Stolley Park
Veterinary Hospital

3020 W. Stolley Park Road  Grand Island, Nebraska  68801  
Phone:  308-384-6272   Fax:  308-384-0984

July Newsletter

Stress

I love this time of year.  There's nothing like a good thunderstorm, or a really flashy Fourth of July fireworks display.
 
Unfortunately, not all of our four-legged friends appreciatethe drama and excitement of a house-vibrating clap of thunder.  Some of them have come to dread the week that neighborhood children start setting off their stash of home fireworks.  This can be a difficult time of year for some of our pets, and even the mildest display of fear can indicate a more severe underlying phobia.
 
If you've noticed your dog hiding under the bed when the first flash of lightning is visible, or even a mild trembling when those clouds roll in, he might be trying to tell you something.
 
The stress of this fear can lead to health problems if the fear is not managed properly.  Stress can lead to vomiting and diarrhea, and if continues, possible behavior disorders (like fear aggression). A severely phobic dog can even cause property damage, tearing up carpet or walls in his hurry to escape the cause of his fear.
 
If you think Spot's quality of life is being affected by this common fear, there are mild sedatives and anti-anxiety medications that can make his summer a lot more comfortable.  Many of these medications take at least 30 minutes to take effect, and will not be effective if the phobic behavior has already begun. That's why, if the forecase is for storms, we recommend medicating with plenty of time to spare before the thunder starts.  Also, be sure to have an additional dosage on hand for a long Fourth of July evening or a long-lasting storm cell.
 
Please contact your veterinarian to discuss safe and effective ways to reduce your pet's noise-related stress this summer.  We want your pet to love this time of year as much as we do.