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Traffic, Dust Linked to Asthma in Kids
New Spray Could Benefit Cystic Fibrosis Patients
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Meditation, Yoga Might Switch Off Stress Genes
Licorice May Block Absorption of Organ Transplant Drug
Garlic Yields Up Its Health Secret
ANIMAL CARE
Rest Easy. When It Comes to Swine Flu, Your Pet Is Safe
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
Safe Toys for Dogs
BONES & JOINTS
Active Young Women Need Calcium, Vitamin D
Returning to the Road Tricky After Injury
Brazilian Mint Tea Naturally Good for Pain Relief
CANCER
Women Smokers Lose 14.5 Years Off Life Span
Spice Compounds May Stem Tumor Growth
Massage Therapy Helps Those With Advanced Cancer
CAREGIVING
Coordination Has Led to Quicker Heart Treatment
Robots May Come to Aging Boomers' Rescue
For Dialysis Patients, More Pills = Lower Quality of Life
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
High Blood Fat Levels Common in Americans
Potassium-Rich Foods May Cut Stroke, Heart Disease Risk
Varicose Veins May Mask Larger Problem
COSMETIC
New Genetic Links to Baldness Discovered
Gum Chewing May Cut Craving for Snacks
What to Do If You Have Unsightly Veins
DENTAL, ORAL
Obesity Boosts Gum Disease Risk
Hormones May Be to Blame for Women's Cavity Rates
Sports Drinks May Be Tough on Teeth
DIABETES
Strict Blood Sugar Lowering Won't Ease Diabetes Heart Risk
'Standard' Glucose Test May Be Wrong One for Obese Children
Saliva Test Could Monitor Type 2 Diabetes
DIET, NUTRITION
Decline of Underweight Children in U.S. Continue to Fall
Imagine Food Aromas That Prevent Overeating
Eating Vegan or Raw-Vegan at Regular Restaurants
DISABILITIES
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Ozone-Depleting Inhalers Being Phased Out
Disinfectants Can Boost Bacteria's Resistance to Treatment
Air Quality Better in Northeast, Midwest
EYE CARE, VISION
Thyroid Problems Boost Glaucoma Risk
Nutrient-Rich Diet Lowers Risk of Age-Related Eye Disease
Eye Test Could Spot Diabetes Vision Trouble Early
FITNESS
Exercise 30 Minutes a Day? Who Knew!
Simple Steps Get Walkers Moving
After a Stroke, Light Exercise Gets Hands, Arms Working Again
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Traditional Nonsurgical GERD Treatments Not Impressive
Peppermint Oil, Fiber Can Fight Irritable Bowel
Bowel Prep Harder on Women Than Men
GENERAL HEALTH
New Methods Could Speed Production of Flu Vaccines
Standard IQ Test May Underestimate People With Autism
Dry Weather Boosts Odds of Flu Outbreaks
HEAD & NECK
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Subway Defibrillators Save Lives
Using Light Therapy to Silence Harmful Brain Activity
Study Suggests Link Between Cell Phones and Brain Tumors
HEARING
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Too-Low Blood Pressure Can Also Bring Danger
Irregular Heartbeat Tied to Alzheimer's Disease
Quitting Smoking Doubles Survival in Early Stage Lung Cancer
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Swine Flu Is Now a Pandemic Says W.H.O.
Swine Flu Loves a Crowd
Surgical Masks Could Prevent Flu, Maybe
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Winter's Bitter Cold Poses Health Dangers
Exercise Helps Reduce Falls in Young and Old
Keep Safety in Mind While Your Kids Are Cooling Off in the Water
MEN'S HEALTH
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Varicose Veins May Mask Larger Problem
Exercise May Prevent Prostate Cancer: Study Shows
MENTAL HEALTH
Keeping a Healthy Holiday Balance
Brain Scans Show How Humans 'Hear' Emotion
17 Ways to Create the Perfect Workday
PAIN
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
For Baby and Mom Alike, Breast-Feeding May Be Best
Music of Mozart Soothes the Preemie Baby
Sleeping Could Help Women Lose The Baby Fat
SENIORS
Friends, Not Grandkids, Key to Happy Retirement
Healthy Diet Could Cut Alzheimer's Disease Risk
The Healthy Habits of Centenarians
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Sleeping Could Help Women Lose The Baby Fat
Moderate Aerobics May Ease Insomnia Symptoms
Meditation May Help Put Primary Insomnia to Bed
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Natural Relief for Painful Menstrual Cramps
Alternative Treatments May Boost IVF Success
How Much Fish to Eat While Pregnant?
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Separation Anxiety, Canine-Style

(HealthDay News) -- The house is empty, the kids have gone back to school. Call it a sort of empty-nest syndrome, except that the remaining occupant of the home is busy chewing the remote control and the couch.

It's not an uncommon scenario as canines across the country are "abandoned" by their best human friends come fall and back-to-school season.

"You've got to think of it from the dog's point of view. One day everybody's there, and then the next, everybody's gone and it happens that fast," said Judi Halliburton, a companion animal behaviorist in Albuquerque, N.M., and author of the book Raising Rover: Breed-By-Breed Training from Afghans to Yorkies. "Then people start coming home from school, from work and finding the living room all torn up."

Your first thought will probably be that the dog is angry. But, according to Halliburton, your pet's not mad -- it's a case of separation anxiety.

"For all they know, these humans got sucked up into a black hole," she said. "They have no idea what happened to them."

"Back to school can cause separation anxiety in some dogs," agreed Adam Goldfarb, director of the Pets at Risk program for the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS). "They're used to playing all day with their best friend, then they're alone for six to eight hours a day. It can be hard for some dogs."

"It can manifest as barking, whining, scratching at the door, chewing inappropriate items, or more medical symptoms such as lethargy or not eating well," he added. "And it can happen to any breed."

But there is hope.

"You can get them through it. You just need to set the stage," Halliburton said.

For instance, back-to-school or not, every time you leave the house you need to say good-bye to your dog, Halliburton said. It doesn't literally have to be "good-bye," it can be "May the force be with you!" or any other phrase. The point is to condition your dog to know that when he hears this phrase, he will also see you again later, she said.

"You have to provide a security base where their world is maintained," she said.

Here are some other tips:

* Leave clothes with your scent on them around the house. "That's security," Halliburton said.
* Make sure your dog can keep busy while you're gone. "If you can get a dog beyond the first 45 minutes after you've left, you've got it made," Halliburton said. Try giving your dog an empty milk container without the lid, but with some of the milk residue still inside it. "Dogs will be attracted by the smell, then they find out it makes a really neat noise and then they're king of the mountain," Halliburton said. "They can super-entertain themselves."
* If your dog is outside, hang an old bike tire, a bunch of dish rags knotted together or a shoe from a tree so the dog can play with them, Halliburton said.
* Have a pet sitter come over once in a while to spend time with the dog, or try doggie daycare two or three times a week. "That can be really enjoyable," Goldfarb said.
* Put the radio on a talk station and leave it on while you're gone. "That noise muffles any other kinds of sounds the dog might worry about and it's just background," Halliburton said. "It's comforting. Those are the sounds they hear when humans are home."

SOURCES: Judi Halliburton, companion animal behaviorist, Albuquerque, N.M.; Adam Goldfarb, director, Pets at Risk program, Humane Society of the United States