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linderbelle
10th January 2010, 02:24 AM
I'm flying in about a month and have only flown with a dog once--a shih tzu about 10 years ago but I'm seriously considering taking Abbey with me. With all the issues that we've had lately I'm just not comfortable leaving her here even though my 28 year old son is living here but she'd be alone all day long. I'm going to my son and his family so have already gotten permission that I can bring her. She is such a good dog even with all her ailments. She's the best one of the bunch--never has an accident in the house etc. She'd literally bust open before she'd go in the house.

Anyways, the bag that I do have from many years ago isn't on wheels and I'm thinking she's going to get heavy lugging her around. Hubby is flying there with me but he's leaving for back here before me so I'm on my own with her on the way back.

Anybody recommend a bag with wheels that will go under the seat? Any bad effects flying with a sm dog?

Thanks.

Karlin
10th January 2010, 11:28 AM
If the dog is fine and is in good shape/no pain, then travellingwith an SM dog shouldn't pose any issues as cabins are pressurised etc (as are holds where dogs are placed).

HOWEVER: If (and as?) her pain symptoms are not under control I really don't know if it is a good idea to fly with her (I wouldn't) -- flying is stressful and that (and increased heart rate due to stress) in itself can aggravate symptoms, she can get bumped around and unless she is extremely placid and knows the command to relax and stay still, she also could be be very uncomfortable under a plane seat. It is hard to do but I'd really consider this very carefully as to what is best for Abbey and whether this trip is happening at the right time to be made. It is just that your recent descriptions of her and her problems, and your own grave and repeated worries about her in another thread, would make me think this is really the wrong decision for her health and well being. Have you discussed this with her neurologist?

Or consider it this way -- if you had had major surgery and were in recurring pain would you want to take two plane flights and spend a week in an unknown place and having to remain immobile for most of a plane journey? I think most would far prefer a quiet time in a place they know and familiar surroundings.

On the other hand of course I can't really guess at how uncomfortable she is or whether this is a good idea but can only go by your recent posts which have sounded like you believe she is in a lot of returning discomfort that isn't yet under sufficient pain management by medication? If that is the case I'd cancel the trip and look after her, go by car, or arrange for someone to mind her at home or check in once or twice while your son is at work perhaps? I know how frustrating and difficult this situation must be. :flwr:

Love my Cavaliers
10th January 2010, 03:18 PM
I agree with everything Karlin said about Abbey and considerations for flying. I know that it's hard to think about leaving her when her symptoms are not quite under control, especially since your son will not be home during the day to monitor her. Is there anyone who does day care or boarding in their house? I have a friend who is an ex-ER nurse who started a doggie home care business. When I go out of town, my dogs go there (she is home all day with them). Since she is a nurse, she is very acute at picking up on medical issues.

But, generally speaking, I have flown numerous times with Riley, my SM dog who had surgery in June, 2008. She has been a dream and shows no ill effects from the air pressure changes. She is so quiet in her little bag, no one even kows she's there until we get off the plane and I open up the top of her bag. If I know I am upgraded to first or business class, I take a large Sherpa carrier. It doesn't quite fit under the seat, but the only thing it does is limit my leg room. I always request a window seat - the under seat configuration is larger on American Airlines in the window seat. If I am flying in coach, I take the medium Sherpa. She's not quite as comfortable in that, but it does fit under the seat better and she's not UN-comfortable, just less room to move around in. In my experiences, the ticket agents don't care how big the carrier is, they look to see if the dog has enough room to move in it and to see how cute your dog is! I checked out the cases with wheels but didn't like them because the wheels took up valuable doggie space. Riley does get heavy carrying the bag on my shoulder though, especially if it's a long walk. And Riley is little - she only weighs 12 pounds 1 ounce. After we go through security, I carry her in my arms to the gate and have never had anyone complain to me or ask me to put her in her bag. When we get off the plane, I usually leave her in the bag, but let her put her head out so she can see where we're going. I always have to check a bag when I travel with her so I take her outside immediately when we get off the plane for a pee and/or poop and then go back in for luggage. She is always in my arms then since she gets overwhelmed if she's on a leash. But she is a great traveler. The longest flight she has been on is from Chicago to Arizona - so she's on the plane for about 4 hours. I have never done a flight with a connection yet, although I did have one time that we had to change planes before we even took off. I raced her outside to pee one more time and made it back in time - quite a feat since I had to go through security again.

Jsut to recap, no bad experiences flying with an SM dog who is managed with meds and is not in pain and is a very quiet, calm dog.