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#300339 - 11/23/13 03:45 AM Severe storm phobia
bianca Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 05/14/10
Posts: 8875
Loc: Queensland. Australia
Likes: 149
Hi all,
I am sure I have mentioned before but I wondered if anyone here medicates their dog for storms. And if so, what do you give?

Molly is progressively getting worse and we are having thunder every second day at the moment. Today she had on her Thundershirt and 3mg of Xanax and it didn't make a dent in her panic. I thought when I take Coop to the vet this coming week I would ask him what else I can do, but wanted any feedback here first please.

Today she started trying to climb on the kitchen bench, climb the shelves in the pantry and linen cupboard. These are all new behaviours. Our usual routine is she either hides in my wardrobe or I hold her on my bed (which is what we did for 3 hours).

Any help please would be gratefully received.

I should add I have tried DAP, rescue remedy and another apawtherapy natural remedy but she is so bad frown
Molly Moo (aka The Piranha, 4 legged mouth) GSD (31/10/09)
Cooper GSD (The Gremlin) 19/10/11
Texas - Tabby cat (Feb 1996-2013) Run free sweet Teppie
Paris - Tabby cat (Feb 1996-2013) Run free my beautiful girl.

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#300340 - 11/23/13 07:27 AM Re: Severe storm phobia [Re: bianca]
PaddyD Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 10/05/12
Posts: 844
Loc: Massachusetts
Likes: 85
I am sorry for Molly's troubles and I hope you can help her.
This will probably not work but what I always did with my dogs for storms or
fireworks was to sit and observe them with them. I would sit and read a
book or some such thing and act as though they were a normal occurrence.
With some dogs this took only one or two 'sessions' and they were desensitized.
With some it took longer .... with some it didn't work at all.
My last dog went from hiding to having to go and watch the storm. If she
could see it she would calm down. Strange.
Best of luck to you and Molly. lurking goodluck
Abby - GSD - 7/4/2009

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#300341 - 11/23/13 07:47 AM Re: Severe storm phobia [Re: PaddyD]
JakodaCD OA Offline

Registered: 02/11/10
Posts: 1378
Loc: Old Lyme CT
Likes: 27
I have used melatonin with 'ok' doesn't prevent the fear but seems to 'chill' them out more.

I've had a couple of storm phobic dogs in the past, one would get in the bathtub, or a closet, the other actually tried climbing in the fireplace.

One helped by doing TTouch on him,,but doing that to a 125lb shaking bag of bones almost on top of you is rather iffy:)

The melatonin, kicks in fast, I give my 40# aussie 3mgs.
Ozzie von Kleinen Hain
Jakoda's Kholee
Tranquillo's Kizzy
Danger Danger von Kleinen Hain aka "Masi"
"Angel" Harmonyhill's Hy Jynx aka "Jynx"
"Angel" Jakoda's Jagged Edge aka "Jag"
"Angel" Sami
"Angel" Dodge

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#300342 - 11/23/13 08:46 AM Re: Severe storm phobia [Re: JakodaCD OA]
shepnterrier Offline

Registered: 02/13/10
Posts: 2032
Loc: MA
Likes: 79
Bianca, when do you give the Xanax? Acc to Dr Karen Overall, the key is to give it 2 hrs before the storm is predicted to begin:
(the article is from 2004)

Another veterinary behaviorist, Dr Nicholas Dodman, uses Buspirone as the drug of choice for t-storm phobia.

An overview on meds to treat t-storm phobia:

Dr Dodman at Tufts University offers the 'VetFax' service:
This is a veterinarian–to–veterinarian consultation service for animal behavior problems. You and your referring veterinarian provide a written account of the behavior problem via behavior history forms and mail or fax this report to Tufts Animal Behavior Clinic. Dr. Dodman and his assistant will fax or mail a three to six page consultation response to the referring veterinarian within one week.

For more information, please call Ronni Tinker at 508-887-4640. Your charge for this service will be determined by your local veterinarian."

Dr Dodman's Vetfax is the route I would take myself. He has vast experience on using meds for behavioral issues and especially phobias.

Victoria Stillwell developed a non-medical treatment protocol together with a sound researcher and a pianist: I have no experience with it. Not knowing the work, just going by the title, it might focus on sound whereas some dogs might react to the electrostatic in the air as much as to the sound. But I don't know the product. The QuickLinks on that page might be worthwhile checking out, too.

There are a couple of audio DVDs out that have a soundtrack of t-storms, and offer instructions for desensitization. They are targeted to dogs with mild to moderate storm phobia (such as the Chipster), not the ones with severe t-storm phobia. I haven't tried these protocols yet, Chip and I can still manage with the VetriScience calming supplement, thundershirt, and playing before it gets real bad (he initiates the play as a way to distract himself). He hides underneath the bathroom sink, the non-conducting porcellain, so in his case he must be sensitive to the electrostatic, and sound desensitization is unlikely to resolve the fear entirely.

My dog Robin developed severe t-storm phobia in middle age before the meds and CDs were available. She suffered the same from the sounds of fireworks as during t-storms, and she didn't hide underneath the sink or behind the toilet bowl. So in her case sound desensitization would have been worth a try.

