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Severe Car Sickness!

20406 Views 16 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  RogueRed26
My 4 month old GSD suffers from severe car sickness. Even a short trip to Petsmart (a 6 minute drive) makes her drool and vomit. :help:

Texas salivates and foams at the mouth excessively; my whole back seat gets covered in drool and I am constantly wiping her mouth with a towel. My family also owns a Saint Bernard and her salivating is just as worse as an adult Saint and the foaming looks like a gulp of clear foam that falls from both sides of her mouth like shoe laces. Also, occasionally, she will vomit water in the back seat. Once she is out of the car, she is fine. Its only when shes inside the car that these symptoms appear.

What should I do? :confused: She has to travel with me at least three times a week for puppy classes and visits to my parents. I spoke to my veterinarian on Friday and all he said was that it would pass with time. TIME!? I don't think this is just a phase. Does anyone have any advice or solutions on how to relieve her stress and symptoms?

Any advice will be much appreciated. Thank you for your time.
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Koda used to be like that...

Apparently car sickness is more stress related than it is motion, by the way. I don't think whoever had Koda before me did much of anything with him as he didn't know how to even get in the car, initially. When he learned that, he would drool and vomit, even on a 10 minute car ride. I think it was the initial stress of not being familiar with cars that was setting him off.

I started rolling the window down for him (To a safe position, he can't get out) so he can stick his head out, that seemed to seriously help. I was also giving him Ginger Snap cookies, which helps calm their stomachs, that seemed to help as well. You could also try taking along a treat for her to chew on to distract her, as I'm betting it's stress related, like most cases. You could also take her on very short rides around the block, give her a treat if she's okay at the end. Make car rides associated with "good" things. When you work up to longer rides, take her to the park to run around, or to a pet store where she'll get a treat. If she begins to realize that getting in the car is a good thing, the stress will probably be greatly reduced. Your Vet is right in that it will take "time", but there's more to it than waiting it out, you know? After enough trips to the pet store, getting Koda a treat, letting him stick his head out the window, etc. he no longer gets sick, he's calmed down a lot...
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Wolfie still gets car sick and he's 10 months old. It has got a lot better since we started out when he was a baby, but he still gets sick. I found that keeping the windows open for him so he can stick his nose out works. I also found these car sick pills at a local pet store. They are called Happy Traveler and they work wonderful! They don't make him drowsy either. It just seems to take the edge off, and he never vomits anymore. My daughter has a yorkiepoo. He is 2 years old and gets violently carsick. She tried some of Wolfie's Happy Traveler pills and she was amazed that her dog never vomited in the car on the way home.
It would be awesome if the Happy Traveller pills would work. I have had to end up using Cerenia. It is a prescription med and thus carries risks and side effects.

We have used the medication and desensitization to stop the vomiting in my friend's dog. Some dogs defecate with motion sickness and the meds won't help that so much.

A lot of puppies outgrow car sickness so hopefully it gets better. Your vet is right in that if often resolves as the pup gets older. I have known many pups that got over it. Hopefully that happens for you too!
I really hope she does grow out of it. I just feel horrible seeing her get that sick.

I want her to associate fun times when going in the car. I believe she knows she is going to Petsmart for socialization and obedience classes and will be visiting my mom's chihuahua whom she loves to play with; though ever time I try to load her up on the car, she starts fighting me and pulling away. With a little coaxing and encouragement, she hops in and then starts feeling sick.

I think I am going to look into those Happy Traveler pills to ease her stress. Where could I possibly find these pills? Does anyone have any suggestions?

Thank you for your time and advice, I greatly appreciate it.
I want her to associate fun times when going in the car. I believe she knows she is going to Petsmart for socialization and obedience classes and will be visiting my mom's chihuahua whom she loves to play with; though ever time I try to load her up on the car, she starts fighting me and pulling away. With a little coaxing and encouragement, she hops in and then starts feeling sick.

Riley, my Sheltie Mix, used to be horrified of cars (She was abused before she came to me). She doesn't get carsick, but when I first adopted her, if I tried to get her anywhere near a car she'd put the breaks on and submissively pee. It was sad...

What I ended up doing was introducing the car to her slowly and used treats. I would walk her near the car, give her a treat. I would open all 4 doors and pick her up, put her in, and give her treats. I worked my way to closing one door at a time, giving treats, then she got to the point where she was comfortable in the car with all the doors closed. Then I moved to actually going somewhere. I don't know if your pup needs these kinds of measures, but if she's scared of the car to begin with, it may benefit her. Riley is now happy to get in the car, hops right in no problem...
Thank you for the advice Melina.

