If you’re one of the many people who avoid the Scrambler ride at the carnival because it makes you sick, you’re familiar with the unpleasant sensations associated with motion sickness. But did you know that pets can get motion sick too?
As many as one in five dogs suffer from motion sickness, usually when traveling in the car. The vomiting and other symptoms can be so severe, owners leave their dogs at home and might even postpone or avoid trips to the groomer, trainer or veterinarian.
The signs of car sickness are not always clear too. The most obvious is vomiting, but excessive panting, drooling, pacing, restlessness, whining and yawning are all symptoms as well.
No one is exactly sure what causes motion sickness. The prevailing theory is that the nausea, dizziness and sometimes pain that characterize motion sickness are a consequence of miscommunication between the senses; specifically, the organs of the inner ear and centers of the brain that control balance and process motion conflict with visual information from the eyes.
Human motion sickness medications are not always effective in pets, can be difficult to dose, and have troublesome side effects.
Car sickness can also traumatize affected dogs, making car trips difficult. Plus, no one likes cleaning up vomit!
If your dog suffers from motion sickness, there are a few things you can do to help.
Make sure your pet is secure in the car when under way. Cats should be in a carrier or in a harness. Consider a pet seatbelt for both dogs and cats. Make sure your dog has adequate room to sit, stand and lie down. If possible, position dogs so they can see forward out the window. Avoid feeding your dog for at least an hour before your trip.
For dogs with severe motion sickness that cannot be controlled, ask us about Cerenia. Cerenia is a veterinary FDA-approved drug used to prevent vomiting from motion sickness. It does not cause sedation and is dosed once daily. It is also available in multiple dosing sizes, making it easy to find the right dose for your pet.