View Full Version : Are there neurotypical dogs? Dog mental health conditions?


BellaVita
08-20-16, 04:56 AM
- This post is about dogs, since that is the animal I know most about, but if others know about other animals then that is fine to discuss. -

Are there neurotypical dogs? What would this look like?

I know of some mental health issues dogs can have: depression, anxiety(different kinds), compulsive behaviors, PTSD

I am wondering if there are others. I mean, surely humans can't be the only ones who have mental health conditions?

Does ADHD exist in dogs? How about schizophrenia? Bipolar disorder? Are there autistic dogs?

I'm seriously curious about all of these things, I feel like we have lots to learn about other creatures on this earth.

midnightstar
08-20-16, 05:00 AM
I did hear a while ago from a friend of mine about someone they knew who had a dog who the vet diagnosed with bipolar disorder, the owner apparently decided to have the dog pts (idk if the vet advised it or what)

And even though she ain't a dog (she's a cat), I think it's likely that Ebony has PTSD.

I've known cats in rescue with self harming behaviour and depression and anorexia as well.

sarahsweets
08-20-16, 10:55 AM
If there is, them my little Duke, a pom mix has adhd- especially the hyper part. So excitable, so much energy, I love it. And he loves me- its sick he follows me everywhere- hes here right now. My other cockapoo, his brother is like Spicoli from "Fast times at Ridgemont High". Chill yet intuitive- seems a little stoned- but he has cataracts and occaissionally walks into things if they are out of place.

Bluechoo
08-20-16, 11:03 AM
My late Pitbull, Kali, seemed to be whatever I was at the time. If I was depressed, she seemed depressed. Dogs have an amazing perception for our internal states, our moods, the true feelings we tend to hide from other people. They are strongly affected by us in this way... She was not a service dog, but she certainly may have played a part in saving me from some gloomy internal states a few years back. I saw that my mood was affecting her, and it forced me to look inside myself and acknowledge what I was feeling and deal with it. I loved my pup so much and I felt ashamed that I was letting my mood affect her. I am sure I would have gotten better, anyway, but she helped me get there sooner.

mildadhd
08-20-16, 11:46 AM
http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=-OV9V-HGSEY

mildadhd
08-20-16, 11:55 AM
Prozac works emotionally for dogs and humans.

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=exKpcOyPerk

mildadhd
08-20-16, 12:44 PM
Psychologically, all mammals including humans have very similar lower emotional brains'.

But less similar higher cognitive brains'.

Example, feelings of raw fear originates in all our brainstems'.

G

Lunacie
08-20-16, 01:34 PM
Yeah, Midsy is right about the PTSD.

Apparently they can also develop anorexia, even when food is available.

And some dogs are hoarders. Our little Maltese mix would take his treat and hide it, and then come back to get another one.

Birds are more prone to trichillomania, instead of pulling out hair they pluck out their feathers.

If pets have excessive grooming, pacing or vocal noises they may have OCD.

And like Midsy's Tigger, some do binge eating.

peripatetic
08-20-16, 04:50 PM
i'm going to try to tread carefully here because i don't want to appear hostile or rude to anyone as a person and i'm not "totally offended" mostly because i do have a rapport with most of those who've posted on this thread posts and even those i don't know, i give the benefit of doubt in believing that it comes from a good place.

however, i truly, very strongly, don't think it's helpful to apply these terms, clinical terms, to non humans. i sometimes question how useful it is to apply it to humans, but there is a great risk of further minimising the real havoc things can wreak on our lives when this happens.

coincidentally, i recently heard someone refer to her dog as "autistic". and i was thinking, what does that even mean?!? you know? if i were a betting person, i'd put my stake on it being a reference to some challenging or even unflattering couple of traits she's honed in on and conflated with her dog and autistic persons.

i will say this: the term "psychotic" is one that goes hand in hand with my primary diagnosis and i'm almost always at minimum disheartened, but often offended, when people use it to describe others in a non clinical sense, when they use it to describe the weather or a dog or a book or a film. you know why? two reasons:

1. psychotic almost always is used to indicate aggression, violence, unpredictability, danger, and depersonalise...dehumanise. to actually go a step further and apply that term to a dog...if someone says "that dog is psychotic" are you thinking...hmmm...that dog might be suffering from any number of hallucination and/or delusion types, may struggle with cognitive or negative symptoms or disorganized thinking patterns that result in bizarre speech patterns? i doubt it. but that's what psychotic actually means in a clinical sense.

