Can Your Dog Get Motion Sickness?

Your adolescent cocker spaniel Butterscotch loves her car trips. Whether you’re taking a drive around the corner or a ride through the country, Butterscotch jumps into the back seat the moment you open the door. Lately, though, Butterscotch has been whining a bit during the rides. Once, Butterscotch even vomited, looking quite surprised and almost mortified afterward. You’ve heard that dogs can suffer from motion sickness, in the car and while traveling by boat or airplane. You’d like your Chesapeake veterinarian to determine why Butterscotch’s car rides have turned into an ordeal for everybody. You’d also like to get Butterscotch some help.

Smorgasbord of Symptoms

If Butterscotch has motion sickness, she’ll display a progression of symptoms, beginning with non-stop licking of her lips. If you glance at the back seat, you’ll see Butterscotch drooling like crazy, even though she’s never drooled in her life. She’ll begin yawning and crying in discomfort; and then she’ll sit motionless like she’s afraid to move at all. If you haven’t gotten the message yet, you’ll definitely pay attention when Butterscotch vomits on the leather car seat. If she becomes extremely upset, she might even make a deposit on the floor.

Why Their Tummy’s in Turmoil

Believe it or not, Butterscotch’s car queasiness can be related to her age. Because she’s only several months old, her sense of equilibrium hasn’t fully developed, making her an easy motion sickness target. If Butterscotch is suffering from this medical malady, there’s a good chance it will stop when she becomes older. Or, perhaps Butterscotch still has nightmares about an especially bad travel experience, like when the travel bags fell on her when the car took a corner way too fast. Even though Butterscotch wasn’t hurt, she might associate car trips with another potential avalanche.

Pinpointing the Motion Sickness

Your vet can easily make Butterscotch’s motion sickness diagnosis. Once he eliminates a behavioral or neurologic cause, simple motion sickness becomes the culprit. Hearing about Butterscotch’s past travel experiences makes him confirm that diagnosis.

Tricky Treatment Plan

Resolving Butterscotch’s motion sickness takes longer than diagnosing it. Opening the car windows might decrease the interior’s air pressure, making Butterscotch feel less carsick. Bringing her favorite toys along, and stopping for regular potty breaks, might also do the trick. While Butterscotch will be annoyed at not eating for several hours before a car trip, less food in her stomach means less chance she’ll vomit in the car.

If little Butterscotch is still queasy in the car, ask your Chesapeake vet about prescribing a medication that can tame her tummy. After all, you’d like your spunky little girl to start enjoying road trips again.