Noise Phobia (Fire Works & Storms)
Every Fourth of July brings fun filled excitement in celebration of our country’s independence in the form of fireworks and back yard barbecuing. However, for some of our little furry friends, it can be a full day and night of anxiety. According to the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association “Noise phobias and storm phobias may be correlated with other anxiety conditions such as separation anxiety. Dogs with separation anxiety show a high probability of noise phobia and dogs with thunderstorm phobia high probability of separation anxiety.”(Overall K.L. et al)
Some symptoms of noise phobia you see at home may include the following: Pacing, trembling, panting, drooling, attention seeking (vocalizing, pawing, nuzzling, and climbing on people), hiding, and bolting. Dogs may also not want to eat or may go to the bathroom in the house. The severity of the symptoms may be very intense in some cases and mild in others.
A discussion with your veterinarian prior to expected phobic events/July 4th should be scheduled ahead of the event to be prepared for the situation. Many remedies exist ranging from pheromone sprays/collars/diffusers to pharmacologic relief. Sileo is a medication your veterinarian may prescribe if anxiety relief is needed suddenly or without warning as it has a fast onset of effect. As noted in the JAVMA citation above, some dogs suffer from multiple anxieties and may benefit from more long term use of medications. Please do not ever consider administering medication dispensed by a human physician, though it may be a similar medication, the dosage may be potentially harmful.
Noise phobia can be relieved dramatically with appropriate medication. Please consult your veterinarian regarding possible solutions so that your furry friend enjoys Independence Day as well!
Jason Robinson DVM
Browndog Lodge Veterinary