2. because what counts as something being a delusion is in a socio-cultural context and out of line with something called "consensus reality". if my dog were hearing something i wasn't, i'd remember his hearing is hundreds of times more acute than mine, not think he's having auditory hallucinations. i don't even know what it would mean to describe a dog as delusional and i don't recall hearing about pumping pets full of antipsychotics to treat them or putting them on involuntary holds in hospitals. maybe there's some equivalent you can find...but...if you're looking for that, i would suggest you're almost trying to ignore the very real suffering of persons in order to stretch to apply these terms to non persons, be those non persons organisms or otherwise.

i'm trying, as i said, to say this in a way that's non confrontational and i hope i've given something to consider. i am posting solely because i don't see this perspective represented and not because i want to argue with people. i see ascribing the medical model, just at a one to one comparison, as, at best, anthropomorphising animals and, at worst, minimising and further contributing to misunderstanding of mental illness (e.g. because that whole "functioning in multiple areas of life" doesn't apply in the same way at all). i'm sure dogs have been euthanised for behaving "psychotically" but that's another *******isation of the term, in my opinion.

i don't doubt that pets have a rich inner life and a rich emotional range. but taking our not-without-flaws model and applying it to dogs or other animals just confuses the issues further, i think. to me it feels dehumanising/whitewashing/dismissive ultimately when my diagnosis makes me feel alienated enough already.

much appreciation to anyone who read this and can see my perspective. even if you disagree.

cheers
-peri

midnightstar
08-20-16, 05:00 PM
I see where you're coming from peri and I respect what you said in the thread, however animals can get some actual mental health conditions (case in point, one of the rescue cats was diagnosed with depression), I strongly suspect that Ebony's got PTSD as I said upthread, I knew cats at the rescue to become anorexic cause of stress, the bipolar story I said about even though I heard it from someone at work, if it was the vet who disagnosed it surely the vet would know what he/she was talking about?

For the bipolar thing, if I'm talking crap feel free to tell me so.

peripatetic
08-20-16, 05:03 PM
I see where you're coming from peri and I respect what you said in the thread, however animals can get some actual mental health conditions (case in point, one of the rescue cats was diagnosed with depression), I strongly suspect that Ebony's got PTSD as I said upthread, I knew cats at the rescue to become anorexic cause of stress, the bipolar story I said about even though I heard it from someone at work, if it was the vet who disagnosed it surely the vet would know what he/she was talking about?

For the bipolar thing, if I'm talking crap feel free to tell me so.

i'm not bipolar and i'm not here to try and argue from others' perspective, just offer my own. i wouldn't even begin to tell someone they're talking crap about bipolar because i'm not in a position to do that without firsthand experience. i used the one example of myself i'm comfortable ish enough to say in this private section...i hope this is private, actually. now i'm going to check :)

i'm still not saying that pets don't have a rich inner life and emotional range. i'm just saying that the application of the same framework and terminology does a disservice to us and quite possibly them as well.

peripatetic
08-20-16, 05:04 PM
i'm not bipolar and i'm not here to try and argue from others' perspective, just offer my own. i wouldn't even begin to tell someone they're talking crap about bipolar because i'm not in a position to do that without firsthand experience. i used the one example of myself i'm comfortable ish enough to say in this private section...i hope this is private, actually. now i'm going to check :)

i'm still not saying that pets don't have a rich inner life and emotional range. i'm just saying that the application of the same framework and terminology does a disservice to us and quite possibly them as well.

yeah, i just realised this is in the open forum. and with that, i'm out :)

take care all xx

Lunacie
08-20-16, 05:13 PM
1. psychotic almost always is used to indicate aggression, violence, unpredictability, danger, and depersonalise...dehumanise. to actually go a step further and apply that term to a dog...if someone says "that dog is psychotic" are you thinking...hmmm...that dog might be suffering from any number of hallucination and/or delusion types, may struggle with cognitive or negative symptoms or disorganized thinking patterns that result in bizarre speech patterns? i doubt it. but that's what psychotic actually means in a clinical sense.

2. because what counts as something being a delusion is in a socio-cultural context and out of line with something called "consensus reality". if my dog were hearing something i wasn't, i'd remember his hearing is hundreds of times more acute than mine, not think he's having auditory hallucinations. i don't even know what it would mean to describe a dog as delusional and i don't recall hearing about pumping pets full of antipsychotics to treat them or putting them on involuntary holds in hospitals. maybe there's some equivalent you can find...but...if you're looking for that, i would suggest you're almost trying to ignore the very real suffering of persons in order to stretch to apply these terms to non persons, be those non persons organisms or otherwise.


cheers
-peri

I think I get what you're saying, but I guess I see it differently.

You know the dogs (or cats) that just cannot be socialized? Few and far between. But there are some.

Could it be that the reason they cannot get along with others (people or pets) is because they are hearing strange things that other pets don't hear, or because their go-to reaction is aggression and violence?

