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Car Sickness? CURE?

Health, Medical or behavior problems with all animals.

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Ash
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Car Sickness? CURE?

Postby Ash » Thu Oct 02, 2014 10:48 pm

Is there a way to cure an animal of car sickness/motion sickness? When we got back from the vet's and parked in the garage, Ifrit puked--a lot. Mostly liquid, but bits of food too. And I'm not going to lie when I say I'm not thrilled to keep cleaning up her vomit after each car trip. :lol:

I wanted to have her in part of my programs when I'm USDA, but if she honestly gets THIS car-sick each time she goes on a ride, I don't know if that'll be possible.

Is there something to give her that will settle her nerves? Or make her stomach less "trembly?" I know animals can't be drugged at all during shows--against USDA. So if she did have something in her system that kept her calm for the car ride, would that still be against the rules? I'm assuming so.

Poor thing. She has too many issues. Feel bad for her. :cry:

Maybe Fable will make a better candidate. Ever since last year's aggression, I've been super careful with him and keep underestimating him. At the vet visit today, he was never happier. Jumping on the chairs, chewing on stuff, sniffing the scale, finding treats and eating them... He seems to not get nervous despite not being out in public for such a long time. Only time he got nervous was when he came face-to-face with the clinic's HUGE dog. Wasn't sure what to think, so he just had a stare-down.
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Re: Car Sickness? CURE?

Postby Juska » Thu Oct 02, 2014 11:53 pm

Maybe put her in a crate that obstructs her view of the windows? Then perhaps her mind wouldn't play the "you're moving but not moving so I'm gonna puke to make it stop" trick on her. Or something like plain rolled oats (can foxes have that? would they even eat that? haha) might calm her stomach.
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Re: Car Sickness? CURE?

Postby minervasden » Fri Oct 03, 2014 12:18 am

Just google about carsick pets and you'll find tons of info. There are as may methods as there are pets and owners. Each pet is different and what works for some won't work for others.

A few common methods:
Frequent short rides ending positively and gradually building up longer rides. Some people start by sitting in the car without in running and then moving to a running but stationary in the driveway.

Rescue remedy, Homeopet Anxiety or herbal calming remedies. There is even a tea for carsickness in pets.

Withholding food and offering ice not water before trip.

Acupuncture or accupressure.

As Juska stated a dark carrier or conversely letting Ifrit see the sights. Whichever is opposite your usual.

If you think the anxiey is great enough that medication is needed, you can discuss with vet about medicating as part of Ifrit's 'reprogramming'. A temporary period of medication can be used to reduce the anxiety levels enough that Ifrit would be receptive to new training/conditioning.
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Re: Car Sickness? CURE?

Postby Ash » Fri Oct 03, 2014 2:09 am

Thank-you for the responses. :) Much appreciated, you guys!

I don't know what's considered severe nervousness as far as being in the car goes. But she salivated a LOT. Foxes don't drool at all, but by the time I got to the vet's, thick drool was clinging from her chin to the floor of the cage. I had to wipe her face off with a tissue before I took her inside since she was so slobbery.

Maybe she just needs to get used to it. I will try taking her on short car-rides and see what happens. Hopefully it'll be okay. I may even try getting a carrier that she can't see out of--that might work too. Those are all some good ideas.

Juska--Ifrit eats anything and everything. I have to be very careful what's around her. I'm certain she would eat oats, lol. Just might make her and her waste a bit stinky for a while (well, stinkier).
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Re: Car Sickness? CURE?

Postby Alynn » Fri Oct 03, 2014 1:34 pm

My dog Samantha gets pretty horribly carsick and she always has her entire life. Pooping, peeing, vomiting, drooling in the car and shaking and whale eyes and this whole big fuss.
What I eventually realized was that crating her is generally what caused the problem. We usually transported her in a crate but at one point we didn't have a crate and I just sat with her in the seat and let her put her head in my lap. She still gets nervous and drools a little bit, but she doesn't do a ... evacuation, I guess, of her bodily fluids nearly as much.

So in her case it was moreso the anxiety and her letting me hold her definitely helps, even though she's a 50 lb dog. I would feel a lot safer if she was in a tightly secured crate or a car seat, but she insists upon being in my lap.

