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Car Accident


Maddy's Max
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Two nights ago Max and I were in a car accident. It was only him & I in the car thank god! No kids with me. We were on our way to his agility class. The van is a write off and we were lucky we weren't seriously hurt. The air bags saved us. I don't know exactly what took place at the time of impact but when the car stopped Max was under the dash. I picked him up and got out. He was very scared and just shook in my arms. He was fine driving home in my husbands car and has suffered no injuries. The police said he would have hit the air bad and slid down onto the floor. Yesterday I took him for a drive to the store and he was very nervous; pushed up against the back of the seat and shaking. He seemed to get a little better by the time we got home. Normally he would be looking out the window and barking at any walking dogs. He seems still a bit timid today. He has his tail down a lot and just seems a bit scared. Does anybody have any suggestions? Should I continue to take him in the car or maybe refrain from the car for a few days until he gets over the shock. He seems overall quit and not as perky as his normal self.

Thanks for any suggestions!

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have you taken him to the vet and make sure he isn't hurt at all? Me personally I wouldn't take him in the car for a few days but after that I would. you could get those doggy set belts they sell at petsmart.

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Dogs' lives are too short. Their only fault, really." - Carlotta Monterey O'Neill

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After the vet checks him over, and he gets a clean bill of health, I think it might be a good idea to just put him back in the car as usual like nothing happened. The old "get back up on the horse immediately" theory. I have no reason to suggest this other than just a gut feeling. When a person falls off a horse, their fears get the best of them most of the time and they won't get back on. But if you force the person to get right back on, their fears usually subside, knowing it probably won't happen again in the near future.

If your pup goes for car rides right away and nothing happens, I think he will be less and less fearful. If you keep him from being in the car after the accident, he will always hold on to that bad experience memory. The sooner he gets the idea that cars are OK again, the better he will be mentally physically.

Just a hunch.....

I am glad you both were OK. Car accidents are unnerving. I did a 360 spin out on an icy road with my mother and daughter in the car with me. We ended up in a ditch. We drove away with a bent in fender and were able to get home. I cried all the way, my mom was completely silent, and my daughter said, "lets do that again Mom! That was fun!"

All creatures great and small, the Lord God, He made them all!

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Well the poor pup sounds like he's simply fearful from being in such a traumatic situation. One minute he was enjoying a car ride like normal, and the next he was thrown around. I too would not be quite my normal self either. I think getting him back in the car is definitely a good idea. However, instead of taking an actual car ride, you could just put him in the car - sit with him inside the car a bit - give him a treat - then go back in the house. Obviously he's going to need to do car rides for vet checks, etc. So maybe trying to remind him through treats that the car is not as bad as he remembers might be best to get him over his memory of the accident.

Poor baby. I'm so glad no one was hurt.

Kate, Darcy & Bailey's mom
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How scarey for you both, I'm glad no one was hurt.

I agree with what Darcy's Folks said and just ease him back into car rides with treats as necessary so he learns to associate the car with fun stuff again.

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He was checked over thoroughly and has no injuries. My mother inherited one of those seatbelts which I haven't got yet. I do plan to use it when I get it. My only concern in our particular situation was that when the airbags deployed I could hardly see where Max was due to the smoke they give off. I was able to grab him and get out quickly. The fireman would not let me back in the car to get his leash as the car was leaking lots of fluid and full of smoke. I think back and wonder if I would have been able to get him out of a seatbelt as quickly or at all and he would have been more traumatized than he already is. It's hard to say. I sometimes wonder if he might have gotten hurt in the seatbelt from the impact of the belt against him. Has anyone had any experiences with the doggie seatbelt and being in a collision. I am curious as I did plan on trying it out when my mother brings it over next week. Thanks for all the suggestions.

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Glad you are both OK sounds like it was a bad crash :(

I would do as others have said just put him in the car and sit with him while the car is stationary and give him his favorite treat. I have a seatbelt for Gem when we go out in the car but she sits on the backseat where there isn't any airbags. I feel safer her strapped in because even if I had to brake hard she wouldn't fly off the seat like my last dog did on a couple of occasions :blush: They didn't make belts for dogs when Lucy was young.