No, they don't get put on antipsychotics, but they do take tranquilizers. No they don't get put on involuntary holds in hospitals, but they do get put on involuntary holds at the humane society. And maybe those are the ones who end up getting euthanized.

Or maybe their psychosis isn't quite that severe. My daughter's boyfriend has a grumpy cat that doesn't get along well with others, tends to bite and claw anyone who tries to pet him or pick him up. We had a dog that was quite grumpy and bit everyone but me, though he did growl and snap at me too.

We had one dog we returned to the shelter because his separation anxiety was so severe he totally tore up our house. He needed more help than we could give him since we were already dealing with several family members who had special needs.

Fortune
08-20-16, 05:24 PM
But you can't identify a pet as psychotic. There's no way to identify that they're having hallucinations or delusions. You can make guesses but you will never have confirmation of those guesses.

It's better to use observable behavior to diagnose animals, and while you can identify anxiety and depression, some disorders are just too complex or require specific kinds of communication to identify.

midnightstar
08-20-16, 05:38 PM
But you can't identify a pet as psychotic. There's no way to identify that they're having hallucinations or delusions. You can make guesses but you will never have confirmation of those guesses.

It's better to use observable behavior to diagnose animals, and while you can identify anxiety and depression, some disorders are just too complex or require specific kinds of communication to identify.

True, just like there's no way for us to know for sure if Ebony has flashbacks to the traumas she suffered (cause it's not like the vet can ask her and have her answer in english)

Fortune
08-20-16, 05:44 PM
Right. Although given her history and behavior it is possible to deduce that she may very well have PTSD.

midnightstar
08-20-16, 05:49 PM
Right. Although given her history and behavior it is possible to deduce that she may very well have PTSD.

Yes like say for example if Tigger rushes at her and tries to get her to play, Ebony will (and has been known to) hiss and growl at Tigger and nearly jump out of her skin and literally start to shake :( When Ebony and Tom played with each other, Tom was older so he'd approach her slower so Ebony was never jumpy around Tom. Ebony's fine with Tigger if Tigger approaches her slower but Tigger rarely does.

And I should really shut up now :o

mildadhd
08-20-16, 06:42 PM
I am interested in what mammals have in common.

Examples

Biologically, all mammals require a maternal regulator for at least a year or two, after birth, where as most reptiles do not require a maternal regulator after hatching, etc..

A few years ago, a friend described some kind of jacket that helped calm his dog anxious dog.

Similarly Temple Grandin designed a squeeze machine that helps calm people suffering anxiety and sensory issues.

She originally got the idea for the squeeze machine for humans when she lived on a cow farm.

The cows where put in a squeeze machine to calm the cows down to give vaccination shots.

Temple Grandin did a thesis in college on the topics.

But College students participated in the her thesis study, not cows.

There are now special jackets designed for humans to help calm humans down, based on Temple Grandin's ideas (Not straight jackets)

There are lots of biological examples of basic similarities between humans and other mammals that are very helpful in certain contexts.

The fact that I would not have ever known my father who suffered from type one diabetes, if he did not take pig insulin to survive probably has a major influence on my perspectives.

G

mildadhd
08-20-16, 06:49 PM
Dogs who are trained to help find potential survivors after earth quakes, can have symptoms of PTSD if they do not get proper rest and time to heal between searching disaster areas.


G

mildadhd
08-20-16, 06:57 PM
I think we all agree that dogs and other pets can help us feel better.

I think that is because of our emotional similarities with dogs and other mammals, not so much our cognitive similarities.

G

Lunacie
08-20-16, 07:08 PM
I am interested in what mammals have in common.

Examples

Biologically, all mammals require a maternal regulator for at least a year or two, after birth, where as most reptiles do not require a maternal regulator after hatching, etc..

A few years ago, a friend described some kind of jacket that helped calm his dog anxious dog.

Similarly Temple Grandin designed a squeeze machine that helps calm people suffering anxiety and sensory issues.

She originally got the idea for the squeeze machine for humans when she lived on a cow farm.

The cows where put in a squeeze machine to calm the cows down to give vaccination shots.

Temple Grandin did a thesis in college on the topics.

But College students participated in the her thesis study, not cows.

There are now special jackets designed for humans to help calm humans down, based on Temple Grandin's ideas (Not straight jackets)

There are lots of biological examples of basic similarities between humans and other mammals that are very helpful in certain contexts.

The fact that I would not have ever known my father who suffered from type one diabetes, if he did not take pig insulin to survive probably has a major influence on my perspectives.

G

My family is so 'special' that when it comes to special needs we're even different from the special ones. :giggle:

I bought one of those Thunder Coats for my chihuahua who is terrified of storms (but not fireworks weird) and he hated it.

