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I need some advice. I have a rescue dog that is extremely fearful. ( There is older posts with info about her) We have come a long way with lots of work. It's all gone now since the fireworks last night. She won't leave her bed and won't go outside anymore. She had gotten to the point where she really enjoyed being outside and there were no more accidents inside. Last night was horrible and I know it will be worse tonight. I called the emergency vets office and they said we could give her Benadryl to help sedate her. I have some Diazapam left over from another dog. What would the Benadryl do?? I want to just give her the diazapam cause I know how that works. I don't want to see her suffer like last night. She had come so far in just three months. She was so much happier. I hope this hasn't put her back to the beginning. The people around here will shoot off fireworks for the next week. At midnight you think it is over....then it will be 2am and they start up again. It is so frustrating!!

What should I do...give her Benadryl...or go with the diazapam????

Tricia
 

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Always follow your vets advice. While Benadryl is more commonly used for allergies it is also an antipsycotic.

You didn't say how you've been handling her sound phobia/reactiveness to give her confidence in those situations. There are two usual methods (besides drugs)...the 'jolly routine' and the use of calming signals.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I have never given an animal medication for this reason before. We had some left over from our other dog for a medical reason.

I had gotten her through other things like thunderstorms. Basically I just had to get her attention on to something else. I would do fun things with her so she could relate the storm or noise to we are gonna have fun. It took sometime, but she now doesn't overreact anymore to thunder. The fireworks are completely different. She shut down immediately...ran for a corner and wouldn't respond to anything. Now..trying to get her to go outside is horrible. We have to pull her out. She doesn't fight too hard...she isn't aggressive about anything. It's not like we are dragging, but she isn't going willingly. If it is quiet she will do what she needs to and in she comes. But if something starts up while she is out there she paces, pulling for the door. Then ends up having an accident inside. She had gotten to the point where she would ask to go out just to be outside. It was great seeing her happy and enjoying the outside.

I don't know the techniques you mentioned. Where can i get info on them?

Thanks..Tricia
 

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I never noticed benadryl making my dogs particularly sleepy when I gave them only 1 (<20#). If need be, call the E-Vet and see what they say about the diazapam. Did you mention that you had it for another dog? I would say give her a small dose of the diazapam and see if that helps calm her, but others on here won't agree. But unless you have been with a dog who is beyond petrified of thunder, no one can understand the necessity of doggie downers. Sometimes drugs are the only things that help.

For tonight, try and find a place she will feel safe...if she doesn't need to be near you (like another dog I had who was fine as long as I was near) maybe a small bathroom or even a closet. Have some of her things near her so she will feel better. I had a dog who went under a table in my office. Whenever there was thunder, that's where she would be...guess she felt safer there. I never tried to make her come out.

After tonight, you may have to work with her again on her fearfulness of the noises, but hopefully it won't take as long this time. Good luck.
 

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Agreed with the others, do what the vet says or don't do anything from a medical point of view. I wouldn't give a dog a medicine prescribed for another, anyway.. you just never know.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Alphadog....I'm glad someone understands. This isn't mild fear I'm talking about. And it's not because it is an inconvenience. I am concerned for her. She is shutting down completely. I would try anything to help her but when she gets like that there is no response. I'm going to have to work on this later for next year...or even New Years.

They have already started shooting some off. This time I tried a no response. None of us responded to the noise....even inadvertantly. We just stayed still, no movement or sound. My other dog is sound asleep on the couch. Nothing bothers him. She stayed on her bed but is staring out the window. She is on alert now. I got a new chew toy in hopes it helps some. When she shuts down though she won't even take treats.
 

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Tricia: I hate giving Roxxy drugs, but at times I'm afraid she is going to have a heart attack (not literally, but her heart is racing, she pants and shakes uncontrollably. I hope yours does ok (what's her name btw). It's tough and I truly can feel your pain...it hurts to see your baby so afraid. I wonder what happened in Roxxy's prior life (I got her as a rescue) that caused this fear.

