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Old 05-27-2014, 05:40 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Help Needed with Noise Phobia

My 4.5 year old male Shiloh Shepherd has always had a fear of thunder and fireworks. Recently I would say this has evolved into a phobia and is becoming problematic as it's disrupting his everyday well-being. His fear has now evolved to the point where similar sounds or events set him off into a panic. He's now nervous on an overcast day. Hearing the rain outside sets him off. I've had to return home from walking them 2 times in the past 3 days because something outside caused him to go into a panic state.

The fear escalation occurred about 2 weeks ago. We had a few days straight of storming and people in the neighbourhood were setting fireworks off leading up to our holiday weekend (Canadian holiday weekend was the weekend before the American May 24 weekend). He has not recovered from this.

I've tried everything with the exception of trying to desensitize him and prescription meds. If anyone knows of a good resource that describes in detail how to desensitize him to this it would be much appreciated.

I would also like to know if there are prescribed drugs that are effective in dealing with this in the meantime while I work with him. I'm extremely concerned about July 1st Canada Day since people will be setting off fireworks for 4-5 days straight in the evenings. I'm in an apartment so I'm limited in creating a safe haven and blocking out sound. He retreats to the bathtub where he rides it out.

Any information would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
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Old 05-27-2014, 06:49 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Two thoughts come to mind. First would be a Thunder Shirt it would go under the "couldn't hurt" category and maybe this:

**Selzer** Sitting On The Dog

Maybe during a storm, just a thought.
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Old 05-27-2014, 06:58 PM   #3 (permalink)
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We have a Thundershirt and unfortunately it's not effective for him. We've tried melatonin, Rescue Remedy, music, television, and the list goes on . I will definitely check out the link you provided. Thank you so much for responding. I really do appreciate it .
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Old 05-27-2014, 07:10 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Just glanced at this take a look. A recording guess of the sounds of thunder was mentioned??

Fear of Noises | ASPCA

Most likely there is some useful information here somewhere? I have no idea how to find it??
April | 2014 | Fearfuldogs' Blog
I don't see a search function?? Not using a Windows PC maybe it's just me?
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Old 05-27-2014, 07:38 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chip18 View Post
Just glanced at this take a look. A recording guess of the sounds of thunder was mentioned??

Fear of Noises | ASPCA

Most likely there is some useful information here somewhere? I have no idea how to find it??
April | 2014 | Fearfuldogs' Blog
I don't see a search function?? Not using a Windows PC maybe it's just me?
Thank you so much! There is a lot of useful info in the ASPCA link. I haven't looked at the other one yet. Apparently I shouldn't attempt training during thunderstorm season according to the link. I'll consult with my vet and see if she can recommend a trainer in my area with the qualifications mentioned. In the meantime, I'll discuss medicating with her. Thanks again! I'm extremely grateful since this was the type of info I was looking for but couldn't find anything that went into detail like this did.
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Old 05-27-2014, 08:17 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Will he take treats when this happens? My understanding... if a dog will take treats under stress, then he is still thinking??

How bad is it?? Any chance of sitting out in the weather with him during a shower? No touch or contacter just tether him and sit with him in the weather for 5 or 10 minutes to start?
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Old 05-27-2014, 08:37 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chip18 View Post
Will he take treats when this happens? My understanding... if a dog will take treats under stress, then he is still thinking??

How bad is it?? Any chance of sitting out in the weather with him during a shower? No touch or contacter just tether him and sit with him in the weather for 5 or 10 minutes to start?
He won't eat at all when it happens. I could offer him human food which he loves and he won't eat it.

It's pretty bad. Not a chance that I could sit outside with him. He's so on edge right now from the past couple of weeks of storms and fireworks that he's going into a panic over things I can't see or hear. It was beautiful when I was walking him this afternoon but he must have heard something which set him off into a panic. Maybe he heard a plane which reminded him of thunder. The planes are nothing new but it's the only thing I can think of that he could have heard. He's never been afraid of the planes before though and they continually go overhead because of where we're situated in relation to the airport. He fought me to go back home. I tried to keep going for a bit but it became impossible.
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Old 05-27-2014, 08:48 PM   #8 (permalink)
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i don't think you can fix this, but not an expert. the only thing i have heard is to not acknowlede this or try to comfort your dog. as this reinforces the behavior. i have the same issue, but with our jrt.
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Old 05-27-2014, 09:01 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Nother link:
How To Help Dogs With Thunder Phobia | Veterinarians Dover | Shiloh Veterinary Hospital

Maybe a crate create, a den, throw a heavy blanket on it and "white noise" during an episodes? See if he will use it "not" crating as such but offering a quieter spot than an unmuffled bathroom.

The fact that he won't take treats is a shutdown, pretty much full panic mode. Maybe meds and a walk sitting would be manageable?

Have you registered with a Shiloh board? This is not a breed specific problem but I have seen something similar on an episode of "Bad Dogs."

One bedroom apartment, owner had female Shilo, if she raised her voice to the dog, the dog would turn around go upstairs to the bathroom, close the door and get in the tub!!??

She got a second dog and the first dog taught the second dog the same behaviour??

Just saying that forum might have something useful..just a thought.

ISSR Shiloh Shepherds
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Old 05-27-2014, 10:31 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Ashwagandha

You can get tincture form by "St. Francis" in most health food stores. You would start to use this as takes a bit of time to start working but is said to work as well as or better then anti-depressants and/or anti-anxiety meds. It is not something you give just before a storm like a typical pill or even melatonin.

This also has so many more benefits to your dogs health, immune health, thyroid, adrenals (stress hormones), antifungal. etc. etc.

Ashwagandha: Stress Reduction, Neural Protection, and a Lot More from an Ancient Herb - Life Extension

^^^
For example, in validated models of anxiety and depression, ashwagandha has been demonstrated to be as effective as some tranquilizers and antidepressant drugs. Specifically, oral administration of ashwagandha for five days suggested anxiety-relieving effects similar to those achieved by the anti-anxiety drug lorazepam (Ativan®), and antidepressant effects similar to those of the prescription antidepressant drug imipramine (Tofranil®).

Also note this...you wont find this benefit in a pharmaceutical

In addition to ashwagandha’s documented neuroprotective effects, exciting recent evidence suggests that it also has the potential to stop cancer cells in their tracks. For example, a recent analysis showed that ashwagandha extract inhibited the growth of human breast, lung, and colon cancer cell lines in the laboratory. This inhibition was comparable to that achieved with the common cancer chemotherapy drug doxorubicin (Caelyx®, Myocet®). In fact, researchers reported that withaferin A, a specific compound extracted from ashwagandha, was more effective than doxorubicin in inhibiting breast and colon cancer cell growth.11,14
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