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My new boy has a terrible fear of storms & it is only getting worse.  He is about 19 months old now.  Thunder shirt doesn't work & I looked at Adaptil, but (I may be wrong) but it looks like he has to wear the collar all the time.  I am thinking along the lines of something from the vets that will get him through the bad storms.  Any suggestions ??

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I'm so sorry that your boy has a storm phobia. It's awful seeing our dogs so scared. You can get Adaptil in a spray that you put on a bandana around your dog's neck as needed, rather than wearing a collar all the time but it dies only tend to work on mild anxiety. 

 

In terms of medication from the vet, you may have to trial a few different things and see what works. Valium works for some dogs. We used to use Clonidine but Justice needs it at very high doses to be effective and since it's also a blood pressure medication, that eventually made me too uncomfortable to continue with it. A lot of dogs have success with trazadone, although for Justice it makes his anxiety worse. There are no doubt other situational meds that you could try but these are the ones I'm familiar with. Hopefully others can suggest some different ones for you to look in to. 

 

You can also combine different therapies together, such as meds plus thundershirt plus adaptil spray plus calming music plus a safe space like a crate plus food distraction like a stuffed kong or lickimat. Once meds lower the anxiety levels, the effectiveness of the other strategies often increases. 

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I’m sorry to hear that, Sheena. Anxiety sucks.

 

As Snook says, there are a number of situational meds they can prescribe and you may need to trial a number or different doses thereof to see what’s best for him. We had to do that with Mal for his GAD & OCD.
 

Some dogs with storm phobia also take longer acting baselines meds (e.g. an SSRI) during storm seasons if there’s a need to have something on board full time to drop baseline anxiety levels.

 

You can get adaptil spray for situational use, but by itself it’s only good for mild anxiety, not dogs who are having panic attacks. I’d try it for sure but alongside medication. They do have a money back guarantee.
 

Two things to keep in mind:

 

1. Acepromazine aka ACE / ACP is a dissociative anaesthetic, not an anxiety med, and moreover it worsens anxiety. If your vet suggests it, find another who is educated about behaviour medicine.

 

2. Treat early. Phobias worsen over time and are considered an emergency in vet medicine. The second part of this article may not be up to date re meds, but sharing to get across the gravity of it. https://www.dvm360.com/view/storm-phobias


And a couple more articles that may be of interest. https://www.patriciamcconnell.com/theotherendoftheleash/thunder-phobia-in-dogs
and https://eileenanddogs.com/6-ways-to-prepare-your-dog-for-fireworks/?fbclid=IwAR2ENLzs4av7UYLcp-4beq2IBE4Gu2CDgqO8YElUGVEshs7PeAV_NDPNITY (references fireworks but similarities as both are noise phobias).


I hope this helps somewhat. Let us know how you get on?

 

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This stuff is good @sheena I give it to Henry and he just snoozes through the thunder now.

I was surprised that it worked so well!

Canine Tranquil Formula contains Tryptophan and essential B group vitamins to help maintain normal emotional balance as well as normal nervous function in dogs. 120 chewable tablets for easy dosing. Helps Maintain Emotional Balance in Dogs.

 

1174935292_Screenshotfrom2020-11-2105-41-34.thumb.png.d5587d47b0091e7cc1403caabdee3ce1.png

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Boronia, would this product work for my Molly. I will do my research but I was wondering as she has become a bit “noisy and anxious” when we go out for any length of time. She also gets nervous during a storm but that we can handle as she’s not too bad, just wants to be real close then. 

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I reckon it would @Kazm you give four of the little chewies daily for dogs between 10-25kg so you could always try just three chewies ((up to 10kg) at first.

it just settles down Henry so as he's not really bothered about fussing over stuff.

Among the  blurb on the jar it says 'being separated from their owner's and loved ones'

have a look on-line for the best buying

edited to add that I have been buying from this company lately as their prices are fairly good (despite their awful 'white important-looking persons with stethoscopes') home page

https://vetproductsdirect.com.au/catalogsearch/result/?q=Vetalogica+Tranquil+Formula

Edited by Boronia
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Thanks very much Boronia. I will definitely be looking into this. I don’t like her feeling anxious. She was never worried about storms before. Just something as she’s got older. She has never liked being left at home but this also changed when Zena passed and is maybe getting a little worse now. But it’s not all the time either. Sometimes she is just very quiet. Gotta love them and their quirky behaviours. But thanks anyway. 

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5 hours ago, Boronia said:

This stuff is good @sheena I give it to Henry and he just snoozes through the thunder now.

I was surprised that it worked so well!

Canine Tranquil Formula contains Tryptophan and essential B group vitamins to help maintain normal emotional balance as well as normal nervous function in dogs. 120 chewable tablets for easy dosing. Helps Maintain Emotional Balance in Dogs.

 

1174935292_Screenshotfrom2020-11-2105-41-34.thumb.png.d5587d47b0091e7cc1403caabdee3ce1.png

Just a little note for anyone who may read this thread and consider giving this to their dog to supplement anti anxiety medication that they are already on. Because it contains tryptophan it increases serotonin and this can potentially lead to serotonin syndrome, when combined with a medication that increases serotonin (such as most anxiety medications.) Serotonin syndrome is very serious and can lead to death so please talk to your vet or vet behaviourist before giving anything like this to your dog, if they are already on medication. Using products like this on their own is perfectly fine though. 

