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new car behavior: hyperventilation

technodoll
December 30th, 2006, 01:48 PM
Wasn't sure where to put this one, it's neither a health nor a training issue... here goes!

Maika has very recently developed a new behavior when riding in the car for periods longer than 15 or so minutes: she hyperventilates. She will sit there all rigid and pant very hard and very fast, staring straight ahead and pushing her body between the rear car seats (they sit in the flat back cargo area). She is not carsick, has never vomited in the car ever, she has no tummy aches or anything, she's not hot (her nose is wet and cold, the car windows are down, we're freezing in our hats, coats and mittens, and Dakotah who is the panter of the two looks cold!). If i tell her "no! back!" she will hunker down for a few minutes then start all over again.

I'm stumped. nothing bad has ever happened, she willingly hops into the car and loves going places. The minute she's out of the car she's a happy peanut with no physical ailments. This new behavior started about 3 car trips ago?

help! :o

technodoll
December 30th, 2006, 10:07 PM
so i guess nobody else's dog has this weird behavior?... :o

hazelrunpack
December 30th, 2006, 10:20 PM
Ember is like that, too, depending on where he's sitting. If he's in the kennel under the cap of the pickup or in the back of the Tribute behind the pet barrier, he drools and hyperventilates--and paces if he has the room. If he's sitting in the front passenger seat, he does fine--curls up and goes to sleep. :shrug: But that's not the safest place for him to be.

Unfortunately, I don't have any advice, because we just live with it and don't even notice it much anymore. The worst of it was that he used to rub his elbows raw from all his twisting and turning in his riding kennel, but he taught himself how not to rub against the 'bars' and no longer gets sore elbows. :highfive:

If anyone comes up with a way to calm Maika down, maybe it'll work with Ember, too!

Golden Girls
December 30th, 2006, 10:25 PM
Maika's not alone lol Brandi's exactly like that but has always been. I wonder why suddently she's getting panick attacks? Could something of scared her like a tire blow-out or a noisy truck passing by. Or it could just be she's getting a lill older and more impatient knowing she's going somewhere fun? :shrug:
the car windows are down, we're freezing in our hats, coats and mittensDo you ever notice other cars when they look at us driving with the windows down in the freezing cold - their expressions are priceless :D

erykah1310
December 30th, 2006, 10:27 PM
Kita acts bizzare once and a while in the car too, not often but when she does its alot like what Maika does.
I know there is nothing that is causing it so I just ignore her. It works for a while.
She sometimes will stiffen right up and start to shake:shrug: she looks at me alot too while she is doing it but I just ignore her. If I say anything to her or even look over she starts doing it more:shrug:

Golden Girls
December 30th, 2006, 10:28 PM
When I find her getting really impatient I talk to her. It seems to calm her down a bit. I find myself saying "were almost there" like a zillion times :o

OntarioGreys
December 30th, 2006, 10:42 PM
Did it happen to start after a vet visit?

russte
December 31st, 2006, 12:39 AM
Since the day we brought Taffy and Piper home from the breeder, Taffy has chased cars from inside the car. She will watch the car coming from a distance and stare at it until it has passed and then fly into the back window over and over again, we have a harness now because we are afraid she will hurt herself or her sister chasing the on coming cars!!:crazy: What a dumbass!! and she won't stop! :frustrated: russte

technodoll
December 31st, 2006, 12:43 AM
OG, no... this started about 3, maybe 4 trips ago? she's ok for city driving but once out on the highway... it starts :shrug: and she wasn't like that before. heck we drove 11 hours in two days this summer (both ways!) and she was fine... :confused:

i'll have to talk to her more, maybe it's just a phase and it will pass. Tomorrow we have a 3-hour trip and I will give her a Gravol before we leave, in the hopes it will calm her down. she just exhausts and dehydrates herself with all this panting and it stresses me out, too. i keep wondering if she has cramps, or has to pee, or ... ya know? :frustrated:

ps: GG, yeah.... we get "the looks" from other car drivers pretty often :D

OntarioGreys
December 31st, 2006, 03:58 AM
Another thought occured to me , maybe the car is making some high pitch sound now that you are not noticing , or possibly a suspension problem that is causing a rougher ride in the back of the vehicle

