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Are Ultrasonic Devices Harmful to Dogs?

by Kelly
(Edmonton, Alberta, Canada)

Ultrasonic Dog Anti-Barking Outdoor Device

Ultrasonic Dog Anti-Barking Outdoor Device

I have an inquiry about the ultrasonic usage for anti-barkers. (Guardian is one manufacturer). My neighbor, (who has also been caught with poisoned mice, and damaging my backyard-hence fear what else she will do) at this time is using 3 directed into my yard. And it is never shut off, while they are on vacation, at work, always on "HIGH", goes red with kids playing, squirrels & birds chirping, and other dogs barking from other yards.


My question is could these machines, on high, cause a dog that had suffered only 5 epileptic seizures (due to a car accident) at age 2 and is now 3 prior to the installation of this equipment any harm?

In July 2012 and since then my dog has experienced 192 seizures, increased medications, (Phenabarb and now potassium bromide). There have been several police requests for her to take them down (she watches the seizures as my other dog attacks the pup). The police can not take them down without her permission!

The humane society, ASPCA, etc feel it is criminal what she is doing. The Police can't do anything without a proper report.

But before I go further I would like some knowledge to back me up. After discussing it with my Veterinarian I am at the point where I am considering putting him to sleep. I can't move right now as I am in the midst of a divorce.

I do know that for example: the Serengeti lions would have seizures due to sounds from helicopters, dolphins have beached themselves from drilling in the ocean. My dog started this the day she put them up and her comment was my dogs bark and she couldn't sleep.(they don't bark that often) There are several dogs that live in the area, plus she leaves the apparatus on while she goes on holidays. Tucker, suffers so much he won't go outside.

He is so drugged now that there is no quality of life for him. My other neighbors are on my side and are not bothered as the dogs do not bark hardly at all. One bark to be let in, and when I am out with them not at all. I am a nervous wreck,, walking on eggshells, if my dog barks I jump and let them in. I hope you have some form of information, or could direct me to someone who could shed some light on this situation to provide me with answers to take this equipment down.

If she doesn't like children, dogs and wildlife shouldn't she move to a condo? I love to garden (or use to) and I love my dogs, I consider them my kids. I love the outdoors watching the birds etc, they don't even come outside, they go on holidays.

And I as the police said I have to watch out for her as I may never know what she will do next.

Thank you,

Kelly Ward

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Aug 17, 2014
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Dogs and Ultrasonic Anti-Barking Devices
by: Dr. Jennifer Coates, DVM

Dear Kelly,

I am so sorry for what you are going through! It is possible that the ultrasonic devices your neighbor is using are a trigger for your dog’s seizures. Stress of any sort can make it more likely for seizures to develop in a predisposed individual, and while sounds are not recognized as common trigger I think the scenario you describe can’t be discounted as being at least partially to blame. I’m afraid you would have a hard time “proving” it to the extent where the police would be able to step in, however.

Is there any chance that you could send this dog to live with a friend or family member, at least for a short period of time? If his seizures returned to their “normal” frequency and intensity while he was away and then worsened when he came back, you’d know that something in his home environment was setting them off.

It would still be hard point the finger at the ultrasonic devices in a legal sense, but at least you’d know if it was worth trying to find him a more permanent foster home.

Best of luck,

Jennifer Coates, DVM

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