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Thanks for your replies.  Some very useful information there. I don't want to have to be giving him something every day, just in case we get a storm.  I am going to ask my vet about using Oxazepam, mainly because I already have that in the cupboard & a bit of Googling suggests that it is safe for dogs that don't have other underlying medical problems. 

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I’ve done some research about the product and read a lot of reviews etc. It does sound ok but like sheena I don’t want to give Molly something every day. I was thinking of something that could be given only when necessary. I will talk with the vet. Best to get their advice I think

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I tried him on a small 1/4 tablet of Oxazepam last night & I kept an eye on him for any side effects  It wasn't a big storm, so not a big test for it's effectiveness, & it wasn't close but he just sat by the window....didn't do his usual hissyfits.  He did sleep well & he is his usual bouncy self this morning

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Hope no one minds me hijacking this thread.   @Boronia, re https://vetproductsdirect.com.au/catalogsearch/result/?q=Vetalogica+Tranquil+Formula is this something that can be used as needed, or does it need to be given every day? And does it dope them, or just take the edge off? I have a dog which hates thunder (starts panting and wants to sit on me etc).  Happy as a lark with rain and other weather, but the slightest distant thunder sets her off. 

 

I have not explored medication as even though she is anxious, she does not panic and there is no danger of self harm (she doesn't try and go through windows etc).  I am also a bit hesitant about meds as they can't talk - and I would hate her to be 'zoned out but still frightened' if that makes sense.  I figure is she is not 'drugged' I can read her levels as being true and if she does become totally freaked I will know it - as opposed to looking ok but internally/mentally being petrified (hope that makes sense).

 

But if this works and just takes the edge off without putting her in LaLa land, and then I might try it.  thanks

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8 minutes ago, BDJ said:

Hope no one minds me hijacking this thread.   @Boronia, re https://vetproductsdirect.com.au/catalogsearch/result/?q=Vetalogica+Tranquil+Formula is this something that can be used as needed, or does it need to be given every day? And does it dope them, or just take the edge off? I have a dog which hates thunder (starts panting and wants to sit on me etc).  Happy as a lark with rain and other weather, but the slightest distant thunder sets her off. 

 

I have not explored medication as even though she is anxious, she does not panic and there is no danger of self harm (she doesn't try and go through windows etc).  I am also a bit hesitant about meds as they can't talk - and I would hate her to be 'zoned out but still frightened' if that makes sense.  I figure is she is not 'drugged' I can read her levels as being true and if she does become totally freaked I will know it - as opposed to looking ok but internally/mentally being petrified (hope that makes sense).

 

But if this works and just takes the edge off without putting her in LaLa land, and then I might try it.  thanks

It is a bit of a catch 22 because I look upon the "all natural" ones as also being chemicals, even tho they might be in natural form.  I wouldn't want to be giving something to my dog that was going to impede his natural self, but need something that will quieten him down when we get a storm.  I take Oxazepam myself on rare occassions & it helps me sleep by lessoning anxiety.  I am hoping it has the same effect on him

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17 hours ago, sheena said:

It is a bit of a catch 22 because I look upon the "all natural" ones as also being chemicals, even tho they might be in natural form.  I wouldn't want to be giving something to my dog that was going to impede his natural self, but need something that will quieten him down when we get a storm.  I take Oxazepam myself on rare occassions & it helps me sleep by lessoning anxiety.  I am hoping it has the same effect on him

 

 

@BDJ and @sheena I just give Henry two chewies when I hear or see the storm coming and around 20 minutes after eating them he has settled down and sometimes just has a nap. Henry's calmness settles the other dogs as they were picking up on his anxiety.

I don't give him the chewies at any other time...only ever for storms

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5 hours ago, Boronia said:

 

 

@BDJ and @sheena I just give Henry two chewies when I hear or see the storm coming and around 20 minutes after eating them he has settled down and sometimes just has a nap. Henry's calmness settles the other dogs as they were picking up on his anxiety.

I don't give him the chewies at any other time...only ever for storms

I will get hold of some & try them.  They might be good for my older boy too.  At present he just goes away & hides, but I know he is stressed, just in a different way to Jaxon.  Certainly worth a try...thanks

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We have the same issue with Rascal, he was ok as a very young dog but as the years have gone by he has got worse, now he even reacts as soon as he feels the weather change and a storm coming, he pants, shakes and tries to squeeze into unusual places.


The vet described Alprazolam, we only use it when there’s a storm and it makes a huge difference, it does give him the munchies and he looks a bit high but at least he’s happy.

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57 minutes ago, Rascalmyshadow said:

We have the same issue with Rascal, he was ok as a very young dog but as the years have gone by he has got worse, now he even reacts as soon as he feels the weather change and a storm coming, he pants, shakes and tries to squeeze into unusual places.


The vet described Alprazolam, we only use it when there’s a storm and it makes a huge difference, it does give him the munchies and he looks a bit high but at least he’s happy.

It is in the same class as Oxazepam  Alprazolam is in a class of medications called benzodiazepines

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