Whenever we take my dog, Tex, on road trips in the car, he gets motion sickness and vomits. I don’t want to leave him at home and let him miss out on all the fun. What should I give him so we have a smooth, vomit-free ride?
—Jon Bachmeyer, Seattle, WA
This is sadly a very common problem. You could try to get Tex used to car rides by starting with short trips, and increasing their duration. Some natural supplements and lavender may help some pets. There are also multiple drugs available to solve your problem. Some act as sedatives, some are anti-vomiting drugs, and some are anti-nausea medications. Which one would be best and at what dose will depend on your veterinarian’s recommendation and Tex’s health.
—Dr. Phil Zeltzman
Dr. Phil Zeltzman is a board-certified surgeon at Valley Central Veterinary Referral Hospital in Whitehall, PA. He does orthopedic, soft tissue, cancer, and neuro-surgery on cats and dogs. His website is DrPhilZeltzman.com. From the website, you can subscribe to a free weekly newsletter about excellent pet care.
My cat, Hailey, gets extremely nervous when she notices suitcases on the bed. She starts pacing and meowing. When I’m gone, she also poops in inappropriate places. Is there anything we can do to allay her anxiety and remedy this behavior?
—Kathy Mikesell, Houston, TX
Separation may make the heart grow stronger, but for your kitty it triggers a panic attack. As cats can’t read a clock, they can’t tell if you are gone for an hour or a few days. Try desensitizing your cat by leaving the suitcase in your bedroom for a few days and then put it away. Repeat the pattern without leaving town. Maybe put a treat or two in the open suitcase so luggage will equate with something good. Be sure that whoever is cat sitting keeps the litterbox extra clean. You may want to use a veterinary-approved herbal calming agent or one of the pheromone sprays to decrease the anxiety level even further. If this doesn’t help, your kitty and carpet may fair better by boarding your feline.
—Dr. Bernadine Cruz
Dr. Cruz acts as a multi-media consultant for several major veterinary pharmaceutical companies, along with being featured on numerous local and national television shows such as the Early Show and the Today Show. Dr. Bernadine is the author of the client-oriented book The Secret Sex Life of Dogs and Cats.
* The opinions expressed are not necessarily those of Tails Pet Media Group, Inc. Please consult your veterinarian before making any major decisions for your pet.