One of the most frustrating problems encountered by animal guardians is the motion sickness experienced by many pets when traveling in the car or airplane. In many pets, motion sickness may lead to disturbing symptoms of vocalization, restlessness and panting. Many will often become quite nauseated leading to both vomiting and/or diarrhea during travel.
One of the most important aspects of avoiding motion sickness in pets is to make sure that pets are adequately restrained during travel. Cats should always travel securely inside a special kitty carrier, while dogs should be adequately restrained in a safety harness and/or special seat belts developed for them.
There are several treatment options available for pets, not only to treat and calm travel anxiety, but also to help with any digestive upset or nausea that may occur during travel. While many veterinarians have traditionally used acepromazine, each pet is different as to their sensitivity to this particular medication, with some pets not being calmed at all, while in other pets excessive sedation for hours and up to a day may occur. Other medications that can be tried include the over-the-counter motion sickness medication called meclizine, as well as antihistamine-type medications such as Benadryl.
In recent years, increasing number of veterinarians have used the prescription drug known as Cerenia which, when given in adequate doses, significantly decreases the incidence of vomiting. There are also several natural calming and helpful alternatives, including the combination flower essence Be Serene, as well as the Bach flower essence remedy known as Rescue Remedy which has been increasingly available in stores across the country.
I have also found the homeopathic remedy Cocculus in 30c potency given 30 minutes before travel and then repeated every 4 hours as needed during travel to be quite helpful in alleviating both the mental/emotional component of motion sickness, as well as the tendency of many pets to vomit. This very safe homeopathic remedy is available from health food stores that carry homeopathic remedies.