Motion Sickness in Dogs

Dogs with motion sickness may experience nausea while travelling, and show symptoms such as excessive drooling, vomiting and diarrhea. The initial signs of uneasiness may be yawning, whining or a show of apprehension and agitation. Usually the symptoms get resolved as soon as the vehicle stops, but some dogs may have poor appetite for a long period after the travel. Not only travelling by land, but air travel and sailing may also bring about the symptoms of motion sickness in susceptible dogs.

Motion sickness is primarily caused by the overstimulation of a sense organ in the ear that is responsible for keeping balance. Since it is connected to a response center in the brainstem that induces vomiting, nausea and vomiting are the most common symptoms of travel sickness.

If the dog develops symptoms of travel sickness even in a stationary vehicle, it could be just a fear of the automobile that is causing the symptoms. Previous negative experiences of illness or injury associated with a vehicle may precondition a dog to become wary of all vehicles.

If your dog has motion sickness, the first attempt should be to condition the dog gradually to travel. However, it may not work for all dogs. The other option is to use drugs that reduce motion sickness and control drooling. Drugs are available to control nausea and prevent vomiting too. Mild sedation may be useful during long-distance travels.

The veterinarian may prescribe the drugs appropriate for your dog from among the sedatives, tranquilizers and other medications available.

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