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Did You Know That Pets Can Also Suffer From Mental Health Issues?

It’s sad to know, but pets can also suffer from mental issues just as we humans do. Scientists have simplified it for us by explaining that just as a human has a brain and has chemicals to balance the brain activity, so too do animals. Depression in animals can be caused by brain chemicals being either in shortage or not being reactive in the right way.

Furthermore, outside influences such as trauma, death or illness can affect a person’s wellbeing and mental states; so too can outside influences affect the brain and mental attitudes of animals.

Thanks tosome insights from famous primatologist Jane Goodall, as well as other scientific data collected, here is what you should know about pets and the issues that may arise from mental health problems:

  • Anxiety

Animals, particularly thosekept in captivity, have shown signs of anxiety – even to the extent of pulling out their own hair. Anxiety is linked to stress and frustration, but can also come about through other causes such as ill-treatment or being enclosed in an environment that is not part of their natural world. Common forms of anxiety include thunderstorm phobia (very popular amongst dogs) and separation anxiety when you leave for long ­– or in some case, short – periods of time.

  • PTSD

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder or PTSD is a condition in which a person (or animal) experiences a traumatic event such as a horrific crime or watching a loved one die. The symptoms may only occur months or sometimes years later in which time the person starts to show the stress, which they often cannot explain until they are formally seen by a psychiatrist to help bring about the issues that caused the stress. Animals that can also suffer from PTSD include military or police dogs and horses, as well as pets that are mistreated or beaten. Signs that suggest PTSD include hiding or running away, or showing abnormal signs you wouldn’t see in a healthy pet.

  • Depression

Depression can occur if a pet loses a loved one such as a parent or offspring. Goodall outlines in her2010 book Through a Window that a young primate lay by its dead mother’s side and perished itself days later, refusing help due to a major depressive disorder.

With this information at hand, it may help us better understand animals who cannot speak to explain their problems. It is important to for us to become more active and involved in the lives of those whose suffering often goes unnoticed or misunderstood.

If you believe your pet is suffering from any mental health issues, feel free to contact us today to find out what is wrong.

 Related Tag: Vet Hospital Melbourne