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How To Comfort Your Hound When The Other Is Sick


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Echo was diagnosed with osteo. She is on a cocktail of pain meds, and is really doing well. Travel is our other hound. She is a spooky shy girl, but really comes out of her shell with us. We have been very attentive with Travel, to make sure she gets the same amount of love, attention and treats as Echo. However, Travel has been off kilter. She's been more spooky than normal, and we think she pooped in the house. We have a dog door, so she always has access to the outside. She was just at the vet 2 weeks ago for shots and a checkup and is great. I think she's reacting to Echo being sick. Is that possible? How do I help her? We tried a DAP diffuser before with her, and it didn't help her spookiness. What can I do for her? Thanks!

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It is definitely possible. :nod Dogs do feel for their sick companions and grieve for lost companions, and spooky hounds seem to gain a lot of confidence and support from healthy housemates. It's likely that Travel is feeling very insecure, knowing that Echo is sick.

You could try the DAP diffuser again. It can't hurt, and might help. Apart from that, I think the best thing you can do is make sure you don't go all 'poor dog' on her. She needs you to be matter-of-fact, strong and sure, and to keep her routine as much the same as possible. By all means pet her and feed her treats, but make sure that in trying to treat them equally you don't accidentally treat Travel like a sick dog too.

Travel will also probably benefit from a little extra exercise or play sessions. These can help take her mind of things, keep her busy and interested and help her feel 'normal'. They are also wonderful stress relievers.

 

Another thing which can help to relieve stress in dogs is chewing. Can you find her some good chewy treats or give her kongs? Beef trachea, dried tripe, ears, etc are good, but you don't want to get her fat, so I also like smoked bones. A good quality (expensive) smoked bone will not splinter or stain your carpet. We had one for Renie and it out-lasted her, with only a few nibbles gone from the ends. Before she had that to chew on, she'd eat the plasterboard (drywalling) and chewed all the lower knobs on a big piece of furniture we have in the dining room!

I'm so sorry that Echo is now in the osteosarcoma club. Sending hugs for you and gentle scritches for Echo.

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The plural of anecdote is not data

Brambleberry Greyhounds My Etsy Shop

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Sorry to hear about Echo's dx, and that Travel is having a tough time. You might try l-theanine or Composure instead of DAP.

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Jen, CPDT-KA with Zuri, lab in a greyhound suit, Violet, formerly known as Faith, Skye, the permanent puppy, Cisco, resident cat, and my baby girl Neyla, forever in my heart

"The great thing about science is that you're free to disagree with it, but you'll be wrong."

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