Although panic attacks are generally seen as a mood change experienced by humans, dogs can also experience panic attacks. A panic attack is a situation in which people experience anxiety and fear and mixed emotions intensely. Heart palpitations and difficulty in breathing are manifestations of panic attacks. It is also known that aggressive behaviors are commonly seen in panic attacks in dogs.
Panicitis in Dogs
Dogs can have panic attacks and this is easily understood. The conditions that cause panic attacks in humans are not the same as those that cause panic attacks in dogs. In particular, while over-socialization fuels the feeling of panic attacks in humans, this situation should be considered the opposite in dogs. Situations that cause anxiety in dogs often occur when they get away from their routine or when serious changes occur in their habitat.
Causes of Panicitis in Dogs
There are different anxiety states that cause panic attacks in dogs. It is possible to deal with these as incarceration anxiety, travel anxiety, noise anxiety, and abandonment anxiety.
Incarceration Anxiety: It occurs when the dog is confined to a closed area and begins to stay in closed areas in a way that it was not accustomed to before. Locking the dog in a room, kennel, or area with sharp boundaries can result in anxiety related to confinement. In some cases, even being in a fenced area can be a cause for anxiety for dogs. At this point, it is necessary to look at how the dog lives in his general routine and how he became anxious as a result of the change.
Travel Anxiety: While dogs are calmer when compared to cats versus traveling, for some dogs traveling can cause anxiety. Traveling by car, plane, train, or bus can increase dogs’ stress levels. Apart from this, ensuring the comfort of the dog in the places visited at the end of the trip or the dog experiencing various traumas in these places leads to the emergence of travel anxiety.
Noise Anxiety: Loud noises can cause dogs to feel anxious and afraid. Fireworks displays, storms, vehicle sirens, and sudden noises cause dogs to be afraid and anxious.
Separation Anxiety: Separation or abandonment anxiety is common in dogs. Being alone for unfamiliar times, changing routines as a result of a traumatic event, loss of a loved one or a playmate, or a very serious change in the dog’s life can cause this anxiety.
Panicata Symptoms in Dogs
Although panic attacks in dogs usually develop due to the above-mentioned reasons, in some cases it can occur without any stimulus. A very obvious trigger can also be effective in the emergence of a panic attack. As panic attacks are similar to some behavioral problems, they may not be noticed in a short time, but it is possible to understand whether the dog is having a panic attack by considering both the causes and the symptoms.
panic attacks in dogs;
- rapid breathing,
- increased heart rate,
- Increased salivation
- dilated pupils,
- Loss of appetite,
- Ears tilt back
- Tail tucked between legs
- the habit of hiding
- Excessive licking and self-biting
- barking more than usual,
- Asking for attention and attracting attention,
- try to escape,
- It occurs as behavioral changes such as urinating or pooping indoors.
How Is Panicata Diagnosed in Dogs?
As a result of the frequent observation of the above behavior changes in the dog’s daily life, a veterinarian should be consulted. In order to make a clear diagnosis of panic attacks, first of all, it is examined whether there is a different disease causing the symptoms. A diagnosis of panic attack can be made when it is understood that there is no health problem as a result of examinations such as physical examination, urine and stool test, and blood test. In case of such a doubt, it is important to take a video of the dog and have it watched by the veterinarian when you think that the dog is having a panic attack, in order to make the diagnosis. It is also important for the diagnosis of panic attacks to keep track of the conditions in which the dog became aggressive and to see if there is a similarity in the aggressive periods.
Panic Attack Treatment in Dogs
The treatment of panic attacks in dogs is primarily planned in the form of taking control of the current situation, and then reconciling or improving the situations that cause the dog to experience anxiety.
Medication: In the treatment of panic attacks, the use of medication may be recommended in order to make the dog calmer and more comfortable in the process of getting used to the situations that cause anxiety. Especially in traumatic situations such as changing living conditions, loss of a loved one or pet friends, drug treatment is effective.
Exercise: Increasing the daily exercise of dogs with panic problems is to prevent the dog from worrying and throwing his energy both mentally and physically. Since the serotonin hormone is secreted more in dogs that exercise, this hormone also acts as an anxiety medicine.
Mental Stimulants: It is recommended that dogs suffering from panic attacks spend time with mental stimuli. Intelligence-enhancing toys, puzzles, interactive dog toys help control panic attacks in dogs. You can examine the dog toys that support the mental development of dogs and develop intelligence that they can play without getting bored by clicking here.
Education: If behavioral problems have become familiar with panic attacks, a specialist can be consulted. At this point, the dog should be observed in the living area and their training should continue in the living area. Experiencing a change for training again can cause a dog’s panic attack to increase.
How to Approach Situations That Cause Anxiety in Dogs?
We talked about different anxiety that causes panic attacks in dogs. It may be possible to eliminate these anxieties, which are considered as confinement anxiety, travel anxiety, noise anxiety and separation anxiety, and prevent the dog from experiencing panic attacks. For this reason, it is recommended to deal with the situations that cause anxiety in the dog first and to take measures in this direction.
Creating a living space for a dog with confinement anxiety helps reduce anxiety. Giving him a private room and, if room is not available, preparing a cage or kennel, provided that the doors are not closed while the dog is inside, can prevent confinement anxiety. While doing this, it is necessary to take care to have the items that the dog loves in the living area. The dog feels safer when his favorite toys or blanket are in this area.
For dogs with travel anxiety, making travel more enjoyable will be an effective solution. Planning activities that will reconcile travel processes with entertainment brings more positive conditioning to travel.
Making noise-anxious dogs enjoyable when noise occurs prevents panic attacks. Planning activities that will distract your dog, spending time with him in stormy weather, fireworks displays, or large convoys at championship celebrations can help reduce anxiety.
Separation anxiety is one of the most difficult concerns for dogs to deal with. It is necessary to understand the cause of separation anxiety and seek solutions in this direction. A dog that suddenly changes in its daily routine may think that it has been abandoned, and in this case, the comfort of the dog can be increased in the process of getting used to the new routine by always approaching it calmly and positively. The dog’s anxiety may be more severe as a result of a traumatic change or loss. Getting professional support, patiently waiting for the dog to get used to its new life, and bonding with it will help reduce the feeling of abandonment.