Use of dogs is on the rise in war zones, often leading to canine post-traumatic stress disorder

Marine Corps Cpl. Wolcott and Ace, an explosive detector dog, standing on a hill with other Marines and members of the Iraqi security forces during a patrol along the Wadi Bank in Rawah, Iraq (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Ricky Robinson III). Stock photography by Department of Defense Public Domain

More and more dogs in Iraq and Afghanistan are saving the lives of soldiers in the field. As an article in today’s USA TODAY states, this has come at a price for the dogs involved.

Since May 2010, 14 military working dogs have been killed in action. Six others have been wounded, and three are missing in action, according to U.S. Central Command.

In addition, incidents of canine post-traumatic stress disorder are on the rise, said Lt. Col. Richard A. Vargus, chief of the law enforcement branch at CENTCOM.

“Our biggest issue that we have with canines is canine PTSD,” he said. “We’ve seen a significant issue with that because when you’re standing 10 feet away from an explosion, the dog has emotions and the dog is affected as well.”

Read the rest of the story here.

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