Good luck. PM me if you need more help or just want to "talk".
 

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You were using the 'jolly routine'...doing fun things/playing games..fetch, tag, etc.

Calming signals/routines can be the same as for teaching gun dogs...giving them their supper or a bowl of ice cream...whatever your dog loves...while guns are shot off.
One physical calming signal that you can use to show your dog that the noise is nothing to be concerned about is a YAWN. Dogs understand yawning...boring.
Another is to apply a T-touch massage....with two fingers, slowly stroke her muzzle from her forehead/eyes down to her nose. Let the massage do the work...no talking.
 

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Glad I saw this.....as my new puppy/born march 22nd, and we have just had for a week and a half, is afraid of the fireworks......our town had the fireworks on thursday night.....she freaked.....and now tonight, she is doing the same......I feel for you with your precious rescue Tricia......I was looking for a thread to see what to do, too.....I had the treats/cheese that she loves, and she is like running scared......trying to get us to pick her up.....not sure that is the thing to do....I am ignoring it.....I did the yawning.....but she is so young.....tv is loud....bully stick she doesn't want.....she ran to her kennel....and that is where she is right now.....so, do I just leave her? she is quiet, and resting.....but it isn't dark yet....I hope it is okay that I posted in your thread, Tricia.....I will think of you tonight!
 

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Do either of you have a basement? I've found that my dog is MASSIVELY more comfortable in the basement during storms/fireworks. We hunker down down there, with some treats and the TV on, and make the best of it..

You can try covering her in something too.. seemed to help my dog when we had a bad T-Storm one day. Put a blanket around her, gave a cheese-filled Kong and she was set.
 

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Yeah, I have a basement! Thanks!! And I forgot about the kong....going now to fill it.......it will be her first!! Thanks!! She is just laying in her kennel on her own accord......Thanks again!!:)
 

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Yeah, mine's in the basement right now with my sister under her computer desk. I think I'm more freaked out than my dog is.. I freakin' hate these things :( They scare me too!
 

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She is in her kennel licking peanut butter in the Kong.....Okay, now she is a baby.....do I not take her outside to go? She freaks when I did.....but I guess just let her potty in here? Man, this really sucks.....can I say that? Poor thing.....:(
 

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I just rush my dog out as fast as I can.. there was a few going off, nothing ridulous, so she just peed as fast as she could and went back inside
 

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Yeah, I have a basement! Thanks!! And I forgot about the kong....going now to fill it.......it will be her first!! Thanks!! She is just laying in her kennel on her own accord......Thanks again!!:)
ANY place they feel safe is the best place. I went to a seminar by my local SPCA and that's what they said. She feels safe in her kennel so I would leave her there. We haven't had any...yet. They should be starting in about 30 min. Hopefully they won't be so loud that Roxxy hears them.

Lucy; try and leave her alone until the fireworks are done. No need to freak her out if she is happy and quiet.
 

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We left wore our old dog out during the day then had her in her bed somewhere she felt safe and turned the radio up REALLY loud. It got a lot better as she got older though.
 

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Do either of you have a basement? I've found that my dog is MASSIVELY more comfortable in the basement during storms/fireworks. We hunker down down there, with some treats and the TV on, and make the best of it..

You can try covering her in something too.. seemed to help my dog when we had a bad T-Storm one day. Put a blanket around her, gave a cheese-filled Kong and she was set.
I was just coming in here to express my thanks for our basement. I play music down here, so it's sound proof, and my dogs can't hear any of the fireworks. They went from frantically running around the house and barking, to quietly sleeping in the basement.
 

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Yeah.. she's still down there with my sister, the fan's quietly blowing, all the windows in the house are shut and she's dozing/hiding under the desk.

Not so bad.. not any worse than a stormy night. I am so happy I decided to skip the Acepromazine.
 

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After trying desensitization, acepromazine, and Benadryl, I've found that melatonin works for my dog without any unpleasant side effects
 
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