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My morning nightmare - dog_behaviour [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
it's me or the dog

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My morning nightmare [Mar. 28th, 2007|02:42 pm]
it's me or the dog


It was absolutely horrifying this morning… My labrador has a noise phobia (thunder storms, firework, etc). She is 8 year so no music therapy or hug therapy help any longer (believe me we tried them all). In fact, every year this phobia gets progressively worse. When she hears a loud noise the only safe place she has is around us, which is fine, I can deal with all night panting and shivering next to me. However, my husband and I both work so we have to leave her alone for at least 8 hours. This morning we had our first after-winter thunderstorm. We locked her in her cage. We were standing outside locking the door when we heard her screaming (and I mean screaming as in human screaming… not howling or whimpering). We rushed back in…. The only thing that I can guess is that she was trying to chew at the bars of the cage door… being in this terrifying and shaking state as she was, she opened her mouth too wide and her jaws got stuck between the bars of the door!!!!!!!!! She couldn’t open her mouth any wider to get unstuck! I just remember my husband and me screaming and crying and then trying to bend the bars to let her jaw free. We had to use the pliers. This afternoon I am taking my girl to the vet and we are getting some meds. I have been trying to avoid putting her on any medication but after this morning I do not think we have any choice. I am still rather shaken and that scream of hers is going to hunt me for many many months. And I am SO glad we went back, I do not even want to think what would happen to her if she had to stay with her mouth wide open all day long.

From: keddybear
2007-03-28 07:19 pm (UTC)
Your poor baby! Our 8 year old yellow lab Riley has terrible phobia of loud noises too. She shivers and cries when it thunders and tries to hide between our legs. Also, we live out in the country and it's common to hear gunshots...that drives her into a barking frenzy. Other problems include fireworks and even the noise from a basketball bouncing. My sister works at a vet's office and every 4th of July we give Riley a sedative to calm her during the racket.

I'm so glad you went back in -- how horrible to have to hear a lab "scream" like that. Good choice to go on medication and try that. At least you can know that you tried other alternatives first. Let me know how that works. Does she get a lot of exercise after you and your husband get home? Does she have problems in the crate otherwise, or just when it's thundering?

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[User Picture]From: zverushka7
2007-03-28 07:42 pm (UTC)
Thank you very much for your kind words and concern. We try our best to exercise her but it probably never enough. Dusya (my poor girl) usually doesn't mind the crate and sleeps there from time to time. What sedative did you use for Riley to calm her down?
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From: keddybear
2007-03-28 08:34 pm (UTC)
Vets are usually very good at helping prescribe a light sedative if your dog is out of control (and may harm herself) in those noisy situations such as thunder/fireworks. I don't remember what exact medication it was but I will call my sister at work and ask, and post an answer back to you tonight. OK? Take care and give your doggie kisses for me!!
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