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Dog Gets Carsick....anything I can do about that? Answered by Dr.Guindon

May 19th, 2001, 08:06 PM
I recently adopted a 2 y/o Sheperd/Husky X. I was told by her foster mother from the SPCA that she was fine in the car which is important since I bring her to work with me every day. Unfortunately, after I'd had her a couple of days I discovered that she appears to get carsick. She was suffering from a bit of a stomach infection, which my vet treated with anti-biotics. The carsickness seems to have eased somewhat since we finished the medication. She seems to be able to hold off throwing up for the half hour trip to work but she drools a lot and is obviously uncomfortable. Anything longer than half an hour and she does throw up. Is there anything I can do to sooth her? I keep her window rolled down all the way and try to blast cold air but it doesn't seem to help that much.

I have gotten some suggestions such as giving her Gravol. Is this safe on a daily basis? And does it actually help in the long term? What's the dosage? Other people have said that she'll get used to it in time. How much time?
I worry that I am being cruel to her by making her take car trips every day that obviously make her sick. I don't want to give her up but if this is going to go on for the rest of her life, it would probably be best as I can't leave her at home in my appartment for the long hours that I work (9-10 hrs a day) both because I live in an appartment and because she suffers from seperation anxiety and barks when left alone for a couple of hours, let alone 10!.

Any help/suggestions would be tremendous :)


May 24th, 2001, 02:27 PM
I feed my dog 2 cups of dry food in the morning after I take her out, and 2 in the evening while at work. She usually pukes up her breakfast on the way to work...but seems to be able to keep it down her dinner on the way home. Should I only feed 4 cups at dinner? Or is it better for her to have something to puke up other than bile?

May 30th, 2001, 07:26 AM
Hi Mikaela,

Do not feed the dog before the trip.

Gravol could be used for your dog, given one hour before the trip at the dosage prescribed for a child.
Gravol is non-toxic when used at low doses.

The other possibility would be to give a homeopathic remedy like Cocculus 5 CH or Cocculine sold by Boiron in drugstores, also an hour bofore the trip.
This homepathic product has no toxicity at all.

With time, the dog should react less to the car trip.

Paul Guindon dmv
Clinique veterinaire Salaberry
Medecine conventionnelle et holystique
1895 Salaberry, Montreal, Qc

August 15th, 2009, 09:29 AM
Hello Dr.

I took your advice and bought Cocculine sold by Boiron in drugstores. My question relates to the dose. For humans it perscribes 5 pellets. And for my 10 pound puppy?


August 17th, 2009, 05:57 PM
I don't want to interfere with the expert advice given, but I have a dog that had the same problem, and she eventually grew out of it. She would be in the car a matter of minutes before starting to whine and drool, and make those tell-tale noises, and would puke consistently throughout the trip. Part of it, I think, was anxiety, as she tended to be an anxious dog anyway, plus she has horrible balance in the car. At the time, we dealt with it by not taking her places that she didn't HAVE to go, because she would have to be medicated, with either gravol or atravet, which in turn resulted in a confused, groggy dog for a long while post-trip. Last time she had it was when she had to fly for moving.

While she's grown out of the carsickness without being medicated, she's retained a lot of her anxiety for car trips unless she's been walked into near exhaustion before hand. I suspect that similar things might be at play with your dog, given your mention of separation anxiety (mine's a bit like this as well ).

My dog DID however adjust recently when I had to start leaving her for ten hours a day after a job change that required me to commute, and definitely was not a job I can take a dog to, so I had no other choice. As worried as I was, SHE was fine. Out of curiosity, how do you know that she barks incessantly after being left alone....have neighbours complained? Has she destroyed stuff in the apartment? Some dogs can be true drama queens and kick up the biggest of stinks until their owners are out of earshot, and then settle down. I think it's good to have a little space sometimes, and lets them learn how to comfort themselves. Are you in an area that has doggie daycare ?

I think it is great that you can take your dog to work, and I agree that they gotta get used to the car at some point, otherwise vet / kennel / etc visits are a nightmare. I'd advocate though, for not medicating an animal just so you can take them with you daily, if alternatives are possible. Taking her with you under those circumstances is just doing more to quell your anxiety, rather than hers.

Hope the homeopathics work for you though :)