Community Pet News

Mark Twilla, DVM
Sunshine Animal Hospital

Storm Phobia

Is your pet afraid of thunder storms? Does your pet being to pace, drool, cling tight to you or hide in the closet before or during a storm? If the answer is “yes” then you are not alone. It is unknown what the exact triggers are for these panic attacks, but many suspect thunder, lightning, wind, barometric pressure changes and static electricity.

Can your pet grow out of this condition, and is there anything that can be done? Most of the time pets do not grow out of this condition on their own, and many pets will get worse as they get older.

Fortunately, there is help. Depending on your pet, treatment for this condition can take several forms. There are holistic products such as tight-fitting garments like the “Thundershirt”, oral treatments like Rescue Remedy or pheromone collars and plug-in diffusers that disperse a calming hormone.

Prescription anti-anxiety medications such as Trazadone, Xanax and Valium can be helpful. Behavior modification is the best way to fix the problem but requires hiring a behaviorist, which can be expensive, and they often incorporate prescription medication with training techniques.

We have our best results with a management plan that includes some or all of the techniques described above. You should consult with your veterinarian to come up with a plan that best fits your pet’s needs.

For more information or to make an appointment for your pet, please call us at Sunshine Animal Hospital 813-885-7071.


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