Rescued and abandoned dogs often go through physical or mental trauma before they are rescued. And since you might have heard about Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or PTSD, you might as well want to know that dogs also suffer from PTSD. This PTSD may be developed in the dog at an earlier point in life.
The major reasons for a dog to develop PTSD are as follows:
- Passing away of owner
- Emotional or physical abuse
- Getting abandoned by previous owner
- Natural disaster
- Serious injury or accident
- Extreme fight with other animals
If your rescue dog is suffering from PTSD, you can assess that from their behavior. Your dog may show signs of stress, or may develop certain habits. However, sometimes the rescue dog may show a similar sign due to separation anxiety. Here are some of the sings of PTSD to look for in your rescued dog:
- Howling or barking loudly
- Eliminating inside the house
- Destroying toys and other items in the house
- Sudden aggression
- Extreme awareness of the surroundings
- Clinging to you when in fear
Your dog may also show few signs of stress if he is suffering from PTSD. You may look for the following signs:
- Tucking the tail
- Ears pinned back
- Timid attitude
If you have any previous history of trauma or stress of the dog, it is important to consult your vet to diagnose the exact problem and treat it at the earliest.
Treating PTSD In Rescued Dogs
It is important to get your dog treated as soon as you spot any signs of PTSD. These symptoms are treatable and with a little hard work, your dog can easily cope with PTSD.
The treatment for PTSD usually includes a behavior modification training with a professional trainer who can befriend your dog and help them. Some other important methods of treating PTSD include play sessions with your dog, positive reinforcement training, therapies like herb and food therapy etc. There are also various medications available for dogs suffering with PTSD. These medications are used to lessen any signs of anxiety, aggression and fear in the dog.
Training your dog to help them cope with PTSD can take quite a long time, depending on the trauma they have been through. But, the happy life your dog will lead once they are over the trauma is worth all the patience and efforts.