Monday, May 18, 2009


This weekend was the annual Bring-Your-Greyhound-Meeting at the farm. Stephen and I decided to take all 6 greyhounds and spend the night at my sister and Matt's (fiance) house.

Despite having an almost new van that any dog (except Katie) would love, we had to do some extra planning. I had not yet tried Katie on Valium and decided this would be a good trip to try it. Stephen and I had to take separate vehicles and once we arrived at the farm, Katie would be able to resume her travels and return home in Stephen's car (she still approves of Stephen's car).

Thirty minutes prior to our departure, I gave Katie 2 tablets of Valium (the dosage calls for 1 - 4 tablets). 15 minutes later, I put Katie in the van. As usual, she flat our refused and I had to shove her into her crate. I waited another 20 minutes, hoping she would settle down and fall asleep before starting the engine. I peeked in on her.............
...... hmmmm, looking kind of perky still. I gave her a 3rd tablet and 15 more minutes.

Once we got on the road, she looked like this. Panting, shaking, bracing herself, and hanging on for dear life. "Katie, I'm sorry, but you are a dork."
Katie never settled down. We arrived at the farm an hour later. I took the hounds out for a walk around the pastures. It quickly became evident that NOW the Valium was starting to kick in.

Valium seems great for exaggerating neurological problems. Katie was perky, eager for treats, and energetic, but she was a tangle mess of legs going every which way. I put her back in the van hoping she would fall asleep, but she did not.

Stephen arrived with his car and I moved Katie to it. She was happier, but still wide awake and alert. I just wanted her to fall asleep and let the Valium run its course. She obviously slept well later that night.
It was a good test run. Luckily, Katie was able to ride in Stephen's car the rest of the weekend. In the future, she is probably going to have to stay with my parents who live close by. It just is not economical to take Katie's car AND the van everywhere we go with dogs.
I'm just glad Katie traveled well until she was 10 years old. She is the first greyhound to earn a Master Agility Championship and she also earned a Utility Dog Title. She is a big deal, so I guess she has earned the right for one old age quirk. :-)


Sientay L said...

Too bad the valium didn't work out quite like you'd hoped. I feel sad that Katie won't be going on trips anymore. At least she'll get to stay with the grandparents.

BrittBeah said...

Anytime you are using a sedative on her, make sure you give it long before (30-60 min) she gets a hint of the excitment to come. They will fight the urge to sleep if they are anticipating what is to come and as you already saw, once things calm down THEN the drugs take effect. So give it before you start your routien of packing the van or do it the night before. It will give her the opportunity to get relaxed without fealing like she is missing out. Don't give up on her yet :) there is something out there that will work for her.

Never Say Never Greyhounds said...

Yeah, that was my problem. I was torn. If I really let it take effect in the house, I was afraid I was not going to be able to get her into the van. I was trying to let it take some effect in the house and then give her plenty of time once in the van, but like you said she was able to fight it off. I had the same problem with a storm phobic. Not sure all this hassle is worth it.


{ jamie @ rose cottage } said...

Love your greyhounds! We have a rescued greyhound mutt. She has a lot of the greyhound personality, with some (probably) collie mixed in, so she's a nut. ♥

We're in Georgia, too, by the way. :-)

Aragon greyhounds said...

I agree with Brittbeah-meds need to be given orally about 1+hours before the effect is needed. Any less doesn't give enough time to have the medication broken down,absorbed and time to act.

So Katie is okay in the van as long as it doesn't move? Once the van starts moving she stresses? Or is it the motor starting that causes her to stress?

Never Say Never Greyhounds said...

Katie, does not freak out until the van moves, but I'm sure she is on edge with anticipation. I will try Valium again with a longer prep time. We have a trip coming up in a couple of months that might work well for another test.

Thanks everyone!


xracermom said...

Oh, poor Katie! So curious--do you have any clue/idea what so ever why this has happened to her with the new van? Do you think it has to do with the "new van" smell of it?

Never Say Never Greyhounds said...

Xracermom, My guess is that it has to do with her spinal stroke. There were 2 times that vet techs tried to put her in the van on her left side and she freaked out. I figured it out after that, but I think she has been uneasy about riding in our cargo vans since. I'm not sure why it took more than a year to settle into a phobia, but it has.