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Thread: Noise Anxiety

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    Puppy (New Member)

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    Default Noise Anxiety

    I rescued a pyr on Sunday and she was found in a field. She weighs 51 lbs and is emaciated. She is eating and I took her to the vet and they did testing and said she's really underweight, which you can see every bone in her body and I'm feeding her small meals throughout the day and she's tolerating them fine. She's started coming to me and my husband to be petted and seems to be adjusting for the short time she's been with us. This afternoon we had a thunderstorm but it wasn't close, it was far enough away to where you could barely hear the thunder but Bella heard it and she was petrified. She is shaking uncontrollably and trying to find a place to hide. I don't have a thundershirt and not sure it would work with her. What I fear is that she's been outside for some time and has been through some horrendous storms and thus the fear and anxiety. Has anyone tried anything that would work? My last dog, Max, a labradoodle had storm anxiety but I could just hold him and get him to calm down but I think Bella is beyond that. I feel so bad for her because you can see the fear in her eyes. I'm going to call the vet tomorrow and talk to her about it but thought someone on here might have tried something that they've had work.

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    Old Dawg (Senior Member) Jewel's Avatar

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    My Ren developed storm anxiety when he was about 7 months old. He's a pampered indoor brat and has never been left outside to weather a storm. But he's noise sensitive and got spooked one day when the storm came with heavy rain that pelted the house/windows sideways and that was that.

    He can get pretty freaked, with the whining, trembling, drooling, shrill barks, and fear peeing. I've learned to rush him out to potty when I know a storm is coming our way...

    We use a Thundershirt with Ren but I don't think it works that great for him. Ren's predecessor, Bro (he's the one on the right in my avatar pic), developed storm anxiety when he was about 8 yrs old. With Bro, the Thundershirt made a difference. If I put it on him before the storm actually hits, he could stay relatively calm without going into stress panting. Ren still gets pretty worked up with the Thundershirt on. Sometimes I wonder if the Thundershirt actually triggers anxiety because he's been conditioned to Thundershirt = storm.

    In addition to Thundershirt, we also use the med Sileo when he really freaks out. Sileo was developed to manage noise anxiety. On days when bad weather is forecasted, Ren goes to daycare. They daycare staff are familiar with his storm anxiety and they know to put his Thundershirt on and give him Sileo.

    I don't like using meds but the Sileo does work to take the edge off. At home I resort to it when he's freaking out and within a couple of minutes you can visibly see a difference. At daycare I think they administer it as soon as he shows signs of fretting.

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    Old Dawg (Senior Member) SebastiansMom's Avatar

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    Sebastianís noise phobia developed when he was somewhere around three years old. At the first rumble of thunder, sometimes even before, he is halfway up the stairs, barking at Chester (my non-Pyr) and me to join him. My closet is his hiding place of choice.

    I found the thundershirt to be helpful in taking the edge off of Chesterís apprehension during crate training. I bought one for Sebastian, and it doesnít seem to help him much.

    I do a combination of Sileo and counter-conditioning with Sebastian. If I know we are going to have a thunderstorm, I will take some high-value treats upstairs with me, and sit in the closet with Sebastian. Every time we hear loud thunder, he gets a treat. Sometimes, if itís really bad, I will put on classical music to help drown out the scary noises, and calm him down.
    Sebastian is on Facebook!
    www.facebook.com/SirSaintSebastian

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    Old Dawg (Senior Member) Antonia's Avatar

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    My girl came to us through Rescue and had a lot of noise sensitivity issues. Early on she had full blown shaking, drooling, hyperventilating. For her it is not only storms but also the very frequent target practice that occurs in the desert near us. The thundershirt did not help her much but she did like going into a blanket covered crate in her early days. I put it in a dark room in the center of the house and away from external walls but that is across from my room so she can see me. As time has gone on, her reactions have become less severe. She wants to come inside when there are scary noises but once inside, will most often go to sleep in a corner of my room. If the storm is severe and very loud, I will turn on my air purifier which creates noise that drowns out the sound. It's possible that because our house is built of cement-filled foam block, the noise in general is reduced inside and the reverberations not felt. Lily seems to understand that she will not be made to stay outside if she is concerned about something and perhaps that knowledge is what has settled her down. She also lives with three other dogs who have no concern with either storms or other noises and I see her watch them. I hope you can find a way to comfort and reassure Bella. Chances are as you get to know her, you will figure out what helps her feel secure and I'm sure your vet can help.

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    Puppy (New Member)

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    Thanks for your input. I'm going to give the vet a call today. Also, Bella doesn't even like to be outside. She'll go out to pee and poop but then comes right back to the door. I know she's got a lot of anxiety and I'm taking it really slow with her. She does now come to me to be petted but I think her being outdoors on her own for awhile has given her quite a few issues. Hopefully, with love and comfort from us she'll get better every day. I do think she had been out in some severe storms and thus the anxiety.

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    Puppy (New Member)

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    Thanks for your info. A friend has a thundershirt and I'm going to give it a try. I did read about Sileo but wasn't sure about it as some of the reviews were scary. Going to call the vet today and see if they have any ideas. Thanks.

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    Puppy (New Member)

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    Going to try the thundershirt. A friend of mine has one that I'm going to borrow. Also, going to call the vet this morning. I know Bella hasn't had a great life and has been living outside on her own for quite a while. She only weighs about 51 lbs and hopefully with food, love and continuity in her life things will get better for her. Thanks for your reply.

  8. #8
    Road Dawg

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    Max wanted nothing to do with outdoors when we first got him. No trauma, he had been loved and cared for outdoors all his short puppy life...but he instantly decided indoors is WAY better with the AC and the cool tile and the lack of rain and people to pet him at will. And he wasn't going to risk losing all that. But as time went on, he realized and trusted that he could have both, and he came to like the outdoors fine.

    We had a rescue years ago who had storm anxiety. What helped best was building his trust in us during non-storm times. He eventually decided that even though storms were scary, we could probably protect him. And he would hide behind my knees while I sat on the couch or curled in a ball at my feet in bed, and that helped him cope. I remember once a transformer blew nearby during a light rainstorm, and he nearly came out of his skin...but quickly calmed back down. My other dog clearly thought he was crazy for worrying, and he clearly thought she was crazy to NOT worry.

    I also had a dog many years ago who had been abused and was scared of everything. I never discovered thunder shirts for him, sadly. But I did discover during a Halloween parade that a dog-sized Superman costume calmed him significantly. He loved to wear that thing so much, he would strut so proud and unafraid, and I think it was basically the same premise as the thunder shirt.

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    Old Dawg (Senior Member) Antonia's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by Carsok View Post
    Thanks for your input. I'm going to give the vet a call today. Also, Bella doesn't even like to be outside. She'll go out to pee and poop but then comes right back to the door. I know she's got a lot of anxiety and I'm taking it really slow with her. She does now come to me to be petted but I think her being outdoors on her own for awhile has given her quite a few issues. Hopefully, with love and comfort from us she'll get better every day. I do think she had been out in some severe storms and thus the anxiety.
    Lily only wanted to be inside when we got her but now prefers to be outside unless there is noise or the temps are well above 100 degrees. Sometime my other three will come in and she will choose to stay outside. I think she initially felt a lot more secure inside where she was with people.

  10. #10
    Road Dawg kcphilaflyer's Avatar

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    Zeke has no real desire to be outside unless we are out there with him, and more specifically my wife is out there. Similar to what Antonia said, I think it's more that he just wants to be where his people are regardless of where that's at. I'm guessing we're his livestock

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