If it's anxiety that's causing Ifriit to throw up, there's been a few methods suggested already, but I wonder if maybe a thundershirt would help? It would sort of replicate that feeling of being swaddled that helps out a lot of dogs and I think it's what Samantha is trying to for when she crawls into my lap, so I try and hold her and rub her down when we're in the car. Obviously you can't do that when you're driving, but I wonder if a thundershirt could help? I've read people have used it to address anxiety induced carsickness. Though she is a fox and not a dog and there's the possibility it would just freak her out even more. If you have the extra coin maybe it'd be worth a shot though.
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Re: Car Sickness? CURE?

Postby minervasden » Fri Oct 03, 2014 3:42 pm

Alynn wrote:If it's anxiety that's causing Ifriit to throw up, there's been a few methods suggested already, but I wonder if maybe a thundershirt would help? It would sort of replicate that feeling of being swaddled that helps out a lot of dogs and I think it's what Samantha is trying to for when she crawls into my lap, so I try and hold her and rub her down when we're in the car. Obviously you can't do that when you're driving, but I wonder if a thundershirt could help? I've read people have used it to address anxiety induced carsickness. Though she is a fox and not a dog and there's the possibility it would just freak her out even more. If you have the extra coin maybe it'd be worth a shot though.


Yes, Thunder shirts would be an option if tolerable to the individual. They and various anxiety wraps go along with the accupuncture/pressure grouping. I was going to list them but was in a hurry and forgot.
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Re: Car Sickness? CURE?

Postby Ash » Fri Oct 03, 2014 5:11 pm

Hmm, interesting about the Thunder Shirts. Ifrit usually doesn't "freak out" at stuff, which is why it kind of took me by surprise she doesn't do so well on car rides. But I think I could probably easily get a shirt on her if it will help. Just wouldn't want her to chew it apart, lol.

Yeah, she urinates and defecates too, but I just consider that... normal, ha. Crouches low with airplane ears and kind of just curls up.

The first thing Fable did when I loaded him up was urinate--it was like he'd been holding it in, waiting for that moment. :roll: He doesn't care for car rides either, but he's never shown any bad anxieties. Just airplane ears usually. And he potties.
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Re: Car Sickness? CURE?

Postby Juska » Fri Oct 03, 2014 10:23 pm

I've seen firsthand that the Thundershirts work on nervous animals (dogs, anyway). A lady brought in a senior Jack Russel that was very, very timid to the point of shaking where he stood. Usually, she said, she could barely take him anywhere due to his extreme anxiety. He was a rescue, and severely abused in the past, apparently.

So she asked me (I was working as a pet care specialist at the time at PS) if the Thundershirt "actually worked". I told her it works for some dogs and not for others, depends on if the effect the shirt gives is something they respond positively to, like swaddling as Alynn said. She wanted to see if it would work, so I got one out of the package and put it on him (gently!).

He immediately, after I Velcro'd the second belly strap on and took a step back, sat down and relaxed. It was like someone flipped a switch and he was totally fine. She told me she'd like him to wear it out of the store, and the three of us walked to the front so she could pay for it. It was awesome.

So yeah, it does work for some creatures. I believe if it doesn't work you can return it for a full refund, that might be through the company that makes the Thundershirt and not the store you buy it from, though.
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Re: Car Sickness? CURE?

Postby CLOUDtheFOX » Fri Jan 01, 2016 8:34 am

I'm not sure if you're still looking for an answer to this, but here's a few things I've tried.

Short trips, less than an hour: turn the AC on high. Feed a few saltines half an hour before the trip. Make sure s/he doesn't eat anything heavy an hour before the trip. Don't cover cage. Can lead to overheating and collapse, especially if they are stressed.

Long trips, 1-8 hours: let him or her roam your car, taking frequent bathroom breaks. I put an extra large dog bed in my passenger's seat. Cloud enjoys looking out the window. He'll occasionally climb down into the passenger floor board or into the back seat. Most of his time is spent looking out the window. He has never gotten car sick using this method, and there were no dietary restraints prior to travel.
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Re: Car Sickness? CURE?

Postby Ash » Fri Jan 01, 2016 5:06 pm

Thank you. It fortunately hasn't been an issue since I haven't been taking her on rides, but I wanted to start taking her places again for educational work. So your answer came right in time. I will try this out for sure and see what it does for her. Thanks for the tips. :)
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