety, pacing and hysterical over the top barking non stop.  Don't think we've ever walked in it.

Edited by Tess32

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Could it be related to a bad experience with a bad thunderstorm and as a result they associated rain as a bad thing?  

 

I don’t really know what to suggest but found this

 

http://www.vetstreet.com/our-pet-experts/why-does-my-dog-refuse-to-go-out-when-its-raining

 

ive read things like adaptil where you spray in the surroundings can have a calming effect for the dog but I’m not sure how effective

 

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tdierikx   

Is your roof colorbond or corrugated iron? And the rain makes noise on it?

 

Just because you mentioned she barks at the blender, I'm thinking it could be noise related...

 

There are rain/storm CD's that you can buy to try to desensitise dogs to the noises of same... maybe you could see if she reacts to one of those?

 

I have a storm phobic dog myself at the moment, but just normal rain doesn't upset her much at all - we've deduced that she is sensing the barometric drop that happens with proper storms, so noise desentising doesn't work for her. She knows a storm is coming hours before it happens... *sigh*

 

T.

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14 hours ago, Tess32 said:

Hey,

 

She is a Collie Rough, almost 4 years old, we've had her since Aug 2017.  

She's fairly confident about most other things, no issues with people, flooring, other dogs, other animals.

Noises like a blender she will bark at but with the rain comes anxiety, pacing and hysterical over the top barking non stop.  Don't think we've ever walked in it.

Ok .

take her very favourite treats ...a good strong collar /lead & go play/walk outside next time there's a heavy fog/misty shower. RELAX. no fussing ..it's a normal thing :) Just a few minutes . Let her eat treats/sniff ...see how she goes in just light stuff ..heaps of reward/praise/fun if she is OK . gentle reassurance /RESCUE REMEDY  immediately if she stresses .
when it rains at home .. I would suggest  using the BACH RESCUE REMEDY   drops , and also ADAPTIL  diffuser, or collar for her .

poor girl ..Not knowing the whys... makes it tricky :)
 

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Tess32   

Thanks.  I've tried rescue remedy an hour or so before and during rain but it makes no impact, I think her level of anxiety is pretty high.  The other night a week ago it rained non stop from 11pm to 7am and I was literally awake with her the whole time.  She stops barking as much if I am near her, but still has bouts and mostly just whinges/paces/whines.

I've tried treating her during the start of it,  playing with her during it, but she just loses all interest in anything.

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Tess32   
6 hours ago, tdierikx said:

Is your roof colorbond or corrugated iron? And the rain makes noise on it?

 

Just because you mentioned she barks at the blender, I'm thinking it could be noise related...

 

There are rain/storm CD's that you can buy to try to desensitise dogs to the noises of same... maybe you could see if she reacts to one of those?

 

I have a storm phobic dog myself at the moment, but just normal rain doesn't upset her much at all - we've deduced that she is sensing the barometric drop that happens with proper storms, so noise desentising doesn't work for her. She knows a storm is coming hours before it happens... *sigh*

 

T.

The roof doesn't make much noise, but I've noticed if the toilet door is open (where somehow the rain is louder) or she's in the garage, she barks more.    So I'm sure it's noise related over the 'feel' of the weather changes.    I've tried rain sounds on youtube though and get zero reaction from her at all.

She'll bark at noises in general, but that's such a collie trait I wasn't overly bothered, but this rain thing is becoming a huge problem through winter.

I haven't yet tried to crate her as she's not crate trained (well I don't think so, not sure yet) but going to try that next time there is rain.

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1 hour ago, Tess32 said:

I haven't yet tried to crate her as she's not crate trained (well I don't think so, not sure yet) but going to try that next time there is rain.

This is probably NOT a good plan, as it may increase her anxiety :( if she is unused to being confined in a crate /separated from you / esp in a wire/metal crate which will vibrate/rattle somewhat   . 
Crate TRAINING  is just that  :) A period of time in which pups/dogs are  gradually taught that a well equipped and comfortable crate is a wonderful and safe place to be . 
It may take  longer with a dog her age ..and any odd noises which occur during the training could then stamp "crate" as a BAD thing in her mind . 

The following  have some useful information on crate training :) 

LINK
LINK 

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Snook   
3 hours ago, Tess32 said:

Thanks.  I've tried rescue remedy an hour or so before and during rain but it makes no impact, I think her level of anxiety is pretty high.  The other night a week ago it rained non stop from 11pm to 7am and I was literally awake with her the whole time.  She stops barking as much if I am near her, but still has bouts and mostly just whinges/paces/whines.

