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Discussion Starter #1
Ok, we had something happen this afternoon that has me a bit concerned...We had a really bad thunder & lightning storm, I mean it was booming, right on top of us. Angel totally freaked out, started shaking really bad, then panting, then it was like she was hyperventilating! Every time another thunder hit, she got worse. I tried talking calmly and soothly to her, but it was like she just wasn't hearing me at all..I was rubbing her and just trying to keep her calm, but nothing was working. It took me a good hour after it was over to get her back to normal. Any advice on what I can do when this happens again? And it will, we are right smack in the middle of storm season...She had me a bit scared there, or maybe I'm just over reacting?
 

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Re: Hperventilating

My Ziggy was really bad when it came to storms. I remember one night he got so worked up he nearly quit breathing on me. My holistic vet recommended Valerian Root to help calm him down when a storm hit. It worked like a charm.
 

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Re: Hperventilating

My Corgi was the same way!  DO you crate your dog at all??  If so, maybe that could be a safe, small place for the pup to go when it happens.  Storms do scare them to death...who knows why!!!  Good luck.  I'm very curious what you find out that helps!
 

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Re: Hperventilating

Crating her I'm afraid might actually make it worse i'm afraid, she was stuck to me like velcro as was Samson, who is not good in storms but never reacted like this! I'll try the valerian root tho, thanks. Wonder how quick that starts working.
 

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Re: Hperventilating

Ok...the behavior you were describing is stress signals.  You shouldn't "coddle" her when she is exhibiting in this manner.  If you do "coddle" her, you are telling her that it is okay to freak out and that she has good reason to.  Give her a firm sit/down or settle down and ignore her.  She'll see that you aren't worried and that will tell her that she has no reason to worry!!!

Hope this helps!!!

Liz and Lilly
 

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Re: Hperventilating

Lol, see I told ya I was doing it all wrong Liz! I was playing right into her fears, that wont happen again...
 

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Re: Hperventilating

Buster was like that. Liz is correct in that you shouldn't be comforting her. Instead, just go about your normal daily activities. When Buster would start freaking out during a storm, I would start a training session with him, if I could get him out from under the table!  8O
I know it's really hard not to coddle them, but if you go about your normal routine, Angel will eventually see that there is nothing to these noise makers. Now, Maddie on the other hand, well you can light a Firecracker under her butt and she wouldn't even wake up or budge!  :lol:
 

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Re: Hperventilating

Another thing that helps my dogs relax in thunderstorm situations and also after long road trips.  Give them a high value bone to chew on.  That seems to really help the anxiety.  I mean a nice big cooked soup bone or something else (nylabone edibles) that they will probably not turn down and that they only get rarely. I also put on the radio for the calming noise and sometimes encourage them to engage in their favorite game with me so they learn that FUN happens when thunderstorms come.

Part of the reason for the anxiety is that some dogs are more sensitive to the ozone that comes with the storm.  My 3 year old male is very sensitive.  I just ignore him and let him lay by me if thats what makes him comfortable.  You can use the valerian root, but it is best to use the tincture as it works very fast.  You will need to experiment with amounts.  Maybe a half dropperful to start with.  You can also buy non-chemical dryer sheets from a place in Canada.  You can rub these over there body to help reduce the effects of the ozone that they are feeling.  Another thing I find is helpful is to offer them the opportunity to go lay in your closet if it is big enough.  Maybe place a bed in there, but not shutting the door.  I go stand in mine sometimes to encourage that that option is available.  Also a basement is a nice place to go with them if one is available.

You've gotten a lot of good advice here. Hope these things help.  They do eventually calm down some as they get used to the summer storms.  

Nano
 

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Re: Hperventilating

I agree with Liz. We do that with Odin... he still reacts to the thunder at first... but quickly gets over it. In time I think he will be over it completely. We learned this from the Dog Whisperer... it's amazing cuz' your first instinct is to make everything okay and to "keep them safe" when really you're just making it worse.
 

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Re: Hperventilating

Thanks everyone, you know the funny thing is, I knew in the back of my mind that I was making matters worse for her..Grrrr...Not taking my own advice huh? I just got alarmed at the rapid breathing and it freaked me out...Bad Mommy! Next time I'll know better  :) As bad as Samson gets, he never displayed anything close to the way Angel acted, he just gets a bit spooked, runs to find me and stays close....
 

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Re: Hperventilating

I wouldn't call you a bad mommy at all! Who wouldn't be alarmed with the breathing issue? I probably would have done the same thing in that circumstance. If it happens again when there is a storm, you will definitely know next time that it is her way of trying to deal with it. Hopefully with the next storm she will not be as stressed.  :wink:
 

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I would have done what you did when she started hyperventilating... it's hard because you feel so helpless/useless cuz' you can't calm or fix the situation quick enough... I don't think I'm making since. It's mothers instict I think. You're a great mommy!
 
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