Teach clients how to handle their pet's motion sickness

Teach clients how to handle their pet's motion sickness

Pet motion sickness doesn't have to ruin your clients' travel plans.
source-image
Nov 01, 2009
By dvm360.com staff



An enjoyable trip to spend the holidays with family can turn into a miserable experience if your client's dog suffers from car sickness. Dogs can vocalize, drool, vomit, urinate, and defecate if they're uncomfortable in a moving car.

Once you've ruled out a vestibular disorder, you can focus on whether your patient is suffering from motion sickness or anxiety. Often, simply withholding food before traveling can eliminate the problem. Anti-motion-sickness and anti-emetic drugs can be successful if the patient suffers from motion sickness. There are numerous methods for treating anxiety cases, but for a long-term solution, the dog must be desensitized. Here's one method you can share with clients who have anxious dogs.

1. Put the dog in the car, but don't start it. Praise the dog and offer a small treat for positive behavior.

2. Turn the car on. If the dog shows no signs of distress, slowly drive up and down the driveway, then around the block.

3. Gradually increase time spent in the car. Continue offering praise and treats for positive behavior.

This process may take weeks or even months of daily training. It may take some trial and error, but most dogs will respond to treatment. Pretty soon, they'll be riding happily in the car on vacation—or even to your clinic for wellness care.

—Dr. Mike Andress, Gate City Animal Hospital; Greensboro, N.C.

Hot topics on dvm360

Follow dvm360 on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest

For quick updates and to touch base with the editors of dvm360, Veterinary Economics, Veterinary Medicine, and Firstline, and check us out on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest.

Sell veterinary clients on your service

But you don't have to have butler-style service to win new clients and keep existing clients happy.

Why veterinarians should be more like a Louisiana shoeshiner

If my veterinary clients feel half as good as I did after visiting the 'Michael Jordan of shoeshines,' I'll be thrilled.

Texts from your veterinary clinic cat

If your clinic cat had a cell phone and opposable thumbs, what would he or she text you?

Learning goodbye: Veterinarians fill a void by focusing on end of life care

Veterinarians dedicating their careers to hospice and euthansia medicine may be pioneering the profession's next specialty—at clients' request.