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Symptoms of Motion Sickness in Dogs

Source: PetWave, Updated on July 16, 2015
Motion Sickness

Symptoms of Motion Sickness in Dogs

In some cases, the symptoms of motion sickness are brought on by anxiety or fear even before the vehicle moves, especially if the dog is not used to traveling. Other times, motion sickness is caused only during motion, when the vestibular apparatus within the dog’s inner ear is over-stimulated. When traveling with their dogs, it is important for owners to recognize the signs of motion sickness so that they can take steps to prevent or treat them, depending on the circumstances.

The symptoms of motion sickness in domestic dogs are very similar to those in people. They can include all or any of the following:

  • Vomiting (emesis)
  • Nausea
  • Excessive drooling (hypersalivation)
  • Yawning
  • Inappropriate vocalization (whining, crying, yelping)
  • Signs of uneasiness or uncertainty
  • Restlessness
  • Depression
  • Lethargy
  • Frantic activity
  • Pacing
  • Circling
  • Signs of dizziness
  • Shaking, shivering
  • Unsure footing
  • Diarrhea (loose/soft stool; inappropriate elimination in the vehicle)

The symptoms of motion sickness typically go away shortly after the vehicle stops moving. If a dog’s symptoms are extreme or do not improve after movement has ceased, the owner might consider consulting with a veterinarian about sedatives, anti-nausea drugs, or other potential solutions for the dog’s next travel adventure.

Dogs At Increased Risk

There is no breed, gender or sex predisposition to developing motion sickness. However, it seems to be much more common in puppies and younger dogs that have little experience traveling. Many puppies become nauseous and vomit on their first car ride home. New owners should not be overly concerned about this, as it is a completely normal reaction.

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