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Dr. Kara
Dr. Kara, Veterinarian
Category: Dog
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Experience:  Over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian.
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My son's dog is a 10 month old Cokerpoo. He simply refuses

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My son's dog is a 10 month old Cokerpoo. He simply refuses to get into the car, he will just sit down and no matter what you offer him, he will not move. We therefore have to pick him up and place him in the car. Also, he is frequently sick in the car, particularly in my car. I try to reassure him and stroke him and speak to him, but yesterday, for instance, he was sick twice on my way home with him, but on the return journey I sat in the back with him, and he was ok. How can we get over his fears. Thank you,.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 2 years ago.
Hello, my name is***** and I have over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian. I am sorry to hear about your son's pup Cooper. It makes sense that he doesn't want to get into the car because every time he does he vomits and feels nauseous. I wouldn't want to get in either.
Dogs are prone to car sickness as their sense of balance is much better than ours and as such they are easily affected by the motion of cars or boats. Some dogs do outgrow it, and he is still young so hopefully he is one of those.
Try to keep trips short and as positive as possible. Some dogs get stressed if the only places they go are negative, such as a veterinary clinic. By making the destination enjoyable he may feel less stressed, so less likely to get sick.
You can give Gravol also known as Dramamine (dimenhydranate) for carsickness. The dose is 8mg to 16mg per kilogram of body weight. Give it an hour two before travel. It will last about 8 hours. Side effects are mild sleepiness and dry mouth.
Or you can try Benedryl (diphenhydramine) at 2mg per kilogram of body weight orally. Side effects are sedation and dry mouth as well. It should be given an hour or two before travel.
I have also had some success using acid reducers to decrease nausea. At home you can give either:
1) Pepcid ac (famotidine) at a dose of ¼ of a 10mg tablet per 2 to 5 kilograms of body weight every 12 hours
OR
Prilosec (omeprazole) at a dose of ¼ of a 10mg tablet per 2 to 5 kilograms of body weight every 24 hours
These are acid reducers and should help her feel better.
I do recommend that he not eat for 8 hours before travel if the car-ride will be long. Ice cubes can help to quell nausea too and keep him hydrated.
I also recommend keeping a window cracked as fresh air seems to help too.
Some dogs do better if they cannot see out of the car, the moving landscape seems to make them dizzier and thus more nauseous. Try and get him to lay down in the car, or use a carrier that you can place on the floor.
If this doesn't work discuss a medication called Cerenia (maropitant) with your veterinarian. It works very well and lasts at least 8 to 12 hours.
If you truly believe this is somewhat anxiety related, and some of it may be as he was better sitting with you, you can try products such DAP (dog appeasing pheromone) which is a synthetic version of a calming pheromone nursing bitches produce. It comes in a spray as well as impregnated collars.
Another option is a calming homeopathic remedy called Bach's Rescue Remedy. It can be used along with DAP. See this link for further information: http://www.bachflower.com/Pets.htm
If that isn't enough your veterinarian can prescribe anti-anxiety medications for him.
Please let me know if you have any further questions.
Dr. Kara, Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 15126
Experience: Over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian.
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