I think I should re-introduce Texas to the car again. I will try my best to try to make it fun. Her next puppy class will be next Sunday, since our class was canceled this week because of the Halloween. That should give me some time to try to condition her to the car.

Also, about letting some fresh air in the car, I even cracked the window open yesterday in my car when I drove to my mother's in the evening so she can feel the breeze, but it did not do her any justice. Last week, I even put the top down in the car (convertible) when a friend of mine sat in the back seat with her to comfort her, and she just ended up drooling all over him.
Hondo is 13 months old and always get car sick. There isn't any stress involved. When it's time to go, he gets excited and 'loads' with out any problems. He always rides in a kennel in the back of the truck. When he sees the Kennel go into the back of the truck he also responds positively.

When going to training class, I arrive at least 15 minutes before class so he can get his 'legs' back under him. When taking him into a store, I give him a few minutes in the parking lot. As he ages, his recovery time is becoming less and less.

If we are going on a trip longer than an hour, I hold all food and water before the trip. If it's a long trip, then I'll give him meds (that the vet gave me). But I rarely do, I don't care for the possible side effects. During the trip I'll give him a few laps here and then, but not enough to upset his tummy. Also during stops I'll let him lick some peppermint. The vet said it helps to settle his tummy and get the drool under control. Sometimes he'll lick it, but most times he just looks at me like I'm nuts.

Hondo loves going for rides. He is more into the destination then the journey!
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Aw, Hondo sounds like a free adventurous spirit, with a bit of motion sickness, but he never lets it get him down. =) He has a wonderful owner who makes sure his trips are never stressful.

Time management sounds like a great idea as well. I will try that the next time I take her to Petsmart and allow her some time to adjust. Thank you for the advice.

The peppermint sounds interesting. What does it do if I may ask?
I think peppermint helps to settle the stomach. Ginger Snap cookies can help, too, at least they seemed to with Koda. You may try those two things before moving onto any sort of medication...
Sounds wonderful! Anything natural is far better than medication; I really want to avoid any side effects with meds. I will give them both a try. Thank you again. I really appreciate it! =)

oh btw: Where can I find some ginger snap cookies? Thank you again.
According to my vet, the peppermint not only helps soothe the stomach, but it also helps take the bile taste out of their mouths, which can cause them to drool more. I don't think I feed him enough to actually work on the tummy, but he does seem to drool less after a few licks. I keep a partial of one of those thick Christmas peppermint sticks in my purse. It becomes a mess after a few uses, but if nothing else, it seems to make him feel better, or at least makes me feel better.

I suppose the ginger snaps do the same thing, and would be a lot neater to keep in your purse!
oh btw: Where can I find some ginger snap cookies? Thank you again.
I get them at Sprouts, which is comparable to a Trader Joe's..Though I'm sure they're at any grocery store. Beware, not only do they taste good to dogs, but humans as well... :paranoid: I munch on them, too...Just don't tell Koda!
Do you have a car big enough to have Texas travel in her crate? Our Rottie mix, Kona, suffered horribly from car sickness for the first year of her life. Once we put her in her crate to travel, she did much better. She would still drool a bit, but nothing like before and the vomiting stopped completely. Oddly enough, after a little over a year, the car sickness/drooling was totally gone. Kona now travels in the back of our SUV on a comfy dog bed and loves it. Luckily, our GSD, Thor doesn't suffer from any issues with the car.

Good luck, unfortunately it may be one of those things that Texas just has to outgrow.
You can order Happy Traveler on line or there is a store locator to find a store in your area that sells it.
I've only had 1 GSD get sick when in the car. That was my White GSD and my very first GSD that I got from a back-yard-breeder. She got over it however by the time she was 5 months old.
Thank you all for the advice. It is much appreciated! =)

I will look into acquiring some ginger snaps and some peppermint treats for both Texas and I. =-p

Unfortunately, I do not have a bigger car. I drive a mustang, and I cannot fit a crate. Though, she has the whole backseat to herself. I have been thinking about moving her up front. I tried that yesterday. She sat on my lap with the window down, while my friend drove us to my mother's house. (I wanted her on my lap since I do not have a dog seat belt holder, so I thought holder her would be safer for the front sear).Though,to avail, I did not see any less symptoms.
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