Thursday, February 9, 2012

The Thundershirt, who would have thought!

The Thundershirt, who would have thought!
Do you remember last summer when our gal Charli started losing weight, acting out, and running away from home all of the time? Well, I'm happy to say she is doing much better these days, but still the problems with anxiety persist, and it does seem to be getting worse as she ages.
Last summer our vet, after ruling out every possible physical cause, diagnosed Charli's problems as psychological. She has had a long history of anxiety and even though she was behaving differently then she had in the past he felt it was all related to her original diagnosis. He put her on an advanced formula that supports balanced canine behavior called Composure. The Composure has helped a lot but there are still those times when Charli works herself into a state and we can't seem to calm her down no matter what we do. That was until recently.
A month ago my cell phone, low on batteries, sent a signal at one o'clock in the morning indicating it needed to be charged. That little signal through Charli into a tail spin. She was literally frantic! She slammed her body into our walls and actually tried to dig her way through our garage door in order to get out of the house. Once she was outside she refused to come back in. There I stood freezing, coaxing, and worried sick that one of the coyotes that have been roaming our neighborhood would get into our yard and tear her apart. Finally, after more than forty minutes, Charli came back in the house only to continue to pace, cry, and jump on and off the furniture. It all culminated with her trying to get back out of the house by leaping at our living room window. She hit the glass, fell back, and stunned herself into a stupor. Luckily she was not hurt in any major way! The very next day I called my vet and he put her on an as needed tranquilizer, something I swore I would never do.
Shortly there after I was mentioning Charli's latested incident to a friend of mine and she suggested that Charli might benefit from a Thundershirt. She said it had worked for her. Well off we went to Pet Smart. It's a good thing that I took Charli with me because dogs really need to be fitted for these shirts. According to the staff if these shirts are not snug to the dog's body they will not work.
Two days after purchasing the shirt Charli woke me in a panic because it was raining. It wasn't a hard rain but she could hear it hitting the pavement. I put her in her Thundershirt and several minutes later she settle right down beside me. As the wind picked up, the rain started slamming against the window panes, and Charli was so calm that she actually fell back to sleep. It was unbelievable!
There have been several times since that rainy night when I have used the Thundershirt. I don't know if the shirt will work for every dog but in Charli's case we have had amazing results. If you have an anxiety prone pooch the Thundershirt might be something worth considering.
If you have tried the Thundershirt I would be interested in hearing what kind of results you have had.
I hope all of you are having a good week! Many blessings to all of you ♥
With warmest regards, Carol


SissySees said...

Sounds a lot like Gretchen. The Thundershirt works when we pair it with an herbal calming chew, but only to take the edge off of her travel anxiety. I'm going to ask our vet about Composure!

Paula said...

What an interesting post. I have never heard of this. I don't have any pets (well we have fish) but if I hear of anyone who has a pet with anxiety problems then I can recomend a Thundershirt to them. I am always pleased with what I learn on the internet :)

Knitty said...

I just heard of these shirts a few weeks ago at my knitting group. Nice to hear another success story. Charli makes a lovely model. :)

Vee said...

That is amazing. I have never heard of anything like this for dogs. I have watched the movie Temple Grandin about an autistic woman of the same name who fashioned a machine to press on her sides. It helped to calm her. When dogs behave irrationally this way, it makes me feel as if I need a tranquilizer. LOL! Molly comes to every evening and drives us nuts for three hours.

Madeline's Album said...

I have never heard of this thundershirt, but I am so glad it has worked for Charli. Give her a pat for me. Have a blessed evening. Madeline

Eileen said...

I've never heard of this, Carol, but, do you know I was just working on a post about the Magic Sleepsuit we use for our four month old grandson EĆ³ghan (but my computer is giving me trouble uploading photos so it will have to wait)!
He's been getting fussy lately, and fighting sleep, and all I have to do now is ask him if he wants his 'night-night' suit and he calms right down!

I guess both the thundershirt and the sleepsuit work on the same premise, it must give them such a sense of security or something.

Excellent! I hope the thundershirt continues to afford both you and Charli peace!

'Nice to read a post from you!
All the best,

Cindy Ludwig, M.A., KPA-CTP said...

The Anxiety Wrap is the original pressure wrap designed by Susan Sharpe, certified professional dog trainer and T-touch practitioner about 10 years ago.

Susan put a lot of effort into research and development of this original patented pressure wrap.

She consulted with Temple Grandin and is mentioned in Dr. Grandin's book!

The Anxiety Wrap, with its patented design provides more maintained pressure than any other imitation product currently on the market, and also targets acupressure points in the neck, shoulders, chest, belly, mid-section and hind legs.

The Anxiety Wrap covers more body surface area and provides a much better fit than the Thundershirt and also provides rear-end awareness and additional anxiety reduction through the use of rear leg straps. Dogs carry tension in their rear legs, much like humans carry it in their neck and upper back.

The fabric of the Anxiety Wrap is also different, something that Susan came up with after experimenting with 90 different prototypes. It is lightweight and breathable. My dog has even worn her Anxiety Wrap swimming!

I recommend the Anxiety Wrap to my clients with anxious dogs and I have seen it work with every dog I have used it on!

But I also recommend that pet owners consult with a veterinarian to first have their dog medically evaluated to rule out underlying causes for their dog's anxiety and also a professional reward-based trainer with experience in treating dogs with anxiety using standard behavior modification protocols.

In a recent study of dogs with Thunderstorm phobia conducted by veterinarian, Dr. Nicholas Dodman at the Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine the Anxiety Wrap was found to be effective in 89% of the dogs. This statistic exceeds that reported by the makers of the Thundershirt based on surveys of their own customers.

I highly recommend the Anxiety Wrap for its original, patented design, superior effectiveness and the excellent customer service provided by Susan Sharpe and her staff.

In addition to receiving an excellent product at a competitive price, customers are receive free professional guidance in proper use of the Anxiety Wrap and behavior modification from certified professional dog trainers, something that would normally cost in the hundreds of dollars!

Cindy Ludwig, M.A., KPA-CTP
Owner, Canine Connection LLC
Dubuque, Iowa

JG said...

Fascinating! I have never heard of a Thundershirt. That's good that Charli has good results with it!

Michael said...

I hope it works!

God Bless.

Jenn Merritt, CPDT-KA, TTouch Practitioner said...

Just to set the record straight, if anyone deserves the credit for originating the use of pressure wraps on dogs and other animals, it is certainly Linda Tellington-Jones, founder of the TTouch Method. She has been advocating the use of these for literally decades. I personally have been using body wrapping techniques for many, many years, long before either the Anxiety Wrap or the Thundershirt were introduced. The main reasons I use, prefer, and recommend the Thundershirt vs. other body wraps: Thundershirt is the easiest to put on and adjust, has no cumbersome extra straps, and, in the vast majority of cases, eases anxieties, relaxes body tension, reduces arousal, etc.

The other thing I like is that Thundershirts are now so widely available at retail stores, veterinary offices, and direct from professional trainers, you can take your dog with you to try out which size is the best fit, which takes the guesswork out of determining sizes. Thundershirt is a very useful tool for me as a trainer and a dog owner and I only wish I would have had it 20 years ago.

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