Military dogs may also suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder


iStockphoto More than 5% of deployed U.S. military dogs may suffer from canine post-traumatic stress disorder.

-After get off work, the dog suffers like a soldier.So read last week’s title New York Times Articles on the subject of war dogs. The author claims that veterinarians work hard to strengthen the sense of strength in the army: dogs are also humans.

Well, something similar.

At the very least, we want the military to believe that the psychological condition known as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a form of psychological trauma that is not unique to humans.The fact that the animal suffers from this disease should prove his claim as a human disease with animal.

Interestingly, it has been found that a large percentage of military working dogs experience similar symptoms after being exposed to the stimuli that cause PTSD in humans.

what is this New York Times I have to say, according to an interview with Dr. Walter F. Burghardt Jr., Director of Behavioral Medicine, Daniel Holland Military Working Hospital, Lackland Air Force Base:

“It is estimated that more than 5% of the approximately 650 military dogs deployed by the U.S. military suffer from canine post-traumatic stress disorder. About half of them are likely to retire,” said Dr. Berghart.

Although veterinarians have already diagnosed behavioral problems in animals, the concept of canine PTSD has only existed for a few years and is still under discussion. But she is popular among military veterinarians, who have seen disturbing behavior patterns of dogs exposed to explosions, shootings, and other violence related to Iraq and Afghanistan.

Just like people with this disease, different dogs show different symptoms. Some people become overly vigilant. Others avoid buildings or workplaces that were previously accessible. Some people have a sudden change in temperament, or become extremely aggressive towards their leadership, or become strong and courageous. Many of them stopped performing tasks for which they were trained.


“If a dog has been trained to find temporary explosives and seems to work, but it doesn’t, then the risk is not just the dog,” said Dr. Berghard. “This is also a problem of human health.”

The most interesting aspect of this problem-anyway to me-is that pets are very sensitive to the severe psychological stress that affects humans. For those of us who treat mentally disabled pets every day, this should not be surprising.

In fact, this problem is increasingly found in many abandoned animals, long-term pets, and dogs deprived of normal social situations (such as puppies). The symptoms of these animals usually correspond to those of human PTSD patients.

In fact, at the Pure Paradox conference in March last year, an interesting study reported the similarities in symptoms between puppies and PTSD patients.

This hypothetical connection should never help minimize human PTSD. In fact, I hope that a well-documented observation of this phenomenon in animals (which has nothing to do with this matter) will further help make the reality that war is hell for all participants. Animals obviously suffer the same pain as humans when they are forced to go through destruction.

Of course, my argument is that human pride (and perhaps some wishful thinking) prevents us from constantly considering the unfortunate consequences of using dogs in wars to protect animal welfare. But this does not necessarily mean that we should not use animals in the course of war-as long as we know what we are doing and take measures to limit the psychological impact of war on all those who protect us.

If our military dogs can minimize casualties and mental losses, then I can keep the idea of ​​using them in military operations. However, this does not mean that we should not develop strategies to prevent PTSD in military dogs and other working dogs.

In fact, since we have realized that PTSD is a very real problem in our military canines, I think that solving this problem is a moral imperative.

What is the title of the topic? Should dogs receive the same help as humans when dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder?



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