July 2018: Noise Aversions

By July 2, 2018 No Comments

We know you’re ready for fireworks… but is your dog?

If your dog is scared of all the loud noises that come with summertime (thunderstorms, fireworks, large groups of people) they may need a little bit of help! We carry a few products that could help your scardy-dog if they suffer from nervousness and anxiety associated with those loud noises.

Sileo is an oral gel medication for dogs that suffer from noise aversion. Easy to administer, Sileo comes in a tube that can be adjusted to adminster the proper dose for your dogs size and weight.

Interested in learning if Sileo is right for your dog? Give us a call! If the veterinarian does not think Sileo is right for your pet, we carry other calming medications that may be the perfect thing for your dog!

**Veterinarians can only prescribe to current patients with an up-to-date physical exam. Bloodwork may be required before prescribing certain medications.**

Nathan’s Story:

I had just graduated college and moved into an extremely small one-bedroom house in Southern California. I always wanted a dog of my own. On day 2 of living on my own, I was all set to go find my new dog. I knew I had to get a something small, something that would fit with my new tiny house. After multiple shelter visits I found a little Rat Terrier. I had no idea what a Rat Terrier was at the time, but it was small and had unique coloring. On his face above his eyes sat two little brown marks that resembled eyebrows. He seemed so expressive with those little eyebrows… I had to have him! He was only six months old when I took him in. That was my little man. I named him Dude.

That dog was the only constant in my life and I loved him dearly. He went with me everywhere. I worked in court services at the time delivering time sensitive documents to the courts of the Inland Empire. He became my traveling partner. The court clerks would often take breaks to take Dude on a walk while I filed court papers. One morning I tried to leave without him and he wasn’t having it. I shut him in my room, but the window was cracked just enough to push it open with his nose, tear a hole in the screen and jump out. He came racing down the driveway and jumped into my car through the open passenger side window. Quite an impressive moment. I wasn’t even upset about my ruined window screen. I was amazed at his determination to be by my side, not realizing this was a small taste of his anxiety.

Fireworks and thunderstorms, although very rare in this area of California, absolutely terrified him. It was often something as simple as a passing motorcycle that sent him running. He would just take off running and not look back. He was fast! When he was terrified, there was no catching him on foot. If I didn’t jump in my car to chase him down or if a neighbor didn’t help when they saw him running, I would have lost him for sure. I knew nothing about Thunder Shirts, sedatives or any other calming supplement that might have helped him. I just started putting a leash on him everywhere we went, as these occurrences were so rare that I couldn’t predict when he’d have a moment and try to flee. I thought I could just control the issue with some leash training, but his terror was deep and real. Too deep for leash training.

Dude was with me for six years. I loved that dog more than anything. Thinking back, I wish I knew more. I wish I could have done more. This was my first dog and I learned the hard way. I lost Dude when I ran down to the grocery store and a thunderstorm storm rolled in while I was there. The first crack of lightening and I knew that I left that bedroom window open again. I raced home to find the window had been pushed open, the screen once again torn, and Dude was gone. Unfortunately, this was before microchips so all he had was a collar with a tag but that didn’t help. I put up signs, I knocked on neighbor’s doors, and I ran a classified ad but to no avail. My Dude was gone.

Today, we have a lot more resources available to us. I have since had another anxious dog that was easily calmed with some anxiety meds and a Thunder Shirt. I also make sure that all of my pets are microchipped. If I could offer a piece of advice through this terrible experience it would be to speak to our doctors and let them help you with a plan for your anxious dog or cat. Hurricane season is here, and I would hate for any person or family to have to go through an experience like this.

Dr. Bell’s Recommendation:

Does your dog hide or shake uncontrollably when they’re scared? Have you ever heard of a Thunder Shirt?

Dr. Bell recommends trying a thunder shirt before moving right to medications or sedatives. Watch this video to learn more, and start a conversation at home about this being an option for your pet.

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