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Dogs and Motion Sickness

Gastrointestinal Distress Related to Motion in Dogs

Much like humans who experience a feeling of illness while in on car trips, dogs and cats can also get a queasy stomach when traveling in the car (or even by boat or air).

Symptoms and Types

Dogs show their uneasiness in various ways. The first signs of motion sickness may be a constant licking of the lips, followed by excessive drooling; yawning; whining or crying out in distress; immobility or acting afraid to move; and finally, vomiting or regurgitation. An extremely emotional dog may even urinate or defecate in the car.

Causes

There are several potential causes of motion sickness in dogs and cats. Young dogs may experience this condition more frequently because their equilibrium needs to develop a bit more as they mature. Some dogs may actually “grow out” of the condition if this is the case. The cause of motion sickness can also be emotional (behavioral) and linked to a bad travel experience in early life.

Diagnosis

Once neurologic and behavioral causes are ruled out, the diagnosis of motion sickness can be easily made by your veterinarian. The history of your dog's reaction to traveling usually points to the problem.

 
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