Thursday, March 5, 2009

Lions, Tigers, and Vans, Oh My!

I really am sad to say that Katie has full blown anxiety about riding in vehicles. The new van has a well established pattern at this point. We thought she was doing well riding in Stephen's car, but recently started to show similar signs of anxiousness.

As soon as the vehicle (especially our new van) begins to move, she begins panting, shaking, and refuses food. I wish I knew what she is afraid of. Does it produce an uncomfortable sound (I'm thinking no, now that she has showing problems with other vehicles)? Do the bumps in the road scare her? What is it? What makes a 10 year old greyhound suddenly fear her second home? The van used to be a means to all the fun stuff we do, a safe place to rest, and a comfortable way to travel.

I have tried placing her in a big crate, a small crate, and in different locations in the van. I have tried letting her ride loose. I have tried giving special treats and stuffed Kongs during the ride, but she will not touch them until the ride is over. I have tried giving her an herbal supplement with calming properties to no avail.

Katie's first thyroid test was slightly low, but a second test result came back as not low thyroid. The vet humored me and let me try treating her for low thyroid anyway, but it had no effect. She has had acupuncture again and appears to be free of any pain or physical problems.

I never thought I would leave her behind, but I have started to. I try to pick her trips wisely. Minimize the drive time and maximize the exercise, play, and work time. Stephen has been great about taking her hiking with his greyhounds which is a short drive away. I never thought she would stand for me to leave her behind, but she almost appears relieved as I walk out the door without her now.