Unfortunately for many dogs, though, going anywhere that involves any kind of travel gets a little “ruff” because they suffer from motion sickness.
Motion Sickness in Dogs is Very Common
Canine motion sickness affects as many as 1 out of 5 dogs! It’s much more common than many of us realize. But the good news is that there is a solution!
Addressing Your Dog’s Motion Sickness
Unfortunately, very few pet parents are talking to their veterinarian about their dogs’ motion sickness. As a result, they aren’t getting the help they need. And, because there are so many other things that they need to address at a typical visit, our veterinarians don’t typically bring it up in an exam either.
So why wouldn’t the parents of a dog with motion sickness ask their vet about the issue? Often, it’s because they don’t recognize or understand the symptoms. They may think it’s a “mental thing” that their dog might just get over it. Or they don’t even realize that their veterinarian could help.
In many cases, pet parents just stop taking their dog places, either to avoid the potential situations that make their dog vomit, or just because they can tell how miserable they are, and they want to spare them the ordeal. This is not the only option. If you notice signs of motion sickness in your dog, talk to your vet and ask for help!
Signs of Motion Sickness in Dogs
Many dogs can get motion sick even on a short car ride. So, a simple trip to the vet or the groomer can result in a miserable pooch! Trips by plane or train can also trigger them. Some dogs even get sick from other activities like boating.
Vomiting is an obvious sign that your dog is suffering from motion sickness, but it’s not the only one. There are several other symptoms you should be aware of. Just because your dog doesn’t “Ralph” in the car doesn’t mean he’s not feeling sick. Some of the symptoms of motion sickness would be easy to dismiss if you don’t know what you’re looking for, so it’s important to understand all of the potential signs. Symptoms of motion sickness include:
• Dry heaving
• Excessive lip licking
• Excessive panting
If you notice your dog doing any of these things when you travel, you should talk to your veterinarian. You can also take this online quiz to help you decode some behavior and symptoms that might be caused by motion sickness.
Help for Dogs With Motion Sickness
The good news is that there is a great solution for canine motion sickness. Many years ago, vets would prescribe things like acepromazine, Benadryl®, or Dramamine® for motion sickness because there wasn’t anything else available. They’re human drugs, not made for dogs, and they are not ideal because they “work” by making your pet drowsy. We don’t want or need that!
Of course, you don’t want your pup getting sick or vomiting either. Besides the fact that it’s no fun to clean up a car full of your dog’s last meal, vomiting can be painful, exhausting, and anxiety-inducing for your dog.
Thankfully, there’s a treatment for the vomiting due to canine motion sickness that works without making your dog drowsy or loopy. CERENIA is the first and only veterinary FDA-approved anti-vomiting medication for dogs (and cats too). This video explains how Cerenia can help a dog with motion sickness.
CERENIA is an anti-emetic (anti-vomiting) medication and that addresses the cause of vomiting due to motion sickness. CERENIA works by blocking a neurotransmitter that’s involved in vomiting. For use at home, it comes in a once-a-day tablet form. To administer, you’d give your dog CERENIA with a small amount of food, two hours before traveling. It’s safe to give to your dog once a day, for up to two days in a row.
CERENIA is also available as an injection for dogs or cats undergoing surgery. Many animals don’t feel well after surgery due to the anesthesia. So, if your dog is getting ready for surgery, be sure to ask your vet if he or she plans to give your dog an “anti-emetic” (CERENIA) before surgery so the recovery process is smooth for your pet.
CERENIA is only available by prescription. So if your dog shows signs of vomiting because of motion sickness, make sure you talk to your veterinarian about whether CERENIA can help before your next ride!
By Sarah Zumhofe