Just Like Soldiers, Dogs of War Can Suffer from PTSD


A military handler bonds with his canine partner at Lackland Air Force Base in San
Antonio, Texas. Research is showing that both can suffer from PTSD.

photo by Bryce Harper for The New York Times

An important story in the New York Times focuses on a subject few people have heard about: canine post-traumatic stress disorder. We know that humans who have been through intense experiences such as war struggle with the after-effects, so why would we expect dogs to suffer any less? And, as the Times makes clear, this is a growing problem:

If anyone needed evidence of the frontline role played by dogs in war these days, here is the latest: the four-legged, wet-nosed troops used to sniff out mines, track down enemy fighters and clear buildings are struggling with the mental strains of combat nearly as much as their human counterparts.

By some estimates, more than 5 percent of the approximately 650 military dogs deployed by American combat forces are developing canine PTSD. Of those, about half are likely to be retired from service, Dr. Burghardt said.

You can read the whole story here. WAVY-TV in Virginia also ran a report on the subject, which you can watch below.

Military dogs may suffer from PTSD: wavy.com

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