Veterinary questions? Ask a Vet for Answers ASAP
Thunderstorm anxiety is a fairly common problem and certainly worse this time of year. Has Cassie always shown anxiety with thunder? Does she have any anxiety with other noises or situations?
There are some non-drug options to consider, if Cassie is mostly just cowering or hiding during a storm. About half of my clients who have tried the Thunder Shirt feel it helps to some degree. The ThunderShirt is a tight-fitting shirt/jacket that is supposed to push on pressure points or swaddle the animal to make it feel less anxious.
There is also Adaptile, which is a calming pheromone, or scent for dogs. It comes as a spray, so you could spray a bandana (or the ThunderShirt) with it prior to storms and that might help a little bit.
But if Cassie is really anxious, with shaking, being destructive, whining, etc, then an anti-anxiety medication, like alprazolam would be the most helpful for her. This can be given just as needed, but generally about 90 minutes before the storm (which can be difficult to do!). You would need to get a prescription from your regular veterinarian for this medication.
If Cassie has anxiety to other things on a daily basis, then I would also discuss with your regular veterinarian putting her on a daily anti-anxiety medication, like fluoxetine or clomipramine. This wouldn't be needed for just situational anxiety, like a thunderstorm.
Hope that helps!
Hi Dr Scarlett- thanks for your reply. I find it most helpful and think I will try to get the spray you suggest. Cassie is normally a very calm, quiet dog with no other nervous problems, but I hate to see her distressed.
Thanks - and I will give the spray a try.