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Dr. Deb
Dr. Deb, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 9441
Experience:  I have been a practicing veterinarian for over 30 years.
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We have two elderly Siberian Huskies. They are brothers. One

Customer Question

We have two elderly Siberian Huskies. They are brothers.
One had his stomach turn three years ago, and, although the surgery to correct it was successful, he has aged tremendously since then. He is now mostly blind and deaf.
His brother is in better health, although somewhat blind and deaf as well. He watches over his brother somewhat taking care of him. They are always together, always touching when sleeping or resting.
Here is my dilemma.
I do not think the one dog can go through another winter. We live in the north and have brutal long winters. In my heart I know I have to put him down.
I don't know what to do about the remaining dog as he will be so lonely and looking for this companion.
They are both sweeties and inseparable. They cry when the other one goes for a vet appointment.
What do you advise?
Thank you,
Lindsay
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Deb replied 1 year ago.
Hello Lindsay, I'm Dr. Deb. I'll do my best to help you today
What an incredibly difficult situation you're facing:(
I've been through similar situations with pet owners in the past and it's frequently extremely difficult for the pet left behind when they've been so completely bonded with their housemate.
I'm assuming that Harley is the dog who's more seriously afflicted and my response will reflect this. My apologies if my assumption is incorrect.
I also assume that you haven't completely decided to euthanize Harley, but if you have, my response will also reflect this.
There's no question that there will be grieving which can last for either a short period of time or days to weeks ...or even longer for some dogs.
To reduce the effects of loss on Speedy, I'd advise you to bring them both together when Harley is to be euthanized. Rather than just taking his friend away for him never to return, actually being present for the procedure seems to help as the remaining dog trys to move forward.
Use of a DAP collar may be effective in helping to reduce the stress and anxiety associated with the loss of his lifelong companion. These collars are impregnated with natural pheromones and while they're not effective for every dog, they do appear to help some.
You'll also want to lavish much attention on Speedy even though you obviously can't replace his brother.
It seems somewhat unrealistic to think about getting another friend for Speedy but this might be something to consider, although I'd certainly advise an older dog, not a puppy.
I know that some owners would consider euthanizing both brothers so that the one left behind doesn't experience a significant decrease in his quality of life. I can understand this decision but it's sometimes difficult for me to accept if the other pet is relatively healthy.
I know you're agonizing over this situation and I feel very badly for you and your family but I hope this helps. Deb
Expert:  Dr. Deb replied 1 year ago.
Hi,
I'm just following up on our conversation about Harley & Speedy. How is everything going?
Dr. Deb