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Any positive experience of using DAP diffusers with older dogs?

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moosemama Fri 26-Apr-13 10:09:44

We had to have our old girl pts yesterday. We knew it was on the cards, but in the end it was a lot more urgent and sudden than we were expecting. sad

Our lurcher is really upset, he is almost 7 and has never been an only dog, having left his litter to be fostered in a house with lots of other lurchers, before he came to us and we had three dogs when he arrived. (We lost our other girl a couple of years ago.)

The two dogs were very close, often shared a bed and always travelled crated together etc.

While we were at the vets he was obviously really distressed. When I came home I thought he'd wee'd on the kitchen floor, but it turned out it was drool. The floor was absolutely covered in pools of it and his beard was dripping wet. He was howling loudly as we reached the front door as well.

We took him out for a walk in the country and he was more settled afterwards, but last night he seemed really upset again. He used to love nothing more than to get in our girl's bed, particularly since we bought her a lovely memory foam one when she became ill, but he hasn't even attempted to and in fact seems to be giving it a particularly wide berth.

Last night he woke us in the middle of the night, first whining, then eventually howling. We didn't want to reinforce the behaviour, but we live in a semi so had to do something, so dh went down, didn't engage with him, just filled a glass of water and came back upstairs. Hoping to reassure him that we were there, but not reward the howling. It worked for a while, he stopped for just under an hour, but then started again, howling even worse. Proper, full-on haunted howls.

At that point dh had no choice but to go downstairs again. This time he just opened the kitchen door slightly, leaving the dog-gate closed and went to sleep on the sofa. So the dog knew he was there, but he didn't engage with him at all. That did the trick and he didn't make a peep after that.

I know it's early days, but my boy is a particularly sensitive chap, I think partly to do with him being part Saluki and I know we are going to need to help him through this very carefully. He was ok when our other dog died, but then they weren't close, as she was highly independent and not really a doggie dog, iykwim and he had bonded with the girl we lost yesterday.

When he first came to us as a pup we used a DAP diffuser and DAP spray on a bandana for him. We also used to use it for our old girl around bonfire night - until she became too deaf to hear the fireworks.

I was wondering if anybody had used DAP to help soothe an older dog at all and how successful that was and would be particularly interested to hear from anyone who has used it for a bereaved dog.

Any other advice about how best to handle this would be really appreciated. It's breaking my heart seeing how sad and lost he is. sad

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