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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 20921
Experience:  Hello, I am a small animal veterinarian and am happy to discuss any concerns & questions you have on any species.
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I had 2 dogs, 1 9 years the other 4 years the 4 year old

Customer Question

I had 2 dogs, 1 9 years the other 4 years the 4 year old passed away and the 9 year old just cries can he died of a broken heart
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.

Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you with your wee one today. I do apologize that your question was not answered before. Different experts come online at various times; I just came online, read about your wee one’s situation, and wanted to help.

I am very sorry to hear that your dog is mourning the loss of his companion. This is not an uncommon situation for dogs (or people) and this will be especially difficult for him since he likely doesn't know where his friend has gone.

Now dogs cannot really die of broken hearts, but the stress of the situation isn’t good for them. Therefore, we’d want to try to provide some support during his time of loss. To start, he really needs you. You need to be giving him lots of attention and providing distraction from the void in his life. So, lots of walks, cuddles, and time together will help him here.

Further to this, there are some de stressing treatments that can aid dogs in coping with what is a major life change. Most commonly we will use Adaptil/DAP, which is a synthetic pheromone that helps to relieve stress, promote relaxation, and help him cope with this situation. This can be used as a spray, a plug-in diffuser (ideally used in the room he spends the most time), or there are even collar preparations. They are available OTC at the vet's, most pet stores, or can even be purchased online (ie Amazon). Furthermore, there are nutritional supplements available over the counter at the vets, like Kalmaid or Zylkene that we often use to soothe canine anxiety and stress. As well, we can even use Bach Flower Remedy for (though not as well tolerated as the other agents and isn’t as dog specific as the other de-stress therapies). And since these are not drugs per say, they can be used in any combination we may wish. Finally, for dogs in severe distress, there are medications that can be dispensed by your vet to if needed.

Overall, this will be a difficult time for you both. Therefore, we want to be giving your lad lots of attention and distraction from his grief. As well, we can use those aforementioned supports to help him cope and find peace in this difficult time.

Please take care,

Dr. B.

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