I hope lttle Max gets over his fearful experience soon, bless him :wub:

Edited by Janet

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It has often been said if you have a Cairn Terrier in your home for a year you will have one for the rest of your life

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OMG....what a horrible ordeal for you and poor Max. I'm so relieved neither of you were hurt. I can honestly understand his nervousness now being in a car...I'm sure you're still pretty shaken up also.

There are so many different options for travelling safely with dogs in cars from the "booster seats" to crates to harnesses. I haven't found the ideal method but I do keep mine in the back seat and they are harnessed to the backrest....I always thought an airbag would injure them if deployed but your case proved otherwise.

I really don't have any advice as to making Max more relaxed in a car but hopefully time will help. I guess these guys can have post-tramatic stress just like we do.

Hugs to both of you.

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I'm glad to hear that the two of you are Ok. Very scarey when it happens.

About 10 years ago I was hit at an intersection on my way to a Tracking class, My German Shep Waylon was in a travel crate in the back of the mini van I was driving. We were hit on the passanger side while turning. The crate was bent inward from the impact- But Waylon was uninjured, as was I. I've always heard that crating in the car is the safest way to transport a Dog, but who knows if that's true or not. I think just making sure that they don't bounce around is the main issue. and that like a child, that the airbag if deployed doesn't wack them if they are seatbelted in and unable to move.

Edited by Mysticsol8
Tracy, Brattwrust & Mettwurst a.k.a The Gremlins
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how lucky you both are safe. Like a child, your pet shouldnt be where the airbags are, you're lucky it didnt kill him, no wonder he's scare with that thing blowing up in his poor face. They always say a crate is the safest way, and i think the backseat harnesses are good. I was going to look at some of those today.

I'd think short trips for him along with just sitting in the car a bit would be the best thing, let him adjust to it.

Terry, mom of Dori and Ellie Mae

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Thank goodness both of you are alright. I have nothing to add to

all the tips people have been giving you. I too believe it'll

just take Max a while to forget this traumatic event. Just like with

a lot of life's challenges, time is the great healer.

Please take care of yourself and little Max and try not to worry

too much.

Tara

Max and Nelly
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You are so incredibly lucky, I had a neighbor, whose small dog was killed by a front seat airbag. As much as I would love for mine to ride up next to me, they don't. I have used seatbelts and crates. If you try the seatbelt IN THE BACK be sure you don't attach it to a collar, that could strangle the dog in an accident. I found that if the dogs were used to the harness, by wearing it around the house and on a couple of walks, they didn't mind the seatbelt at all.

Linda
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I'm glad you're both okay. I've always been afraid of having the pups in the front because of the airbags, I figured it would probably kill them if they went off. I think if I were in your situation I would try to ease him back into riding the car, Darcy's suggestion was good, just sit in the car and give him a treat, after doing this a few times maybe take him for short little rides, and little by little as he gets confortable make it longer rides.

When we first brought Kai-lee home she would get sick when we went for rides, so we did little ones and increased little by little; now she's the first one at the door if anyone grabs the car keys. I do prefer that they ride in their crates.

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What a horrible experience! I'm glad that you and your pup are ok!

I had a dog that was terrified of cars. She came from a pound, so I didn't know her past. We started taking her on short trips and after MANY car trips, she calmed down. She LOVED taking a car ride (after she got over her fear), sticking her head out of the window (she was tall).

I think, with time, your pup will get over his fear of car rides. :)

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I'm so glad that you are both okay. Very scary indeed. My two cents and my opinion only here. We have two pups, Logan (3) and Sadie(2). From the day they came home they have been in the doggy booster seat and strapped in just as I would with my child. We (the pups and I) were in a minor accident last Sunday. After the dust settled, I turned around and there were both pups, eyes wide but safe and sound with no bouncing. Had they not been harnessed, Sadie for sure would have gone flying. I would hate to have to tell her Daddy that either one of them went through the windshield because I didn't saftey seat them. It is worth the extra cost of the seats and the thirty extra seconds to lock them up. Trust me, in case of an accident as severe as you experienced, you would find the time and the strength to get them out. The safety of these little guys is the very reason we only have two. Our vehicle is not big enough to accomodate a third seat. If it were, I'd have another in a heart beat.

