Well my dog Nellie had a very difficult time with 4th of July. I have only had her for about 8 weeks and I foolishly did not anticipate her anxiety with the noise (she has had a very difficult time walking after dark with fireworks being shot off in my neighborhood). So the shelter I adopted her from has a behavior hotline that you can call and get advice about behavioral issues you are having with you new pet. So I called because I was concerned and really was not sure how to handle this do I make her walk through the noise and get use to it (and potientially scare her for life!!) or do I give in and not make her walk where she doesn't want to or let her drag me down the street because she is tugging on the leash so badly (which really did not seem like a good idea either).
The behavioralist suggested for next year that I give my dog a sedative or tranquilizer during this time period. How does anyone feel about this and do they have any lasting effect? Honestly I did not know they made those for dogs.
I am just a new mom trying not to make any mistakes!!
I think a better alternative to sedatives would be to go down to your basement (if you have one) and spend the evening in relative peace and quiet. If you don't have a basement, I would consider going on a drive out of the city, or taking your dog out to a relative in the country, if you have one. I've now heard so many stories about July4th fireworks, it must be quite a show. We in Canada have them, in one spot, in the park, away from all homes, and people are not allowed to fire them off at will in town, anywhere. Boring eh?
I would guess that if she had a problem with fireworks, then severe thunderstorms must be hard on her as well? They do have tranquilizers that your vet can prescribe. I used them with Max one time because he has such a hard time with visits to the vet and with having his nails trimmed. (He screams like somebody is killing him as soon as somebody other than me touches him at the vet.) But his reaction to the tranquilizer scared me so badly, that I will never use them again. And these were prescibed by the vet, not just something I gave on my own. It did not help at all during the event because the adrenalin from fear kicked in. But later he was so lethargic and his eyes were all red and he could barely keep them open. I kept waking him up to make sure he was still breathing. I would agree with Pen on trying to find alternative ways to help her through her fear.
Thank you both for your advice!! When I heard sedative I was kind of taken a back. I don't think drugs are always the answer espicialy with my pets.
Strangely enough we have had some pretty rough thunderstorms recently and she was totally fine. But I do not walk her during thunderstorms and unfortunately I can not predict every time someone is going to shoot off a firecracker in my neighborhood. At least last night she went out after dark without alot of trouble (some pulling and it did take a couple of tugs to get her down the alley).
Talk to your vet about Amitriptiline (sp?... I can look it up)... It's a VERY mild sedative that will allow her to function normally but not get so stressed. There is nothing wrong with giving a nervous dog a mild sedative. There is a stronger one that I know of too, but can't find the bottle I had to spell it... My parents have a Husky/Bernese Mountain dog mix who is TERRIFIED of thunderstorms. I mean, he literally goes nuts when there is a bad storm to the point where he would hurt himself. He's 90 lbs and not easy to control or calm down if he doesn't want to pay attention. They keep both the Amitriptiline and "Ace" on hand... It makes a HUGE difference. They only have to give it to him about 6 times a year - but it's better than him bashing his head into a wall trying to break out of the house... When he was younger he snapped a tooth off on a heavy duty fence trying to yank on the wires... it's scary. He's a rescue - obviously has some breeding issues with his temperament - but is otherwise usually a nice dog. He just turns into Cujo when thunderstorms hit!
If it's just once or twice a year, a mild sedative with correct doseage would be the kind thing to do for her!
One thing to think about with sedatives is that most of them take 45 minutes to an hour to take affect, so with thunderstorms its hard to predict when they will pop up. If its just once a year with fireworks it might be something to consider, but talk to your vet. Acepromazine should not be used in bully breeds or boxers. They can have a severe life threatening reaction to them. They do work but they usually last about 8 hours. You can play with the dose too. You don't have to give the full dose that the vet prescribes. If they say to give a whole tablet, try using a 1/2 or a 1/4 first to see how they do. It might reduce the affects of the drug, yet still take an edge off to calm the pet. Just don't go over the dose the vet prescribes. That's usually the maximum dose depending on the vet. Our usually put a range so you can play around with it.
Yes sedate the dog, put the dog in a crate with a cover in the quietest room in the house, the dog will be fine. The difference with a thunderstorm and fireworks is probably the shrill whistlers or screaming types. The high frequencies are harder on a dogs ears.
my puppy last year acted the very same way, so much that he couldn't walk. this year i gave him a melt on your tongue banadryl and he did very well.(kuma is 100lbs and all i gave him was one, 25mg benadryl) not enough that he was out of it, but he didn't freak out when noise happened. sometimes you just can't escape the noise of the 4th so a little help isn't a bad ideal. i got a lot of good sugestions from you all out there and it worked very well. i love this web site!
I have an old cocker spaniel. He's blind on both eyes and very restless at nights. I'm giving him Benadryl two tablets before sleep and it works for a short time only. I checked with vet and she does not recommend any sedative besides this one.I don't see any other way to make him calm and let us rest at night.Plaese advise on what should I try to sedate him at night. I'll appreciate your comprehensive reply.
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