Tossing Your Doggie Cookies

We're having problems with our younger dog getting carsick. At obedience class, our instructor told us to take an extension cord. Hang one end out the bottom of the car door, and roll the rest up beside the dog. She said that car sickness is caused by static electricity. Does this really work?

Carsickness isn't caused by static electricity. It's caused by the motion of the car causing the fluid that fills the inner ear to sway back and forth. As the fluid moves back and forth, it passes over a series of hairs that line the canals that are responsible for giving the dog a sense of "balance". The continual ebb and flow of the fluid gives the dog the impression of being interminably off-balance. This can result in an upset stomach and vomiting. It's the same reason lots of people get seasick and when your ears/sinuses are stuffed when you're sick, you can feel quite dizzy. Administration of anti-nausea pills and withholding food/water before car travel can help most victims of this - though dogs, like kids, get better at car travel over time. Confining the dog to a crate, where they can't see the outside racing by will also help.

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Page last updated April 1, 1997. All material Copyright 2004 Border Collie Rescue, Inc. and Dr. Nicholas B. Carter
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