Can being heartbroken over dogs death cause a flare? - PMRGCAuk


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Can being heartbroken over dogs death cause a flare?


Hi everyone, we had to have our beautiful little dog who we had had for eleven years put to sleep in awful circumstances, six weeks ago.

I am understandably heartbroken, but instead of getting better seem to feel worse each day.

Had successfuĺly got down to 4mg, where I planned to stay for a few weeks, but am now having a flare. Could this be down to stress, do you think?

Thank you, Jenny xx

Thank you, Jenny xx

27 Replies

Of of course Jenny! You have my heartfelt sympathy, you’ve lost a family member.

I would go back to the dose you last felt well at and stay there while you grieve. If the circumstances of your dear little dog’s death keep going round and round in your head perhaps you could talk it through with a counsellor?

DorsetLadyPMRGCAuk volunteer

Hi Jenny,

Quite possibly! After all to most owners, dogs are a very important part of the family.

You are understandably upset by recent events, and PMR loves a bit of stress. Might be worth taking an extra mg for a few days to see if things even out.

Hopefully you can sort it out quickly, but stick at 4mg for a few more weeks anyway - no rush at that level!

Hi Jenny, I am so sorry about your dear heart dog. It just breaks you up when they pass on doesn't it. We've always there cuddling our cats and dogs to the very end with tears falling gently on their fur. Time will heal your grief but not your memories.

I would say that your grief could well bring on a flare.

Jenny, I am so sorry to hear this about your little dog. Sad times indeed and I am sure that impacts on our health. I would be in no rush to reduce medication or as the others have said perhaps increasing it for some time.

The Blue Cross run a Pet Bereavement Support Service which may be of help-a confidential phone line or email. They also have some relevant articles to download.

All good wishes x

Dear Jenny,l am so sad for you ,l know that you will have loved your dog so much and it is heartbreaking to lose that wonderful little is bound to cause you a lot of stress and that does affect does not help if the circumstances were not good,it will stay in your thoughts and make the grief you are feeling even more difficult to deal with. I would increase your dose of Pred ,as the previous posts have said,or see your doctor who can advise you ,losing a pet who was part of your family is never going to be easy ,and l send you my heartfelt sympathy xx.

😖 ouch ouch ouch. Been there a few times. Time stops the sting, turns it into an ache and then you can carry them around more easily, but it takes time. Don’t bottle it up because you ‘ought’ to be over it, just sends the body into even more distress inflammatory mode I suspect.

I am so sorry - how sad - I feel for you -

STRESS wreaks havoc on our bodies

Heartfelt sympathies (hugs)

Bless you Jenny I do feel for you

That is so stressful and is most likely the cause of your flare

Sending you a big hug


Dear Attic,

These dear little creatures live in our hearts just as humans do. Of course you are in grief and time really is the only healer. He will, over time, come back to you in sweet memories and you will feel your happiness that he was in your life. Right now, just rest and take of the flare, these strong emotions affect us in every way.. with love, Coda


Of course the stress could cause a flare - as SJ says, it was a family member. And you are at a dose where you probably don't have the adrenal function reserves to cope with it.

Yes, family stress of any kind can cause a flare! I lost my sweet dog 4 years ago and I still think about her often. They are little soulmates and leave a hole when they go. Try to find a good friend to help you through.

Heartbroken for you.Lots of hugs.Lizzie

So very sorry for the pain you're going through. I'm sending you Big soft hug with lots of ❤. This will take the time it takes, everyone is different. So rest and take care of your heart, it will eventually get better. It is always hard to say goodbye to our fur babies.

Oh darling I’m desperately sorry. I lost a beloved dog and he was only three. I saw a psychiatrist as everyone said my grief was “ extreme “. I honestly want to reassure you it does get easier. It gets less agonising It definitely caused me to flare and I didn’t waste energy on fighting that I just tried to look after myself the way I would care for someone I loved. Please accept and nurture where you are. It’s a horrible time but it will ease. So sorry darling xxxxxxx

Yes, yes and yes. My favorite dog I’ve ever had in my life passed May of last year and the ensuing flare was devastating. Wolfgang was my one in a million dog. A Saint Bernard who loved everyone and everyone loved him. I became really depressed from the loss and the pain that was without end. I eventually turned it around and five months later adopted another Saint Bernard who is also a sweetheart. I’m truly sorry for your loss.

Best ~

Of course it can. It's very sad and emotional. You get attached. So sorry.

Dearest Attic, I am so deeply sorry for your loss and know exactly how you feel. The stress of this I feel will definitely cause a flare, its deep grief. When my darling boy cat was killed I was devastated. I didnt have GCA then but I lost a lot of my hair and felt awful for weeks. the advice from all the other posts is wonderful and I send you all my love. I have 2 'fur babies' and I simply dont know how I would exist without them. Grieve away and cosset yourself. All love. x


Awe so sad for you. I lost my German Shepherd last year and yes I had a flare. This year had to have one of my collies also put to sleep and again I had a flare.

We have lost part of our familly so really feeling for you. X

Everyone has given you good advice and support, I just want to add my condolences, our pets leave a massive hole in our lives when they leave us, as has been said eventually you will look back in fondness at the things you did together, take care of yourself xxx


Sorry to hear of your loss Jenny i know that pain so well. We had our bundle of mischief put to sleep 2 years ago. As the others have said quite probably the stress of grief has brought on a flare. It does ease with time. It's important to talk about it & other pet owners are very understanding. Please be kind to yourself. Wishing you ATB

Pet loss, stress, flare?? You betcha!!

Our pets are part of our family...sometimes they are more beloved than some of our human family members.....(really)!!

When I lost my two dachshund kids, at ages 15 and 16, I wobbled about trying to pretend my returning symptoms were not a stress- induced flare. Ultimately, an increase of 5 mg pred showed me the truth, and I returned to a slightly higher level of pred for a few weeks.

In retrospect, we are dealing with this nasty disorder at the same time as we are trying to continue a normal life... sometimes, we just need to give in a bit, and let the pred be our rescue.

All is better now, the acute stress passes, and I que up for the next surprise in life.

Kind regards, and my sympathy, Jerri

Attic in reply to Purplecrow

Thank you all so much for your lovely replies, it means a lot at this awful time.

I have upped dose to 6 this morning and will take that for a couple of days,then 5 for a couple of days and hopefully then back down to 4.

Love to you all, Jen x

Yes, yes ,yes. These furry babies get right into our souls so of course you will grieve, and dare I say it, sometimes more than if it was a human family member.

I had a flare recently just by going on holiday! Would never have believed it but thanks to everything I've learned here, I knew what it was and was able to nip it in the bud quickly.

Give yourself a few more mg of pred for a couple of days as suggested to wipe out the increased inflammation and drop back down again.

How sad for you Attic, As has already been said they’re family members and the grief it causes would most definitely bring on a flare. I would stay on your current dose for a little while longer. We lost 3 dogs within 18 months many years ago and haven’t been able to consider another yet, the trauma was so bad. We had ‘twin’ dogs who had an illness and were gone before they were five. Just prior we inherited our son’s elderly dog, when he emigrated to Oz, and he was ready to go....old age... Only time will heal. Look after yourself Jenny x

Yes stress would cause a flare up

My putting down my sweet pup I believe caused my pmr.

So I think yes

Much sympathy. As a dog lover and owner of two rescued dogs, that I love to bits, its devastating, time alone heals. Just be kind to yourself and maybe up your dose for a few days.

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