Tori says, “Car travel is my passion!” Adventures in carsick dogs
We're not quite ready to declare total victory on Tori's life among carsick dogs, but she has gone for 3 whole trips to town and back without throwing up in July. Maybe she is *finally outgrowing her car troubles. Maybe we finally found the right combination, dosages, and timing of meds for carsick dogs. Maybe she loved going to agility class (for the first time) so much that it has helped her realize that the car can take her fun places. As a joke now, Tom likes to use his "Tori voice" to say, "Car travel is my passion!" which makes me giggle after 3 years of car struggles with our sweet girl.
Drive #1 - To a Tricks and Agility Class
I'll write more about both classes soon, but on July 5, we had a holiday weekend family outing to a class where both of the puppy-girls tested for their AKC Novice Trick Dog titles. Then we stayed for our regular agility class, where I ran both girls for the very first time in class like that, and it was a hoot.
Wait until you see the videos in later posts. Tori walked to the start-line and nailed it. You can hear Tom giggling because it was about the cutest thing ever to see her doing agility in public for the first time ... after learning what she knows at home.
Drive #2 - To the Veterinary Hospital
Tori developed a couple of weird little bumps during the extra hiking we did in July, while helping to look for a lost border collie. That too is a story for another day, but Tori's bumps weren't improving as much as I would have liked with at-home treatment.
So, we took her to the hospital to have them checked out:
- Was a now-vacated bot fly larva hole. Eeeeew!
- Was a delayed inflammatory reaction to a tick bite (that I found while filming this Facebook LIVE video). I thought it was a grass seed, but when I was done with the video, I pulled and found a TICK in my hand. (Yes, I screamed.)
The veterinarian injected a little bit of steroids into each bump, and they are healing nicely. Whew!
Drive #3 - To Agility Class Again
Until I'm ready to try handling both puppy-girls in the same agility class, I'm going to alternate which one I take to class each week, so it was Tori's turn again last week, and she did a pretty good job again at the courses, including FULL set of straight weave poles.
So, What's Working to Prevent Tori's Life Among Carsick Dogs?
On days we know that Tori will be going in the car, we give her a smaller-than-usual breakfast, then about an hour before we get in the car we give her:
- 25 mg pill of meclizine (sort of in the same drug family as dramamine)
- 10-12 drops of CBD oil
Then, about 30 minutes before we drive home again, we give her a second dose of both meds.
She has successfully gone to town and back in my car (inside a crate) and in Tom's car (loose in the back with the seats folded down). She also gets extra points for the day we stopped for lunch at the local drive-in burger place and she didn't beg at all.
She does seem fairly tired on the drives home, but it could be from the excitement of her adventures (as much as the meds). And, best of all, she can actually function at class and such ... compared to earlier attempts at taking her to classes as a puppy, where she would be so miserable that she'd drool and/or barf in the car (even on expensive prescription meds) and then curl up in a corner at class, even if we went way early so that she could have an hour to recover from the car before class started.
I plan to start taking her up to drop-in classes with our main trainer in Boulder when I have time so that she can have more fun outings and practice being around strange people and strange dogs in new places.
And, it looks like we'll have the opportunity to try dock diving soon (at the same place we take agility classes), so that could be SUPER fun too.
Summer Has Been Crazy-Town
... but I'm working on a bunch of new plans for the blog, for new books, and more. Yay!