I've tried treating her during the start of it,  playing with her during it, but she just loses all interest in anything.

That's a really long time for a dog (or anyone really) to have such a high level of anxiety. It must take a terrible toll on her. My dog has severe anxiety issues since being attacked, including a storm phobia that didn't exist beforehand, so I understand what it's like when your dog is so distressed. If it were me, I would be talking to my vet about short acting medication for when it's raining to help keep her calm. I would also engage the services of a good trainer to help you with a behaviour modification program, to work in conjunction with the medication, to help change your dog's emotional response to the rain and hopefully eventually remove the need for the medication over time. Your dog is unlikely to be able to respond to or absorb the training in an anxious state, which you've seen with her not being able to maintain focus on you when it's raining, so the short term use of medication allows your dog to stay calm enough for the training to be effective. 

 

The level of anxiety you've described is too high to be managed with something like rescue remedy or adaptil, at least in my experience. They may help in conjunction with a thunder shirt (if that works for your dog), medication and behaviour modification, but will be pretty ineffective on their own until your dog's anxiety levels are much lower. Alternatively, you could see a vet behaviourist who will address both the medication and the behaviour modification, but it's not cheap. 

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3 minutes ago, Snook said:

I would be talking to my vet about short acting medication for when it's raining to help keep her calm.

yes. You certainly don't want her a zombie 24/7 ..but she needs relief  from this anxiety when it occurs. 

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Snook   
8 minutes ago, persephone said:

yes. You certainly don't want her a zombie 24/7 ..but she needs relief  from this anxiety when it occurs. 

There are meds that can reduce anxiety without turning a dog in to a zombie. :) Justice is on two medications a day to manage his anxiety and noise phobia and he just finished having a lovely run around at the park in the sunshine and is no more sleepy or dozy on them than he was without the medication. Even with the short acting medication, you don't want it to make them dozy or the behaviour modification training won't be absorbed very well. 

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8 minutes ago, Snook said:

Justice is on two medications a day to manage his anxiety and noise phobia and he just finished having a lovely run around at the park in the sunshine and is no more sleepy or dozy on them than he was without the medication.

It's lovely that there are meds..and vets who can use them well  so that dogs like your boy can enjoy life  :)

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Tess32   

The vet has give me xanax to try next time it rains..

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Snook   

I hope it helps. Once you know if it has a positive effect, you could ook at getting a trainer in to help you with desensitisation and counter conditioning to try and reduce or eliminate your girl's reaction to rain. :)

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Tess32   

It rained quite a bit last night and I've noticed she is okay if she's locked in the bedroom with us.   She slept the whole night, maybe got up and whinged once.  

She's had two tablets so far (7pm and then 12pm as it's still raining) and I think she's calmer.  She's still barking when it gets much louder but easily distracted with a toy.  She's not getting as worked up.    It's a very low dose so would be interesting to see if a slightly higher dose would make a bigger diff.

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Snook   

I'm glad she seems to be coping better with the medication on board. Dosage can be a bit of trial and error with some medications and you might need to gradually increase it until you find the right amount for your dog (and you can lower it back down if you feel like a dosage might be too much.) I've had to do that with a few medications we've tried for my boy to get it just right for him, sometimes even playing with half or even a quarter of a tablet to find the right balance. I hope your girl finds it much easier to cope with rain from here on. :)

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On 26/06/2019 at 12:02 PM, Tess32 said:

The vet has give me xanax to try next time it rains..

@Tess32 is it the same version as the one for humans?  Good that it seems to be working.

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Tess32   
1 hour ago, teddybeans said:

@Tess32 is it the same version as the one for humans?  Good that it seems to be working.

I don't think so, it's called Kalma.

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Tess32   
1 hour ago, Snook said:

I'm glad she seems to be coping better with the medication on board. Dosage can be a bit of trial and error with some medications and you might need to gradually increase it until you find the right amount for your dog (and you can lower it back down if you feel like a dosage might be too much.) I've had to do that with a few medications we've tried for my boy to get it just right for him, sometimes even playing with half or even a quarter of a tablet to find the right balance. I hope your girl finds it much easier to cope with rain from here on. :)

Did you ask the vet each time?  She's on half a tablet with no more than 4 full tablets allowed in a 24 hour period, so I could give one full tablet without a problem?

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