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Posted by on Aug 21, 2015 in Uncategorized |

Is Your Dog Stressed Out? Why Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder May Be the Problem

If you are a new dog owner, you might think that you’ll have a lot of fun all the time. While this is true for many pet owners, there is also the possibility that your dog can suffer anxiety from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) after a scary event or injury. Here is what you need to know about PTSD and what you can do to help.

Causes of Post Traumatic Stress in Dogs

Types of traumatic events for dogs are severe weather or natural disasters. Due to the heightened hearing and other senses of dogs, severe storms can be extremely frightening for animals.

Other causes of stress could be some sort of household or car accident in which the animal is injured. Painful injury can create anxiety and stress. Finally, if another animal or a human has attacked your dog, it may exhibit signs of PTSD.

Symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress in Dogs

All animals have to endure stressful situations. The distinguishing symptom of PTSD is a prolonged or undue response to a trauma or stressor. An uncontrolled bark, excessive whining, running in circles, or uncontrollable trembling are signs that your dog is stressing out in a big way.

Two animals may experience the same situation and respond differently. If your dog is affected more severely or longer than would seem appropriate for the situation, it may be dealing with PTSD.

One way to observe if the dog’s condition is prolonged or severe is if the anxiety is worsening as time passes. After experiencing a traumatic event, it is normal for the dog to have anxiety or hesitancy. However, as time passes this anxiety should fade. If the stress increases over time, it is a sign that the dog is dealing with trauma.

How to Help Your Dog with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

If your dog shows signs of PTSD, you should seek professional help. Ask your vet about whether or not a veterinary behavioral therapist is appropriate.

This specialist observes your dog’s behavioral patterns and prescribes therapeutic treatment to help curb the anxiety. The therapist may prescribe food, herb, or pheromone treatments as part of the therapeutic plan.

Comfort your dog when they are showing signs of anxiety. For example, if they whine, bark, or try to hide when a storm is approaching, pet them and speak gently to them to let them know that you’re there and that all is well. It might not make the PTSD go away, but you’ll at least provide them with a little comfort.

It’s impossible to prevent all traumatic events from occurring. But, you can help your pooch if they become fearful and anxious. Seek help from your vet, such as Midtown Veterinary Clinic, if your comforting and love is not enough to keep PTSD at bay. 

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