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Question
Posted by: Jeanie | 2003/12/12

2 Jarige Foxterier bang vir donderweer en weerlig

Ek het 'n kort been foxie wat heeltemal angsbevange raak sodra daar 'n teken van swaar weer is. Hy begin hyper ventileer, spring oor 3 - 4 meter heinings, het laas nag deur my seun se kamer venster gespring, die ruit gebreek en deur die diefwering gewurm om in die huis te kom, gelukkig het hy nie enige snye in die proses opgedoen nie. Dit is die tweede keer dat hy dit doen. Sodra hy in die huis is en die weer slaan benat hy hom bietjies bietjies. Ek het laas nag weer 3 ure met hom wakker gesit in 'n proses om hom te kalmeer, hy raak eers kalm indien die weer opklaar en is dan tevrede om weer uit te gaan. Sy hok buite is onderdak en beskut van reen en weer. Ek is regtig raadop en bang dat indien ons nie by die huis is nie hy homself baie ernstig kan beseer.

Groete

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberVet

Hi Jeanie
Sorry, my Afrikaans is not too good, so I'll answer in English, if that's ok. You are right to be so concerned as your dog could get badly injured or even die if he panics so badly that he breaks windows to get away from the thunder. There are basically two ways to help with this problem. One is to desensitise your dog to noises, especially thunder. You will need a recording of thunder which you play very softly (dogs have much better hearing than we do) while he is eating or playing with a toy or with you. Gradually, over a few weeks, increase the volume while he associates positive things with it. This sometimes works, but often it is too late and the dog is not only responding to the noise, but also to the change in atmospheric pressure, which he associates with noise, being wet and cold and being away from you perhaps. In his mind he thinks he has escaped a terrible fate by getting into the house. The other way of dealing with this is to manage it correctly. In other words think about putting in a dog flap, so he can get into the house easily when you aren't there. If you know there's going to be a storm you could give him Rescue Remedy, valerian (or stronger medication from the vet) and leave the radio or TV on, to disguise the noise, before it starts. But this is not always possible and in some areas it may be a daily occurrence so it may not be practical. Look at where your dog's kennel is and make sure it isn't in an area which is enclosed by high walls as this would magnify the sound, making it echo around the walls. Take him out for walks in the rain if possible so he likes to get wet.
Karen Gray-Kilfoil
ANIMAL BEHAVIOURIST

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