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Latest health and behavior news and advice from the veterinarians at Tufts University.

Features June 2015 Issue

Separation Anxiety in a Geriatric Dog

Sometimes separation anxiety appears to blossom out of nowhere in an older dog. In those cases, “most of the time, it’s a medical issue that triggers it,” says Tufts animal behaviorist Stephanie Borns-Weil, DVM. “The dog is in pain because of a medical condition that has become difficult, and she therefore becomes intolerably insecure and nervous in her owner’s absence. The pain or lack of function that sometimes comes with old age can really undermine a pet’s security. Often, dogs whose separation anxiety has been triggered by a physical condition had sub-clinical separation anxiety before that was just never picked up.”

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