Prin
December 31st, 2006, 01:11 PM
Yeah, Boo doesn't like the highway much. He always pants in the car. Maybe you were nervous driving four times ago and she picked up on it... :o

technodoll
January 1st, 2007, 07:41 PM
ok we're back and one gravol did absolutely nothing to calm her down, and i'm hesitant to give her two so... on the way back she got nothing and was so tired, half the time she was laying down so the panting didn't bother me as much. poor little peanut. everytime i turned around to check on her she would turn her head and sidle back a bit, like she KNOWS she shoudn't be acting this way. i'm wondering if this started when we put on the winter tires or started driving with the windows up.. seems to be in that timeframe her behavior changed. oh well... :shrug:

Frenchy
January 1st, 2007, 07:52 PM
Did you check at the vet for some Clomicalm ? I got some for Bailey and Daisy when there's thunderstorm. It's a natural product. You have to give it one hour before. But I know you are a very worried mom and I think Maika might pick up on it ? Or maybe it's too hot in the car ? I mean for her.

Hunter's_owner
January 1st, 2007, 08:08 PM
Techno, does this only happen in the car?

Cassie does something like this as well, but hers have nothing to do with anxiety, it is a reverse sneeze.:shrug:
She tenses up and it sounds like she is hyperventilating when it happens.

technodoll
January 1st, 2007, 08:15 PM
HO, yes only in the car... and only on the highway. she was fine before so it's a mystery :eek:

Frenchy, I had heard of Clomicalm before... homeopathic drops? i might get some if we have to travel for more than 3 hours, she gets so exhausted panting like that. dakotah is sleeping like a log in the meantime.... she's not hot, her nose is cold and wet and we're all freezing in the car with the windows open and the snowflakes flying in, LOL! merci for all the help and suggestions!

Frenchy
January 1st, 2007, 08:19 PM
Frenchy, I had heard of Clomicalm before... homeopathic drops?

I don't know if it's homeopathic but it's really "light" , it doesn't knock them out. I don't buy it anymore because you have to give it one hour before, real hard to know when the thunder will start ! I always gave it to them too late. :shrug:

technodoll
January 1st, 2007, 08:26 PM
but you can plan a car ride... so this is GOOD! :thumbs up

Frenchy
January 1st, 2007, 08:29 PM
Please go to your vet and come back here with an update :D

roxieandsabrina
January 2nd, 2007, 02:03 AM
Aww poor things!! Roxie is bad about pacing! She will come sit in my lap if I am driving for a few mintues then off to the passenger side and so on! She will go back to front, front to back! Drives me nuts! She LOVES to go for a ride to get to somewhere else, not to fond of the car ride itself.

erykah1310
January 2nd, 2007, 02:15 AM
Please go to your vet and come back here with an update :D

LOL :D nice one Frenchy!
:thumbs up

TeriM
January 2nd, 2007, 02:23 AM
Maybe you should try a seatbelt. Both my dogs have them and without it Riley can be a bit of an ass as he gets excited thinking we are driving somewhere cool to go for a walk/hike. If he has on the seatbelt then he just mellows. I also have leather seats and the seatbelts really help them from flying off the seats if I have to stop suddenly. Lucy also really hates the flat cargo area, she feels really insecure.

Prin
January 2nd, 2007, 02:24 AM
Maybe it is the winter tires. They tend to jostle more than the summer ones.. That's why I thought maybe it was your nerves too, with the wintery/slippery driving these days...

Jemma has always been fine in the car, and one night I was on a scary dark road through the farms in the middle of nowhere and I was hydroplaning the whole way and it kinda freaked me out when I got to a turn and still had no traction and all of a sudden, I had a 60 pound kitty on my lap.:D

Is she like that when your man drives too, or just you?

technodoll
January 2nd, 2007, 09:21 AM
so far the only one driving on the highway is my hubby... might be the winter tires after all? who knows what goes on in her little peanut mind, LOL!

TeriM, we have a Mazda5 so the dogs get the cargo area, and they don't fit on the bucket seats so the seatbelt is not a possibility :o she doesn't really move, just pants and pants... i'll try the clomicalm, and post an update next time we go on a trip :D (for Frenchy! LOL)

pitgrrl
January 2nd, 2007, 09:43 AM
I don't know if it's homeopathic but it's really "light" , it doesn't knock them out. I don't buy it anymore because you have to give it one hour before, real hard to know when the thunder will start ! I always gave it to them too late. :shrug:

Isn't Clomicalm a prescription med?
There are homeopathic anti-anxiety preperations, I think the most easily found brand in Mtl. is Homeopet, or herbal tinctures like the one made by Holistic Blend. I've also had success with Bach Flower Remedies, though with all it's a good idea to work on desensitization aswell.

