4th August 2003

 

CALM THOSE CAR-CRAZY CANINES

 

Many of us are accustomed to the stress caused by whining children on the back seat of the car - but howling, barking, agitated or vomiting dogs can be an even bigger problem.

 

Despite the use of car harnesses designed to ensure the dog doesn’t get under your feet, many dogs can be a major distraction in the car.

 

Now, however, help may be at hand for many of these dog owners. Scientists at the University of Lincoln are undertaking a study into a new treatment designed to help calm these car-crazy canines.

 

Preliminary results have been encouraging and the team led by Dr Daniel Mills, veterinary surgeon and director of the university’s animal behaviour clinic, is now seeking more dogs for the study.

 

“The treatment involves applying a new type of collar which emits a reassuring smell to the animals,” he said.

 

“We have seen almost immediate results in some cases while in others we are not seeing any response at all, and we need to investigate why this is the case.

 

“We are therefore trying to develop full clinical profiles of all the animals involved so that we can predict when the treatment will work.”

 

If you have a dog which consistently tries to run around, jump about, snuggle up to you, vomit, bark, whine or howl while in the car, then Dr Mills would like to hear from you.

 

Owners must feel it is safe to take their dog out in the car for five minutes once a week for six weeks during the study.

 

If you would like to take part in the study contact the trial co-ordinator, Marta Gandia MRCVS, on 01522 895478 or write to her c/o Dr D S Mills at the Animal Behaviour, Cognition & Welfare Group, Department of Biological Sciences, University of Lincoln, Riseholme Park, Lincoln LN2 2LG.

 

 

For more information contact: Jez Ashberry, Press and Media Relations Manager

University of Lincoln (tel: 01522 886042)                 email: jashberry@lincoln.ac.uk

Check for the latest university news at www.lincoln.ac.uk/news