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Dr. John
Dr. John, Texas Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 5542
Experience:  Over 14 years of clinical veterinary experience
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I have a dear friend who has just lost her husband and moved

Customer Question

I have a dear friend who has just lost her husband and moved house. Now her 8 year old Poodle/Spaniel cross dog is inconsolable & cries constantly every time my friend goes out of sight. She can't go out to do shopping etc., unless she takes 'Milli' with her which is not always possible.
The dog was the husband's dog who, I admit, did spoil her a lot.
My friend is very distressed & at a loss about what to do. Am hoping you can help.
Cheers ***** *****
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Jess K replied 1 year ago.

Hello, this is Dr. Jess, and I am sorry to hear about the loss of your friend's husband and subsequent problems with her dog. Based on your description it sounds like her dog is likely suffering from separation anxiety. This is often triggered by a life changing event, and the loss of an owner certainly counts as that. There are some things your friend can do to help decrease Milli's anxiety in the long term (changes that can take some time and patience), but in the short term your friend's dog may benefit from antianxiety medication (available only be prescription from her vet). If she needs something before she can get to the vet's office she can also try a combination of a pheremone prodect called DAP (dog appeasing pheremone) available as a collar or a plug-in, in combination with a "thunder shirt" which is a pressure wrap shirt that some dogs find comforting. You can find both of these products online or in some larger pet stores. You can print out and show your friend this article:

http://www.veterinarypartner.com/Content.plx?P=A&S=0&C=0&A=1502 which is written by veterinarians about separation anxiety. It can be a tough issue to deal with and medication can often help initially.