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Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
This weekend, Ivo had a really traumatic experience. There was a dog in a car in our parking lot (the first floor of my building has shops) that was going nuts, barking. Every person that walked by triggered a round of angry, agressive barking. This frightened Ivo so much, she hid for an hour in the back of my clothes closet. Finally, when she came out, she slept for the rest of the day.

I've always assumed that she had been attacked by a dog, becuase I don't think she would have gotten a badly cracked tooth from a cat fight. She's never responded with that much fear to a dog barking, though. And now, she seems to have post traumatic stress. Last night, we had a bad thunderstorm. She hid next to my bed, and wouldn't leave my bedroom until the storm had passed. Thunderstorms have never frightened her before this.

What should I do? I have read here that it will take her a long time to get over her fright, but Cleveland during the summer has a LOT of thunderstorms. Should I sit with her and talk to her, or just ignore her until she comes to me? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
post #2 of 5
Some years ago I had a collie mix who was terrified of thunder storms. He never got over it. I brought him in immediately if there was thunder and he wanted to sit on your lap (yes, all 70 pounds of hime) or lie on your feet until it was over. Once we were away and he jumped the cyclone fencing and ran for miles. We were lucky to get him back. We did what we could to keep him comfortable; I think it would take a professional to advise a course of action that would remove the fear.
post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 
I think the fear Ivo showed last night towards the thunderstorm was a result of the dog barking this weekend, since this is the first time she has been afraid of thunderstorms. I'm concerned that this will become a permanent fear for her. I'd like to put off taking her to the vet's for as long as possible, because she hates it so much. She's had too much trauma this week already.
post #4 of 5
Ever since that bad wind storm we had our German Shepherd dog now hides in the shower when there is a thunderstorm. She was outside when that tree came down, so God only knows what she experienced. I tried everything I could think of to calm her, but the only thing that works is to get her favorite toy (a kong) and play with her the entire time the thunder is booming. Perhaps you can try that with kitty, use a favorite toy, or perhaps a catnip mouse you only give her during that time.Keep it in a sealed baggie in the freezer during normal times so it keeps it's natural high. Other than keeping one of the flower remedies on hand and putting a couple drops on her tongue, that is what I would try.
post #5 of 5
You could try buying a nature cd with thunder and rain sounds. Leave the cd playing on very low volume for your cat. Gradually, over the course of a few weeks increase the cd volume until you have the cd on full volume and your cat is okay. If your cat starts freaking out lower the volume immediately and start over.

My little dog Ethl is afraid of thunder too. She usually stays very close. It must sound terrifying to them b/c of their sensitive hearing.

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