Storm Phobias

Spring is upon us (although winter seems to be having a hard time letting go this year) and with spring comes thunder storms.

If your dog is not storm phobic count your blessings.  Since most of my dogs are rescues that were unadoptable to the general public due to behavioral or health related issues, I deal with a variety of issues on a daily basis.

Storm phobia was a new one to me, however.  When we got our storm phobic foster (now resident) we were not told he had an issue with storms.  He had an incredibly severe case of seperation anxiety which may have masked the phobia due to the conditions under which he was kept in the home he was in.

If you have a storm phobic dog, this article on storm phobias is a must read. Even if you don’t have a storm phobic dog, it’s a good read as you never know when you may end up with one.

I tried to manage my dog’s phobia for several years through a variety of non-drug means and it just continued to get worse.  Finally, when my other dogs started reacting to storms because the one was so stressed I said ENOUGH.  I made an appointment with my vet to get some kind of medication for him.

 Ironically, the day I decided to go with a medical intervention method of coping with his storm phobia, I found that article which just made me more sure I was doing the right thing.

Today it has been going on 3 years that we have medicated during thunderstorms.  We use Xanax and had to work on getting the dosage right, which did take a while because we only medicate during storms.

While Cajun is not thrilled with storms now, I no longer worry that he is going to have a heart attack during a storm.  He is able to lay quietly (panting) beside someone and he no longer tries to eat my carpet or tear down doors.

He also knows now that if there is a storm he is going to get a special treat and at the first sign of a bad storm will come running to me waiting to get his bite of squeeze cheese (which contains the Xanax, of course).

This entry was posted on Tuesday, April 10th, 2007 at 7:57 pm and is filed under Papillons. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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