Saturday, March 19, 2011

Hocus Pocus Bogus?


Recently Max has been sporting a new shirt.


It’s called a Thundershirt.  I am curious if any of you have ever heard of them.  Before I go any further I will tell you that the whole premise is ridiculous!  Any sound minded individual would agree.  But, I first noticed  the ad in the Readers Digest (and anything you find in the Readers Digest is true, right?  Kind of like, anything you read on the internet is the God’s honest truth, right?).  I laughed it off and thought anyone who would pay $36 for that was a sucker.

But Max has been having a lot of trouble lately.  It started with the snowplow and the UPS truck.  He could hear them coming for miles it seemed.  He would run from window to window, door to door, barking and shaking.  He would continue his “fit” long after they were gone.  Over time he started reacting this way to pick up trucks, then vans, then cars.  Now he begins his ritual in response to nothing.  It seems like he wants to stop but can’t.  He cries as he is running but you can’t catch him to console him. He barks until he gets hoarse.  All in response to nothing.

I know you can medicate dogs for anxiety but I really didn’t want to do that…and giving Max medicine is kind of what you’d imagine giving a cat a bubble bath would be like.

So, the Thundershirt was starting to sound like maybe it might be worth a try.  They offer a 100% guarantee and as you can see below, they also offer two of the absolute cheesiest commercials ever!




I kind of understand the theory that it works in the same way positive pressure works on autistic kids and swaddling works on newborns.  Other than that, it all seems like hocus pocus bogus to me.

The things is, for Max it works!!!  When we start to see him “winding up” we put it on him and almost instantly he relaxes.  His body tension releases and his barking stops.  He stops running his race track pattern from window to window, door to door, and lies down on the couch with a rawhide or toy and you can just tell he is so much happier.




In a situation that we know might be stressful, we put it on ahead of time and while Max notices the noise or distraction, it doesn’t make him a half-crazed, neurotic canine.

Bottom line…he is happier, we are happier.  Even if it sounds ridiculous and I have no idea why or how it works.  If you have similar problems, let us be your testimonial!  Try it out.




By the way, thanks Tina for helping me figure out how to add videos.  It’s much easier than I was trying to make it!


Mark said...

Very interesting, both in what it does and that it actually works. Does it work on hyperactive kids lol?

I wish I had one years ago for a Saint Bernard that went completely berserk at loud noises like thunder, and the 4th of July was not a happy time. During one partcularly bad storm she became not only hysterical but maniacal and ripped the throat out of a little Yorkie. Within a half hour I had the Saint Bernard put down. The Yorkie didn't make it either. $36 would have saved a lot of grief.
- Dad -

Tina said...

I love it when a prodict advertised on TV actually WORKS!! Poor little Maxy!! I am glad his shirt works! Have you seen Temple Grandin?? Awesome movie about a woman suffering from a form of Autism...and she gets comfort from a cow holder thingy...anyway...I bought the movie and will send it to you to watch if you have time. It made me cry!! YEA for MAX! Way to go Momma!!

Linda said...

Laura there is something to it. It doesn't necessarily have to be this shirt, but there is a sensory disorder that affects people and obviously animals. Here is a quote from one of my teacher magazines "A sensory system calms to the deep even and firm pressure of swaddling. An individual's system that is under significant stress will respond significantly to these deep-pressure receptors. This technique is often used successfully with individuals who are easily distracted, hyperactive or lacking concentration. Someindividuals respond positively to "tightness" such as bike shorts and LYCRA based wraps." So there is some research to back it up, but you probably could have made your own. Glad it works and it does work for kids. The company that sells this kind of product is called Abilitations Integrations. Here is a link to their on-line catalog