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Old 04-16-2011, 06:59 PM
 
158 posts, read 1,048,678 times
Reputation: 136

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Hi,
Last summer our 8 yr old black lab suddenly became very anxious when traveling in the car. We have a lake cabin 3 hours away and she has always traveled with us. She was often first one in the car when we were packing up and couldn't wait to go. She LOVES being at the lake with us. She was never kenneled in the car, always free to curl up where ever there was room. Well, about mid summer, this changed. She became hesitant to get in the car, couldn't settle down, constant panting, and very annoying!
Well, now she is nine and we have even stopped taking her for short trips around town when we go on errands, and out and about.
Now lake season will begin soon and we also have a long trip planned during Easter weekend to see my son. We want to take her with us, but will not be able to travel with her unless there is something we can do to calm her down. Why did she suddenly become so nervous after all these years of happily riding with us?? Nothing happened, no accidents, nothing that we can think of that would be the cause of her changed behavior. She is getting older and slowing down a bit. Maybe some arthritis is bothering her. Other than that she is active and healthy.
What can we do? Is there any medication we could try?
Thanks for any help.
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Old 04-16-2011, 08:00 PM
 
4,128 posts, read 13,270,056 times
Reputation: 3761
regardless of what happened in the past to change her behavior (something you may never know), you can help her now by going in baby steps - put her in the car and just go up and down the driveway for a few days - then go around the block (assuming she's relaxed) - then go about a mile or so away - small increments and end on a happy positive note.

the only med i'd prob. use w/b Rescue Remedy from the natural health food store, you put a drop or 2 on a biscuit and it should relax her and take the edge off - ppl can use it too - unfort. it doenst always work - i woudlnt use anything strong that would knock her out - would try the exercises in the first paragraph but go slow, you dont want to her to get stressed as you'll just get stressed

hope some of this helps
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Old 04-16-2011, 08:07 PM
 
Location: Marion, IN
8,191 posts, read 28,059,573 times
Reputation: 7114
Your vet can offer you a sedative if reconditioning does not work.
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Old 04-16-2011, 09:13 PM
 
18,856 posts, read 31,618,340 times
Reputation: 26107
If she is crate trained, and likes her crate, I would try putting the crate in the car, with a small treat, and put her in the crate, go someplace she likes for a short trip, like to the dog park, see how she does in the crate in the car.
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Old 04-17-2011, 08:27 AM
 
3,593 posts, read 10,648,655 times
Reputation: 5197
Retraining would be the ultimate solution. I'd say that something happened in the car to make it a negative experience for her. It could have been something as simple as she needed to potty really badly and had to hold it! Unfortunately it sometimes only takes one bad experience to trigger it. It is however correctable, especially if there was a time that she loved riding in the car.

If you'd like a few tips on how to retrain her, please DM me.
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Old 04-18-2011, 10:38 PM
 
Location: County Mayo Descendant
2,725 posts, read 5,096,263 times
Reputation: 1200
Quote:
Originally Posted by nd4me View Post
Hi,
Last summer our 8 yr old black lab suddenly became very anxious when traveling in the car. We have a lake cabin 3 hours away and she has always traveled with us. She was often first one in the car when we were packing up and couldn't wait to go. She LOVES being at the lake with us. She was never kenneled in the car, always free to curl up where ever there was room. Well, about mid summer, this changed. She became hesitant to get in the car, couldn't settle down, constant panting, and very annoying!
Well, now she is nine and we have even stopped taking her for short trips around town when we go on errands, and out and about.
Now lake season will begin soon and we also have a long trip planned during Easter weekend to see my son. We want to take her with us, but will not be able to travel with her unless there is something we can do to calm her down. Why did she suddenly become so nervous after all these years of happily riding with us?? Nothing happened, no accidents, nothing that we can think of that would be the cause of her changed behavior. She is getting older and slowing down a bit. Maybe some arthritis is bothering her. Other than that she is active and healthy.
What can we do? Is there any medication we could try?
Thanks for any help.
Could be someone scared her, maybe when you went into a resturant, store etc, sometimes children etc can be cruel. I always am leary of this when I travel with my dog.

Sending a DM
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Old 04-19-2011, 01:41 PM
 
29,988 posts, read 37,115,993 times
Reputation: 12759
Quote:
Originally Posted by nd4me View Post
Hi,
Last summer our 8 yr old black lab suddenly became very anxious when traveling in the car. We have a lake cabin 3 hours away and she has always traveled with us. She was often first one in the car when we were packing up and couldn't wait to go. She LOVES being at the lake with us. She was never kenneled in the car, always free to curl up where ever there was room. Well, about mid summer, this changed. She became hesitant to get in the car, couldn't settle down, constant panting, and very annoying!
Well, now she is nine and we have even stopped taking her for short trips around town when we go on errands, and out and about.
Now lake season will begin soon and we also have a long trip planned during Easter weekend to see my son. We want to take her with us, but will not be able to travel with her unless there is something we can do to calm her down. Why did she suddenly become so nervous after all these years of happily riding with us?? Nothing happened, no accidents, nothing that we can think of that would be the cause of her changed behavior. She is getting older and slowing down a bit. Maybe some arthritis is bothering her. Other than that she is active and healthy.
What can we do? Is there any medication we could try?
Thanks for any help.
Have you tried exercising her and really wearing her out before the car ride? You might be able to make her "too tired to care" by playing a long game of fetch before it is time to load her into the car. If she sleeps most of the way....no stress.

Might start by just getting her into the car, without the car moving, with treats, after she is worn out. Let her fall asleep there without a true "ride" and work her way up. Might also cover the rear speakers if the radio is bothering her during the ride
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Old 04-21-2011, 08:55 AM
 
Location: Chapel Hill, N.C.
36,478 posts, read 43,591,057 times
Reputation: 47214
Hope you get some serious help with this problem. Just ignore children playing on CD.
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Old 04-21-2011, 10:15 AM
 
Location: California
10,091 posts, read 36,774,768 times
Reputation: 22096
I agree, you may never know the reason for her uneasiness. I agree, if she is comfortable in a crate, it would be wise to crate her and safer for all concerned, as well. Bachs Rescue Remedy...a few drops by mouth or rubbed ONTO (not into) her ears to be absorbed, will calm her down. Good thing about Bachs, is one can not overdose. Or even some Melatonin that can be bought OTC at any store. It is what our vet suggested for our older (no passed) Golden for car travels and lightening and thunder storms.
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