My 9 months old whippet suffers of motion sickness. What can I do?
Here is an excellent answer to your question from Karen Lee, a very experienced whippet owner who elaborated a proven method for dog car sickness.
I am the High Freakin' Priestess of the Gospel of Meclizine.
I speak to all of my puppy buyers about this excellent and inexpensive cure for carsick Whippets.
Pretty much all of my personal dogs are probably going to be fine if I never used it because I am constantly long road-tripping my youngsters between 8 weeks and a year of age. So, for them, to be in a moving vehicle is as "normal" as being in the house. But even though that is the case, I still ASSUME that there will be a problem if I do not dose.
Most puppies do not begin to have any sort of motion sickness symptoms until 9 weeks and older. The fact that a six or 7 week old puppy rides well means nothing for the future--their inner ear isn't developed enough to respond to the motion.
Sometimes, it is around 4 months when the problem would first show itself. The key is to NEVER let them get sick in the first place while they are still young and learning to travel comfortably.
I begin at 9 weeks with 12.5mg dose the night before travel. At 12 weeks I up this to 12.5mg dose the night before and the morning OF travel. If the travel is to be in the late afternoon evening, the dose may be given in the morning. When the Whippet hits about 20 pounds, I up to the 25 mg dose. I've had dogs show and run absolutely normally while Mec is in their system. It is non-sedating to the dog and you won't notice anything odd in the eyes, such as you do if you give ace promazine where they look half-baked or stoned after it kicks in.
The key to Meclizine is that it absolutely has to be given a minimum of three hours prior to the travel. It is a slow-acting medicine. It persists in the system up to 24 hours.
I give Meclizine until the dog is at LEAST 8 months old with a history of traveling comfortably and not becoming carsick. Often, when I take back a dog who has been living with someone else and is now about that age and time to start taking to shows, I have to go through the whole rigamarole of retraining them not to be sick in the car. What I can often train them is that they won't be sick in MY van, but they will revert when they are back to traveling with the owner in their vehicle.
When whippets are learning to ride, it is best IMO to keep them from seeing out. I put them on a bottom crate as close to the back of the driver's seat as I can. I always travel any potentially seasick cruiser right behind my seat. I think SUV's are the absolutely worst for motion sickness--vans and passenger cars ride much better for the dog. A thick cushion helps. Not feeding breakfast until an hour or two on the road helps.
Motion sickness becomes very psychological, and a habit. Whippets, once they've been sick on the road a few times, expect to become sick every time. It's much easier to never allow that pattern or habit to begin than it is to reverse it once it is established.
My Whippet is 6 months old. I have had 2 others in the past, both mix breeds. Gypsy is not the first Whippet I have had to get car sick - they tend to be a bit on the anxious side; however, they have all out-grown it.
My question is this...Gypsy is so bad about getting sick in the car that she will no longer willingly (never did, actually) go near a car.
She drools profusely from the time she is in the car, and ends up throwing up several times. Once she is out of the car, she is fine - as if nothing happened.
The medicine for car sickness used to work; however, now she is getting sick even with medication. I do not think that she is actually "motion sick". I think it is more an anxiety attack, if you will.
I would like to be able to take her everywhere with me - she LOVES to be with me and loves to go...just HATES the car! How should I approach this problem with Gypsy?
Try with short trips to fun places to make her associate the car with a pleasant experience.
Keep the car ventilated and let her look out of the window.
Ginger can be of help.
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