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I am going to be spending the summer in Florida and will be driving 1600 miles from Texas to Florida, 3-4 days in the car (Honda CRV), myself, my husband and two dogs.  Lucy (avatar) will be asleep in ten minutes, but Emma (50 lbs, mixed breed) gets totally stressed in the car.  She shakes, drools and sheds, and can never rest.  I recently bought homeopathic drops, tablets and a DAP pheromone collar and spray.  I won't really get a chance to try them out before we leave but I'm willing to try anything.  

Does anyone have any other suggestions or stories about how well these pheromone products work?
 

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Based on everything I've learned recently with our supposedly anxious poodle (who loves riding in the car)...

suggestions for helping with anxiety include a few drops of Rescue Remedy (can put it in the water or give to dog directly); Melatonin, 3 mg, morning and evening; pheremone collar.

She probably needs a crate that's too big to fit in your car but another suggestion would be to have her ride in a crate and cover the gate with a towel, minimizing what she can see.

We used to have a dog who would get carsick and we gave him dramamine, but I don't know if that's good advice anymore.

L
 

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A customer told us about the Thundershirt that they use for their dog to help relieve stress. We've never tried it, tho' we're considering it for our dog. Here's the website. If anyone has used this let me know what you think.

http://www.thundershirt.com/HowItWorks/Travel.aspx
 

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DAP and homeopathic remedies can work well for some dogs.  But I know a lot of dogs who don't respond to them at all.

If I were in your shoes, I'd explain the problem to your vet and ask him for a mild sedative for the dog.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
The vet mentioned all the homeopathic things and said the next thing was Valium or a small dose of the tranquilizer they give them for surgery.  That seemed so strong but I guess maybe I should ask for something just in case.
 

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Tatiana said:
A customer told us about the Thundershirt that they use for their dog to help relieve stress. We've never tried it, tho' we're considering it for our dog. Here's the website. If anyone has used this let me know what you think.

http://www.thundershirt.com/HowItWorks/Travel.aspx
I had never heard of this but now I'm totally intrigued. The video on the website of the dog who's afraid of the noises is pretty impressive.
 

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Oh, hello, I'm a vet (as well as an author!)
It depends why Lucy gets so upset.
If she has previously been travel sick, then she may well be anticipating feeling nauseous which makes her feel anxious (often associated with a lot of drooling.) If this is the case then there is a very effective drug called Cerenia (active ingrediant maropitant) which just acts on the vomiting centre, takes away nauseau and should help her feel better.
HOWEVER if these anxieties are deep ingrained, even if you take the nauseau away, she may well have trained herself to be restless.
A good drug combo is a low dose of diazepam (so she doesnt give a damn) combined with a low dose beta blocker (her heart rate cant accelerate as high, so she doesnt get the adrenaline rush that unsettles her.)
If you had more time you can train dogs to like the car, but it takes weeks.
You start by getting her in a stationary car, engine off, and give her rewards. Over the weeks you build up to feeding her in the car (a bigger reward) sitll wihtout engine running. Once she's looking forward to meals in the car, you start the engine, but dont move....same thing, once she's happy with that, you put her in teh car engine on, take her for a 30 second drive, stop, give her the food....It works but does take a long time.


DAP is good but if she's really anxious, for reasons explained above, you probably need more help.
Hope the journey goes OK>
 

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With the rescue remedy and DAP collar, I'd suggest that you start dosing her with the RR about a week before you leave.  The DAP collar is good for 30 days, so again, I'd put it on her at least a couple of days before the trip.  At least that way you start off with a somewhat mellow dog.  ::)
 

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"Remedies" have never worked for my animals,including pheronome collars/sprays, Rescue Remedy, etc.  I do have a Thundershirt for my border collie and it works very well!  Haven't had it long enough for a thunderstorm to arrive (yet), but she did great with it when we had some unfamiliar people over to visit. Her issues are other dogs (even our own) in stressful situations, and she didn't have a single dog issue the entire visit.

I vote for getting "ace" from the vet.  It's like Valium.  I brought my cat all the way from S. Calif to Portland, OR with the stuff.  She did great!  It's also the drug of choice from vets for thunderstorm anxiety.
 

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Let Emma drive.....she will feel more in control and calm right down..... Honest !
 

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Another possibility is giving her some Dramamine (the regular, sedating kind, not the non-drowsy version).  If motion sickness is part of her problem then the Dramamine will prevent that.  And the sedation side-effect should help calm her down and make her sleep.  You can easily find the dosage for dogs with a Google search, or call your vet.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks to everyone for the suggestions. I am going to look into several things. I feel that if I take an arsenal of options, something is bound to work!

NapCat said:
Let Emma drive.....she will feel more in control and calm right down..... Honest !
But if I let her drive, she gets to pick the radio station! Who knows what we might get stuck listening to--Classic Rock-weiller, The Vienna Snausage Boys Choir...
 

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drenfrow said:
But if I let her drive, she gets to pick the radio station! Who knows what we might get stuck listening to--Classic Rock-weiller, The Vienna Snausage Boys Choir...

Giggle !!
 

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spotsmom said:
"I vote for getting "ace" from the vet. It's like Valium. I brought my cat all the way from S. Calif to Portland, OR with the stuff. She did great! It's also the drug of choice from vets for thunderstorm anxiety.
Hmm, personally (and I dont want to unmine you if you've found something that works) I'm not a huge fan of Ace (ACP or acepromazine.) It works well in some animals but it can have the unfortunate side effect of hyperexcitability. It also drops blood pressure into their boots, so you can get away with it in a young fit animal, but I wouldnt want to use it in an older pet or one with heart or organ problems.
I would avoid ACP for sedation in air travel - because of the BP fall it also makes animals prone to losing heat, and in an unpressurised hold, that can be quite dangerous.
Also part of the reason ACP appears to work is that the animals as so groggy, they cant react...so they may still be terrified (thunder storms et.c) but they just havent got the strength or co-ordination to run away. :-\

Just my POV- sorry. ACP over use is a worry of mine...but perhaps I need to get out more. ;D
 

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PS - at heart I'm just a nutty pet owner.

One of my five cats regularly goes with the family on holiday. In the basket she meouws and cries, but we've learnt that once we get over 65 miles an hour she settles down and goes to sleep. If we hit traffic and slow,she's instantly awake and meouwing again. Speed picks up...back to sleep.


She's a speed- loving cat!
If she was human she'd be a biker chick!
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Tatiana said:
A customer told us about the Thundershirt that they use for their dog to help relieve stress. We've never tried it, tho' we're considering it for our dog. Here's the website. If anyone has used this let me know what you think.

http://www.thundershirt.com/HowItWorks/Travel.aspx
I hope you're still following this thread Tatiana, because you are my hero! I ordered a Thundershirt after seeing your post and checking out the link. We left Texas yesterday for Florida. Emma was wearing the pheremone collar, I sprayed the car, I gave her calming treats and 10 miles in and she's a wreck. We stopped and I put Thundershirt on her, and five minutes later, she was asleep. We have gone 1100 miles (500 more to go) and she has been completely calm and sleeping the whole way. Thundershirt is a freakin' miracle. I am singing it's praises from the rooftops. I don't know how it works, but it does. My husband's suggestions are that it's infused with Valium or that the pressure causes a hypoxia-induced coma. ;) Whatever, Thundershirt rocks!
 

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Wow, that is amazing.  I have a dog that freaks out with fireworks and it is crazy here around 4th of July.  I may get this for him and soon.  Thanks for the followup.  Good to know it works so well.
 
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