My dog has constant panic attacks and is terrified of everything!

Discussion in 'Working and Companion Animals' started by Tweetybird, Jul 5, 2007.

  1. Tweetybird

    Tweetybird Well-Known Member

    Oct 14, 2005
    Southeastern Massachusetts
    Ihave an older dog that has been terrified of thunder and fireworks for years, but now he is afraid of almost everything. He is now afraid of the lawnmower, tractor, weedwhacker, almost anything that makes any noise. Strangely enough he is not afraid of the chainsaw, and is starting to experience seperation fears. He trys to crawl in spaces he cannot fit, he trips people (Iknow thats not his intension), he throws himself at you, pants and trembles.
    I have tried everything I can think of, Rescue Remedy, benedril, bonine, asperin, sitting with him fussing with his ears, talking to him to distract him, almost everything I can think of. I talk to the vet, and I guess they do not take it to seriously, and keep telling me to do the same things I've already tried.
    I am getting really frustrated as I know this is no life for him, he has danaged things, nearly hurt people and its getting so I cannot get anything done, because he is so afraid.

    What do you all suggest, is there anything I can do for my old freind??
  2. cricket

    cricket Well-Known Member

    Dec 15, 2004
    South, South Alabama
    First I wonder if his ears are more sensitive...Just like people, they can be very sensetive to noises that are outside of the normal range of hearing. Try some wax ear plugs...? If they work then that's your answer.

    You can record a cd or tape of "noises" and play it to desensitize him. It'll drive you crazy but in order for it to work, you will have to play it constantly. Record different sequences, play at different levels, put the player on a timer so it "goes off" at different and unexpected times.

    Get some Melatonin. I only find mine at the health food store but look at the pharmacy too. I got 1mg tablets and give my spaz dane female dog 2 during storms. It was the only thing that worked for us. Pet calm, valerian, etc never did much. The melatonin doesn't put them to sleep, it just makes them relaxed. If I can get it into Bella about 15 min or so before the storm, I don't have rearranged furniture afterwards. ( a lone dane CAN move a queen sized bed, with you in it, and put it where she wants it)

    The only other option is to get Ace tablets from your vet. To me this is the last resort and is the most drastic. I don't willingly drug my animals but there are occassions when I've had to. This will make them "drunk" and put them to sleep. The effects can be drastic though and this is only recommended as a stop gap measure.

  3. hunter gatherer

    hunter gatherer Well-Known Member

    Dec 6, 2002
  4. ladycat

    ladycat Chicken Mafioso Staff Member

    Oct 18, 2005
    N. TX/ S. OK
    Are you reinforcing his behavior by comforting him when he shows fear? Try being upbeat and cheerful instead when the events occur. That will often reverse the problem.
  5. Ardie/WI

    Ardie/WI Well-Known Member Supporter

    May 10, 2002
    I wonder if it isn't a mental deterioration process of aging. I see that our dog, Goldie, is having more problems with loud noises too.

    Refering to giving melatonin....what would be the dosage per weight?
  6. Wolf Flower

    Wolf Flower Married, not dead! Supporter

    Dec 20, 2005
    Northern CA
    If it's an older dog that has suddenly seemed to develop new fears, it could either be a bit of dementia, or he's losing his hearing, or both. I am a groomer and what I notice with pets as they age is that their ears get hypersensitive to certain pitches. I have a powerful blow dryer with a loud motor, and some dogs that have tolerated the wind and noise all their lives will freak out over it after a certain age. This tends to be transient; after several months or possibly a year, they stop reacting and go back to normal. All I can figure is that they eventually go completely deaf.

    Like cricket said--put some cotton or wax plugs in his ears and see if that does the trick!
  7. bluetick

    bluetick Well-Known Member

    May 10, 2002
    southern CA
    This is just an observation, and I have no idea if there is a connection. My 11 year old GSD has always been frightened during thunderstorms. Last year it seemed to get even worse, and he would get into the bath tub where he would pant, drool, and drop his hair - what a mess!

    He developed a health issue requiring some blood tests. It turned out he was hypothyroid, and needed medication. He has been on L-thyroxine for almost a year now, and his reaction to thunderstorms is much less intense. In fact, there are storms in the area today, and he is resting quietly behind me.

    I don't know if there is a connection between nervousness and low thyroid fuction, but it might be worth it to have a blood test done to see if your dog's thyroid is functioning properly.
  8. Tricky Grama

    Tricky Grama Well-Known Member

    Oct 7, 2006
    N. E. TX
    Our old beloved Milo was soooo afraid of storms. But when he went deaf, all was well! You've probably just got a few months to wait...

  9. Terry W

    Terry W Duchess of Cynicism

    Mar 10, 2006
    NE Ohio
    There may very well be a connection-- when my thyroid levels are off-- I myself am a lot more sensitive to everything!!! I know others who indicate the same thing-- they know they will be gaining weight when their ears start to hurt at certain sounds---

    Also-- some brain issues can trigger anxiety when the barometric pressure drops--I know of one dog that had siezures when the pressure dropped to a certain level-- and the dog knew it would be siezing soon-- really strange-- but the owners finally euthanized the dog when there was a week long period of one storm after another--

    there are some dogs that are just afraid-- and their fears multiply for no known reason--
    don't coddle the dog, but do tsake everythign instride, making sure to not reinforce the dogs new fears by babying him in any way.

    Shoot, I had a pit bull dog that would hide in the smallest space she could fit whenever a thunderstorm went through. I finally forced her to lay at my feet one day during a storm-- after that, she found me and would take her cue from me as to the need for fear from her.