4thedogs
January 2nd, 2007, 09:58 AM
Can't answer why she is not doing it for in town driving bt it is very common for dogs to get upset tummies in the winter because of a couple of things, heat on in the car and extra glare with snow and ice. It is also possible that she was not feeling well on one of your trips or she was scared by something and now associates the car, a smell or certain sound with what happened.

Frenchy
January 2nd, 2007, 10:49 AM
Isn't Clomicalm a prescription med?


No, and it's not med, it's a natural product you get at your vet, over the counter.

technodoll
January 2nd, 2007, 10:58 AM
ok i looked it up and it IS a drug :)

http://www.clomicalm.novartis.us/product_label/en/index.shtml

so i will look for a natural alternative... i've heard that both Passiflore (don't know what that is in English though) and Valeriane are good natural plant-source sedatives so I'll look into those instead :)

erykah1310
January 2nd, 2007, 12:22 PM
You're straight up holistic? no drugs at all?
doesnt that get hard sometimes?

technodoll
January 2nd, 2007, 12:54 PM
You're straight up holistic? no drugs at all?
doesnt that get hard sometimes?

no no, i'm superdrug woman! :D but when it comes to things like this, ie not necessary to use drugs but might bring some kind of relief, i'd rather find a natural source, specially since it's for my little girl and not for me, ya know? :rolleyes:

Frenchy
January 2nd, 2007, 01:53 PM
http://www.clomicalm.novartis.us/product_label/en/index.shtml



I don't think it's the same thing. I'm pretty sure mine was a canadian,natural product. And it wasn't tablet, it was liquid. I will have to ask my vet (they only open tomorrow) since I don't have any left at my place.

pitgrrl
January 2nd, 2007, 04:11 PM
ok i looked it up and it IS a drug :)

http://www.clomicalm.novartis.us/product_label/en/index.shtml

so i will look for a natural alternative... i've heard that both Passiflore (don't know what that is in English though) and Valeriane are good natural plant-source sedatives so I'll look into those instead :)

The Holistic Blends Pet Calmer that I mentionned has passiflore (passion flower in english maybe? I can't remember either) skullcap and camomille I think. The Homeopet Anxiety has chamomille and valeriane, along with a few other things.

In my expereince, the Homeopet and Bach Flower Remedies have worked the best to calm the dogs down enough to work on changing anxious behavior, though I know others have had good results from the Holistic Blends.

Prin
January 3rd, 2007, 01:56 AM
Um... Don't want to start a debate... But I just had to say that sometimes, "drugs" can actually be safer and more mild than "natural" things. :shrug: They just don't test the crud out of natural things like they do with drugs.:o

technodoll
January 3rd, 2007, 11:21 AM
I'll have to give all of this a good thinking! the next long car trip won't be until february so by then hopefully i'll have found a reasonable solution :o

Frenchy
January 3rd, 2007, 11:48 AM
Let's start over, I was right , but had the name wrong :confused: It's Biocalm and yes,it is a natural product. My vet said not all the vets carry it since it's natural and people are not really interested by it. Not good for a dog that would be extremely nervous in cars like if he vomits and such. But for small anxiety, it's very good.

technodoll
January 3rd, 2007, 12:02 PM
biocalm... i like the name, sounds natural indeed! :thumbs up

Frenchy
January 3rd, 2007, 12:12 PM
Yep, I tought you would :D My vet ask me why the heck was I asking for Clomicalm, he told me ; I never gave you any for your dogs :confused: How many vets would remember stuff like that !

mummummum
January 3rd, 2007, 10:11 PM
Winter tires on the highway are likely the problem ~ I had the same deal with my Jeep and my last doggy. I know this sounds silly but, will she wear ear muffs or some form of a hat or a fleece headband that will help muffle the sound? You might also want to put a thick foam pad/ mattress in the cargo area as the vibrations in the back are truly incredible (sit in the back and you'll see what I mean ~ you have NO idea as front seat passenger or driver) Bach's Rescue Remedy may be helpful but, I think if you insulate your vehicle and your dog against sound and vibration you won't need it.

And fyi if not for you, then for others: you can drill through your cargo bed to install lag bolts for seat belts.

technodoll
January 3rd, 2007, 10:28 PM
hey i might have to try that! sitting in the back with the doggies... yeah the timing of the winter tires with her new behavior is so close... that might be it :eek: