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Hi all,
I have a 9 yr old Kelpie X named Storm. Quite ironic that we are talking about thunder and storms on this topic.
Normally a very well behaved dog who is very affectionate and calm, however over the years hes has always been a little distressed during thunder. His behaviour changes, to being anxious which results in him running around the backyard, and hiding under the back deck, and salivating and shaking. I try to calm him down by talking to him, giving him cuddles and reassure him all is ok but with little effect. During this time he has never escaped over (by jumping) or under the fence by digging his way out - up until recently. Since October 2011 and with Thunder about, he is beside himself more than ever and has now become the true escape artist. Mind you I live on the east coast of Sydney Australia and we have not seen or experienced this amount of storm activity ever. Due to this he has escaped no less than 30 times, sometimes when we are here or if we are not home. In an attempt to keep him secure my house now resembles fort Knox! Yet he still finds a way to keep getting out. I cant keep him in the house as hes just going mental, not to mention as he just jumps onto the beds, running through house including across the brand new lounge. I am saddened to see the state he gets in however its got to the point where I am running out of options. The vet says there is medication but needs to be given to him prior to a storm. The issue is dogs sense a storm prior to us so giving him the medication after the fact has no effect.

As he is starting to hurt himself whilst attempting to escape, I can only think of two options right now in giving him up for adoption or last resort by putting him to sleep. If anyone has any other ideas or suggestions Im all ears!! Thanking you in advance for reading and replying.
 

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Oh Dear! This is not a euthanasia issue!

Another option is to ask your vet for some sedatives. Try them. This is certainly a good option. I have friends who use meds for their dog during storms. You can certainly anticipate the storms coming if you keep general track of the weather, not too hard these days with the internet etc.
Also, you are seeing that he starts to get upset as the storm comes in... give him the meds right away then, and it will help in a few minutes. Meanwhile you can just sit with him. Don't hug him, that won't help, (hugging is not pleasurable for most dogs) but just put him on a leash and sit quietly with him until the meds work.

You can also train him to feel safe in a strong crate, as WVASKO suggests. Train him to like his crate first, before you confine him to it during a thunderstorm. If you just toss him in there during a storm before he is "crate trained" he will get a very bad association with the crate and you will have trouble getting him in there the next time.
Here is how.. http://www.dogforum.com/dog-training/crate-training-faq-3974/
 

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You might also ask your vet about anti-anxiety meds in general. (which are different from sedatives during the storm) Sometimes dogs with extreme storm phobia are generally anxious in the first place, due to a neurochemical imbalance.
 

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ProSelect Empire Dog Cages | PetEdge.com

Very strong cage or/and a thunder shirt (think that's what they call it.
I think this might be a better thing to try first before the meds. I have had huge success with creating dog "caves" for dogs that are anxious and reactive during thunderstorms.

If you cover the cage inside and out with blankets, and shield the windows so they cannot see the lightning, include some soothing classical music and lavender scent, along with the thundershirt,

Amazon.com: Thundershirt Dog Anxiety Treatment Wrap, Large, Heather Grey: Pet Supplies

you will go along way with keeping your dog soothed during thunderstorms. I have had HUGE success with this, and it is something you should try before resulting to meds. Meds should be a last resort IMO, if this does not help.
 

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Ditto Thunder Shirt. Some people swear by it, others don't think it works. Worth trying if you're thinking of euthanasia!!

Thundershirt | The Best Dog Anxiety Treatment

Ditto anti-anxiety meds. There are some that can be given daily or there are some that can be given if you know there are storms forecast for that day. If you have not consulted an animal behaviorist, please do that!

Find a Board Certified Veterinary Behaviorist ACVB

Some may even do a phone consult if there are not any close to you. They'll know best what the appropriate meds would be.

Oh Dear! This is not a euthanasia issue!
Ditto times a million.
 
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