I did what everyone else has suggested. Get him in the car ASAP and take some short, fun trips. End up at the pet store for a treat, or at a favorite friends house so that he can associate the car with fun again. It will probably help you as well. I know I was scared to death and probably drove like I was 102 but who cares, we did it and we are all fine.

Best of luck to you all.

Ann

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So sorry to hear about your rough time. Another thought - does Max have a small crate? Currey has a little plastic crate for in the car - its one that was supposedly for dogs up to 25 lbs - he cannot even stand up in it, but he likes it so much better than his big roomy crate. Even if Max doesn't normally ride in the crate in the car, if he thinks the crate is a safe place but isn't so sure about the car anymore, perhaps he'd associate the safeness of his crate with the car given the combination of the two and you could eventually get things back to normal. Currey rides with me to work every day and if it is just the two of us in the car, he rides in a small crate in the front passenger seat. I have the crate turned to the side so he is facing me. You could keep an eye on Max that way, and he could keep an eye on you, too. Good luck!

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I tried that doggie seat belt with Jack and it didn't work at all. He only wants to ride in my lap! He would cry and whine and move around so much that seatbelt would get all tangled up. I even tried a doggie car seat and he litterally jumped out of it and was hanging by his collar! Needless to say, I gave up and I just let him ride in my lap :confused:

I'd love to know what has worked for others!

I'm glad you and your dog are both ok!!

Jack's Mom
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My friend relayed a story to me many years ago that made me a firm believer in doggie restraint in a car, just like children! Her husband was in an accident in S. Miami with their Wheaten in the car. The dog ran off when the paramedics were treating her husband. The dog was freaked out and wouldn't come to any of the officers at the scene. For three days he was missing in the worse part of Miami. They went back to the scene every day calling his name. After three days they found him hiding in a warehouse. They were lucky to get him back. Ever since that story all of our dogs ride either in a crate or restraint. How fortunate you are to have been able to scoop up your wee boy! Another friend's dog lost sight in her eye because she was hit from behind and the dog flew into the dash board. Angus rides in a doggie seat belt, in the backseat, he hates it, but too bad! Better safe than sorry.

Karen and Angus MacDoggal the Braveheart

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I jsut bought one of the harnesses for Dori, she did awesome with it. I think she'll do better in that than in the crate. THey only had one and this one is a little large for her, but should fit Ellie perfectly. I'll have to go back later to get Dori another one.

Terry, mom of Dori and Ellie Mae

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What a terrible experience! I'm so glad that both of you are okay. You got a lot of great advice - I really don't have much to add. Since Scully roams all over the place in the SUV we always make sure she's in the back seat and we hook one of the seatbelts together and then tie her leash tightly to that. This was, she has freedom to ONLY walk on the back seat for a bit, look out the window and lie down.

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Unfortunately, Max is getting worse since the car accident. As many of you know Max and I were in a fairly serious car accident last Wed. Thanks for all your thought and suggestions. Since then he has become very withdrawn and not acting himself at all. Yesterday and today he has been spending almost all the time in his crate. I can hardly get him out to take him out to pee. He's been walking around with his tail b/w his legs, shaking, won't come out of his crate when people come to the door. Aside from his crate he will sit or lay only on the mat at the door. He won't walk on the hardwood floor at all. He won't come to me at all when I call him. I'm not sure if he's sore or just really confused. Does anybody have any suggestions as to how I can ease him back into his normal crazy self. I've never wanted him to bark or steel something he shouldn't have until now. He's acting so abnormal. I'm afraid to take him to the vet again tomorrow as I don't want to freak him out anymore. He doesn't like visiting the vet on a normal day. We had some people in last night and he wouldn't go to anybody, never went to the door. He does wag his tail like he wants to go to you but just seems too scared. If I pick him up he is quite happy and will lay on my lap on the couch. He just seemed to get worse yesterday and today. On thur. & Fri. after the accident he wasn't this bad. Why would he be getting worse? or maybe something else has spooked him and it has nothing to do with the accident? I'm so worried and confused.

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It could be that his muscles are now sore that were not right after it happened. I would call your vet first thing tomorrow morning. Let us know how Max is doing. :pray:

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