Q: My son has just purchased a 4-month-old thoroughbred Irish setter. Through the years we have had four Irish setters; all lived to be 14 years of age. The one my son has is well-behaved but dreads getting into a car. My son has to lift him in, and he drools and then gets sick. We have never experienced this with the other setters. My son likes to take his dog on drives up to Griffith Park, and they go for long walks. I live in Laguna Hills and when they drive down, my son doesn't feed him, but the dog gets sick anyway. As soon as he gets out of the car, he is fine.
The other problem is, my son wants to find a good veterinarian in the Los Angeles area, near Farmers Market and Beverly Hills.
I would be most grateful if you can give us the name of a good vet and any suggestions as to how to stop this car sickness.
A: Car or motion sickness is relatively common in both children and young pets. In most cases, the condition resolves itself with time and familiarity of driving. However, some individuals may need medication to control the nausea and the anxiety of travel that often initiates the nausea. Your son is taking the right approach of trying to relieve any fear that this pup has about the car, but since the dog seems to be healthy and active in all other respects, he may want to try the dog on some motion-sickness medication such as Dramamine, given at a child's dose, approximately one-half hour before traveling. His veterinarian may want to examine the pup and may prescribe an anti-emetic, such as Darbazine, or even a sedative if the dog seems to be very apprehensive about car travel. Patience, not punishment, is very important in resolving this problem. To help you locate a veterinarian in your son's immediate area, I suggest you call the Southern California Veterinarian Medical Assn. office at (714) 523-0980 and they will be able to supply you with a list of well-qualified vets.