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Hi! I just joined this website today because I am at my wits' end when it comes to my dog's thunderstorm anxiety. I find myself checking the hourly weather forecast often and getting stressed out myself, wondering if my dog will be OK on a particular day. For instance, on the past two days there were storms in the forecast, so I left her in her crate while I was at work during the day. If I leave her out of the crate unattended at home during a storm, there's no telling what I will come home to.

A few summers ago, I was away from home for a few hours during a big thunderstorm (this was near the time her anxiety got worse, as she didn't have this problem as a puppy or young dog) and she was left out of her crate. I got home to a horrible scene. Every door in my house had scratch marks on it. There were pee dribbles everywhere, but the worst part was my back door! She had actually scratched her way through the door! I had to replace it!

Anyway, as far as the past few days went, the storms never came and so I felt bad that she had to be in her crate for no reason. Tuesday was fine. However, when I got home last night, she had gotten sick (diarrhea) in her cage. I'm not really sure if it was due to being anxious because she was in her crate, or something else? I cleaned up the cage and put her outside for a few hours so she could work it out. I also mixed her dinner (dog food) with cottage cheese as the vet had previously recommended for doggie diarrhea. I then brought her back in the house to give her a very thorough bath. It was thunderstorming during that time, but I think she was distracted by the bath. By the time bathtime was over, the storm had pretty much subsided so the rest of the night was alright. She slept soundly under my bed as she does every night. :cool:

However, her normal thunderstorm reactions include: pacing the house, dribbling, panting heavily, scratching at doors and windows, just basically getting "beside herself." I feel terrible because there is nothing I can do for her, but I have grown to despise thunderstorms because I know if one comes at night I might not get any sleep and if one comes during the day, there's no telling what I might come home to.

The vet has prescribed a drug which helps by pretty much making her very lethargic. I use it seldomly because it really knocks her off her feet for a whole day. And, with the weather being so sporatic, it is hard to tell when it is truly necessary.

My dog is half border collie and, believe me, it's obvious. She is very smart, energetic, stubborn, half-human really! I have done some research and discovered that herding breeds are more prone to thunderstorm anxiety because it is in their blood. There must be some trigger that goes off that says, "Oh there's thunder! Must get sheep! Must protect sheep and get them to safety!" :p

Does anyone have a dog with such severe thunderstorm anxiety? Any help/advice/conversation is welcome!!!!

Thanks!
fuschiabelle and Roxy:eek:
 

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my rottie used to when she was a puppy but she outgrew it along with us helping. Animals pick up on our stress, are you yourself afraid of storms? You said that you get stressed as well about them! She may be just picking up off of you!
 

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my rottie used to when she was a puppy but she outgrew it along with us helping. Animals pick up on our stress, are you yourself afraid of storms? You said that you get stressed as well about them! She may be just picking up off of you!
I used to love thunderstorms! The only reason I dislike them now is because I know how my dog will react and what I will end up dealing with. How did you help your dog get over her anxiety? I know that my dog will pick up on my stress if I react negatively. I do my best to calm her. I've also read that if you try to hard to soothe and calm her, it will "praise" her reaction and enable her to continue reacting that way to storms. But I know that she isn't picking up anxiety from me because I find storms calming and relaxing (aside from my dog!) And she seems to react more strongly when I am not around. (For instance, the shredding of the doors)
 

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If it's the sounds... get like a thunderstorm recording. play it low while they eat, every couple of days increase the volume. eventually the sounds don't bother them. Works with all loud sounds.

They'll just be more focused ont he food (and happy) they grow tollernt of the sounds.
 

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What did the vet give you? If they gave you ace (acepromezine) I would not use that. I woudl prefer something along the lines of valium for thunderphobes. Worked like a charm in our old thunderphobic guy...eventually, he went through enough storms being calm w/the valium that he didnt' even need it anymore. His brain was reprogrammed that it was OK to be calm during a storm.
 

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There has been some remarkable work done by researchers at Cornell University regarding the theory that it is not the noise, (which becomes a response mechanism), but instead the change in electro-magnetic fields. In fact there are some products already on the market which are basically pads which are grounded so that any charge is dissipated. I have not personally tried any of these products but have done some experimentation at the kennel I manage and while it doesn't seem to work all the time for all dogs I have seen enough to make me believe there may be something to this. Just an idea. There is some info on the web and also in the book "The Dog Who Loved Too Much" there is an entire chapter about this. (The book is written by one of the behavioral researchers at Cornell and is a wonderful book in its' own right.) Best of luck.
 

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Fuschiabelle, I sent you a PM on what I use for my Roxxy. I can't say enough good things about the Storm Defender...other than it is working to calm her down immediately after the thunder is over and I'm hopeful that it will calm her enough during the storm to eliminate the shaking and panting (it has eliminated her trying to crawl "into" me which is a big improvement). When the noise is over, she goes to sleep! :D

And thanks Highlander for linking one of my MANY threads on Roxxy's storm phobia. :eek:
 
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