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I am Dr kathy and I like health life!

This is kathy's health blog ,she talk about all disease experience! You will find the helpful informations!

Apr 30, 2009

Thunderstorm Phobia in Dogs

Ah, it's springtime in New Mexico. My Poppies, Blackfoot Daisies, Penstemons and Chocolate Flowers are up and in their glory. The slurry bombers have arrived at the Grant County Airport and my friend Phil, the Forest Service fire lookout, is hoping for a decent fire season. Springtime is dry, hot and windy in New Mexico and unlike most parts of the country we won't get any significant rain until July.
you can post your pet story here:8pets.com

It is thunderstorm season in the Midwest and back east though. That means that there will be an average of over 100,000 thunderstorms in those regions over the next few months and if you have a thunderstorm phobic dog you know what that can mean. The fear and anxiety produced by events like thunderstorms and fireworks can be a real problem for some dogs. Dogs will pant, pace, hide, tremble and generally go nuts if they suffer from this condition. They may even become destructive as a result of the anxiety. This obviously causes anxiety on the part of the owner too. What do you do in these situations?

Well, if you've been through it before, you hopefully sought help last year and discussed the problem with your veterinarian. Veterinary behaviorists can help with a systematic approach to desensitizing your dog to the stimuli that cause the anxiety. This can be the noise, or the flash of lightning in storm phobic dogs. Some dogs actually begin reacting before the storm hits. They may sense a drop in barometric pressure or they may hear the far off thunder we can't hear. Desensitization involves gradual exposure to increasing levels of the offending stimulus over time coupled with the proper reaction on the part of the owner. The second part is very important and this is where the advice of the behaviorist really comes in handy. The wrong reaction by the owner to the dogs behavior can make things worse over time. The last thing you want to do is punish the dog and paradoxically coddling and comforting the phobic dog has almost the same impact as punishment. Both reactions tend to reinforce the phobic behavior and actually will make things worse. Sedatives can help but in the opinion of many experts they should not be the first line of treatment. You may need them and they may work in concert with behavior modification but the combination of the two is best. Another option that can offer good results in combination with behavior modification is the use of DAP or Dog Appeasing Pheromone. We've discussed pheromones before with cats and their use in the introduction of new cats into a multi cat household. Pheromones are chemicals that animals produce in response to certain situations. Other animals can smell the pheromones and the result is often a change in behavior. Dog appeasing pheromone is produced by the lactating bitch and has a calming effect on the puppies she is nursing. The sense of comfort engendered by DAP can have a positive effect on thunderstorm and generally noise phobic dogs. DAP should be used prior to the onset of scary events.

Now would be a good time to get started. DAP comes in a plug in diffuser that lasts about a month so you may need a few to get through thunderstorm season. The added benefit to DAP is that it does not produce the drugged response you may see with sedatives. It is best used in combination with appropriate behavior modification. If you have this problem it is best to consult with a veterinary behavior specialist. They can help with the nuances of desensitizing. To be effective that has to be done correctly. I'm going to go give my flowers a drink. Good thing I have a 2500 gallon water tank filled with last summer's monsoon rain. My garden is the envy of the neighborhood.