Spring Storms and Dogs
It’s that time of year, when spring storms and dogs collide. Specifically senior dogs. Here in northeastern Oklahoma, spring is exciting! Thrilling! Storm-filled! I awoke this morning to howling winds and dark skies. And panting senior Aussie mixes.
No, there was no tornado threat this morning, but we’ve already had several touch down half an hour from here. Just last week. It’s one of the reasons I love Oklahoma, the spring storms. It’s one of the reasons my senior dogs hate Oklahoma. They’ve calmed down now that the wind has stopped, but they were seriously panting just an hour ago.
Googling dogs panting during storms was no real help. All the popular vet sites seem to think that it’s a thunderstorm phobia. It’s no such thing for senior dogs. Sure, they were afraid of storms and loud noises for years, but Flash is nearly deaf now and no longer reacts to loud noises, like fireworks. But he still pants before a storm. BEFORE a storm. So does Patches. The two are 14 years old.
What Causes the Panting Before Storms?
Storms and dogs aren’t always about fear. In fact, my senior dogs have been known to freak out two days before a major storm front. So I know it’s not fear, it’s not about the noise. What I’ve found, digging a little deeper than the surface Google quacks, is that the barometric pressure drop which occurs before a storm can cause joints and bones to ache. My mother can tell you, based on her replaced knee, when a big storm is set to roll through. Here’s what WebMD has to say about the probable reality of joints and barometric pressure (it applies to dogs as well as humans):
One leading theory points to changes in air pressure. Although many people say that their pain worsens with damp, rainy weather, research has shown that it’s not the cold, wind, rain, or snow, Borenstein says. “The thing that affects people most is barometric pressure.”
Barometric pressure is the weight of the atmosphere that surrounds us.
If you imagine the tissues surrounding the joints to be like a balloon, high barometric pressure that pushes against the body from the outside will keep tissues from expanding.
Wicked cool, huh? Science! But not cool for older dogs and people with arthritis. Ouch!
Treating Senior Dogs with Joint Aches
I’ll tell you two things I do to help with spring storms and dogs. Number one is Tomlyn’s Joint and Hip Chews (I wrote about it here). Giving the dogs a half chew a day has kept them mobile for months now, whereas they were slowing down pretty dramatically and panting all the time prior to the chews. I gave them a full chew a day each for the first month, then half a chew a day since then (the dose is based on weight). When they’re panting, like this morning, before or during a storm, I give them a whole chew each. They scarf the chews, since they’re tasty. They work. I think this is the first time I’ve used a supplement I’ve been overwhelmingly impressed with. It really helps.
My second line of defense is supplementing occasionally with Jones Natural Chews Windees. Windees, or beef trachea, are the highest natural source of glucosamine and chondroitin. I like to stock up on them in spring, making sure my senior dogs are in the best shape possible to face the storms with ease.
Speaking of which, Jones Natural Chews is currently giving a Windee treat to some lucky dog! To enter the giveaway, simply click this sentence, scroll to the bottom of the new post which will open up, and follow the instructions in the Rafflecopter! Tweeting daily greatly enhances your chances of winning! And your dog wants you to win. SRSLY. I know things.
Now go give your dog a treat and watch it smile!
Spreading the good chews …