Fear causes as much suffering as physical pain. Not everybody takes it as seriously. Molly Moo is so lucky to have you for her human!
Chip vom Dog Pound, border terrior, Director of Rodent Control, CGC
Elly von Rescue, GSD, CGC, HI(C)
Captain Jack, Mama Blue, Little Orca, Bübchen, Tux, Cherub (pocket lions)

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#300345 - 11/23/13 09:51 AM Re: Severe storm phobia [Re: shepnterrier]
Kayos Offline

Can't Figure Tech Stuff Out

Registered: 02/18/10
Posts: 11662
Loc: McAlester, OK
Likes: 240
Oh boy,,,, I was hoping the meds would help this. I have had storm phobic dogs in the past but not as bad as Molly.

I have used Ace in the past but that has kind of fallen on disfavor these days.

I plan on starting Havoc on melatonin this spring as he is developing some storm fears.

Can you maybe try some music? I think I might try some soft soothing music to see if calms her some. And if not, heck ROCK and ROLLL !!!!! It might drown out the thunder. I expect she is also responding to the change in barometric pressure, not much you can do about that.

PTE,AC,URO3,AG2,UCD Xtra!Xtra! v. TeMar CDX,GN,RE,CGC,TC,HIC, Bh "Havoc" 6/4/07
PAM, URO3, UCD, UACH Tidmores Rising Star Lydia "Mayhem" CD,BN,RE,AX,AJP,OFP,P1J,CA,DN,HT,TKN,TC,CGCA 4/4/12

Lucky, Wolf, Max, Kayos - gone not forgotten. gsdhalo

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#300347 - 11/23/13 10:03 AM Re: Severe storm phobia [Re: Kayos]
Mary Jane Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/16/10
Posts: 2740
Likes: 129
Oh poor Miss Moo!

I thought Wolf was bad, he just crammed himself into a closet and wouldn't come out for several hours, I sometimes held him for a while to stop the shaking.

Molly's reaction is way past that-maybe you have better storms?

I just hope you both get relief, really.


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#300350 - 11/23/13 10:42 AM Re: Severe storm phobia [Re: Mary Jane]
Wisc.Tiger_Val Offline
Member First - Owner Second "The Watcher"

Registered: 01/18/10
Posts: 8794
Loc: Wisconsin
Likes: 268
bianca, I will list some of the things that at times helped DeeDee

Vitamin B complex. Google, there is a lot of info about the B complex and helping fearful dogs.


Also, with the thundershirt put it on at times where there are no storms. This way the shirt isn't associated with only bad things.

T-Touch, DeeDee loved her hear, neck and head work.

I used sound flooding, fan and TV or Radio.

I tried the Xanax with DeeDee with no success. When we tried to up the dosage, all we did was upset the liver, so I had to do liver support to get that straightened out.

I hope you can come up with a combination that helps miss Moo
Val da Tiger

Fuzzybutt the cat.
Neilla the Big White puppy.

RIP Cheyenne - AKA: Digger, CheyChey Girl, Cheyenne Large and In charge. 2/16/02 - 2/27/16
RIP Raya - AKA: Raz-a, Ray a Sunshine, RayBestos, the little one, Silly Girl. 9/21/05 - 6/27/14
RIP Lakota - AKA: Bubba, Big Boy, BooBoo (the other part of the Binky and BooBoo team). 1/19/03-9/19/2011
RIP DeeDee - AKA: DD Poo, Little Bit, Binky (part of the Binky and Booboo team) 6/23/02-6/20/11

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#300352 - 11/23/13 11:38 AM Re: Severe storm phobia [Re: Wisc.Tiger_Val]
MaxaLisa Offline

Global Moderator

Registered: 01/26/10
Posts: 19487
Loc: Northern CA
Likes: 256
No direct experience here, indy was bothered by fireworks and thunder, but it wasn't terrible, and some melatonin took the edge off and allowed her to basically to ignore it.

The homeopathic remedy phosphorous might help.

The herb scullcap might help relax the nervous system.

If it's just storms and not fireworks, there is a storm jacket that shields from static I think, which operates under a different priniplce than the thundershirt, which basically is a waddling technique.
Eta: here it is, I've also seen it on amazon:

Edited by MaxaLisa (11/23/13 11:40 AM)
MaxaL (aka LisaT)

Jazmine, mini-mix, 10/18/2011
Max, 5/2001-2/2012, RIP my partner, my Regal Boy
Indy, 5/1997-10/2010, RIP my friend, my teacher

Health Index
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#300362 - 11/23/13 01:53 PM Re: Severe storm phobia [Re: MaxaLisa]
Mary Jane Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/16/10
Posts: 2740
Likes: 129
We tried an anti-static wrap for Wolf with no luck. Also DAP and the "Through a Dog's Ears" disc without effect.

Molly is a whole different creature and maybe she will respond. I certainly hope so.

Mary Jane

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#300363 - 11/23/13 02:37 PM Re: Severe storm phobia [Re: Mary Jane]
Braverhund Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/10/10
Posts: 5436
Loc: Massachusetts
Likes: 159
Miss Molly Moo, my goodness! Bianca I am hoping that one of the solutions offered here might help your adorable girl. Val has had so much experience from when she had DeeDee, perhaps one of her ideas might help. I am wishing you wonderful success with helping Miss Moo! crossedfingers crossedfingers crossedfingers
Frauchen von:

Grimm van den Heuvel, "Donnerpratzen"
Smokey The TeddyLion, DLH purrbuddy

Dir gehört mein Herz

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