My red Doberman, Scarlette, has had a fear of thunderstorms for a few years. At first it was no big deal, just some major panting, whining, and pacing. Last summer she figured out how to open the door of her crate so every time a storm came and we weren't home we would find Scarlette in the living room when we did get home. No biggie, I just put some clips on the door.
Fast forward to a few weeks ago. There was a storm IN THE NEXT COUNTY and she was whining, howling, biting at the cage and carrying on (we were in bed). Pretty soon I heard footsteps up next to the bed. She had bent her cage wires on the door enough to somehow squeeze through the opening. She had chewed on the bars so much that her gums were bleeding and she was blowing blood all over the carpet when she was panting.
Luckily no serious damage was done to her mouth.
Today we had a pretty decent storm come through while I was at a baby shower. Jeff waited until after the storm was over and left for 10 minutes to go to the store. He left Scarlette in the kitchen and put up the baby gates. In the short time he was gone she freaked out and peed and pooped multiple times on the floor, ripped the rug, tore up a shoe, and tore into the bag of plant fertilizer he had tucked in the corner by the back door. The storm had already passed and she was still freaked out.
She is totally out of control and now I'm scared to leave her while we're at work. I'm afraid she's going to seriously injure herself trying to get out of the crate. I'm not sure how she managed to squeeze her 90 pound body through the small opening she created last time. What if we're not home and she does it again and gets stuck? What if her neck gets caught and she hangs herself? What if she gets stuck for hours while we're away and hurts herself and suffers the whole time we're gone? What if, what if, what if?
I'm going to call the vet and ask for some sedatives to give her whenever there's a storm coming. The trouble with that idea is that a storm might roll through in the middle of the day and we won't be here to sedate her.
Has anyone dealt with this and if so, how did you fix the problem?