Many autistic children love and benefit from weighted blankets and jackets but not my autistic granddaughter.

There are even chairs now which provide gentle pressure to reassure those with anxiety.

mildadhd
08-20-16, 07:26 PM
I think Peripatetic is also making a very good point.

At the tertiary level, cognitively, dogs and other animals are not very human.

Not sure how much self-regulation dogs and other animals have compared to humans.

But emotionally at least at the primary level all mammals including humans are very similar.

G

BellaVita
08-20-16, 08:30 PM
i'm going to try to tread carefully here because i don't want to appear hostile or rude to anyone as a person and i'm not "totally offended" mostly because i do have a rapport with most of those who've posted on this thread posts and even those i don't know, i give the benefit of doubt in believing that it comes from a good place.

however, i truly, very strongly, don't think it's helpful to apply these terms, clinical terms, to non humans. i sometimes question how useful it is to apply it to humans, but there is a great risk of further minimising the real havoc things can wreak on our lives when this happens.

coincidentally, i recently heard someone refer to her dog as "autistic". and i was thinking, what does that even mean?!? you know? if i were a betting person, i'd put my stake on it being a reference to some challenging or even unflattering couple of traits she's honed in on and conflated with her dog and autistic persons.

i will say this: the term "psychotic" is one that goes hand in hand with my primary diagnosis and i'm almost always at minimum disheartened, but often offended, when people use it to describe others in a non clinical sense, when they use it to describe the weather or a dog or a book or a film. you know why? two reasons:

1. psychotic almost always is used to indicate aggression, violence, unpredictability, danger, and depersonalise...dehumanise. to actually go a step further and apply that term to a dog...if someone says "that dog is psychotic" are you thinking...hmmm...that dog might be suffering from any number of hallucination and/or delusion types, may struggle with cognitive or negative symptoms or disorganized thinking patterns that result in bizarre speech patterns? i doubt it. but that's what psychotic actually means in a clinical sense.

2. because what counts as something being a delusion is in a socio-cultural context and out of line with something called "consensus reality". if my dog were hearing something i wasn't, i'd remember his hearing is hundreds of times more acute than mine, not think he's having auditory hallucinations. i don't even know what it would mean to describe a dog as delusional and i don't recall hearing about pumping pets full of antipsychotics to treat them or putting them on involuntary holds in hospitals. maybe there's some equivalent you can find...but...if you're looking for that, i would suggest you're almost trying to ignore the very real suffering of persons in order to stretch to apply these terms to non persons, be those non persons organisms or otherwise.

i'm trying, as i said, to say this in a way that's non confrontational and i hope i've given something to consider. i am posting solely because i don't see this perspective represented and not because i want to argue with people. i see ascribing the medical model, just at a one to one comparison, as, at best, anthropomorphising animals and, at worst, minimising and further contributing to misunderstanding of mental illness (e.g. because that whole "functioning in multiple areas of life" doesn't apply in the same way at all). i'm sure dogs have been euthanised for behaving "psychotically" but that's another *******isation of the term, in my opinion.

i don't doubt that pets have a rich inner life and a rich emotional range. but taking our not-without-flaws model and applying it to dogs or other animals just confuses the issues further, i think. to me it feels dehumanising/whitewashing/dismissive ultimately when my diagnosis makes me feel alienated enough already.

much appreciation to anyone who read this and can see my perspective. even if you disagree.

cheers
-peri

Thanks for the thorough post - it's good to hear different perspectives.

My brain is working at a crappy level right now so I'm not sure how well I'll be able to reply....

I do think I'm getting at what you're saying about the nasty way people use "psychotic" and apply it to people/animals.

I guess I didn't think about all that when I wrote my OP.

In my OP, I was more genuinely wondering if dogs (or animals) *could* have these conditions (or the animal equivalent).

I was also thinking about how I am all for helping dogs - I know that sometimes for example they prescribe antidepressants for certain animals and that it helps.

I personally don't think humans are the only ones who can have mental health conditions. And I don't think I'm humanizing other animals by thinking it possible they could have mental health conditions, too.

I also think that right now it would be really difficult if not impossible to diagnose certain things in animals, but wondering if maybe in 100+ years from now we will shift our focus to include animals in the mental health field and there might be new scientific approaches to figuring out if they have a mental health condition. (Like advanced scans/MRIs that aren't bogus but actually work....detecting brain waves and patterns etc.)

But you bring up some good points - I definitely wouldn't want dogs to suffer being forced to be unable to move for example - I am so not for the negative and harmful things that take place in the mental health field. (Trust me on that - I got locked up against my will once because the authorities believed lies told about me and I was manipulated and thrown right into their hands. It was a very traumatizing experience and I suffer still because of it)

I think we'd have to definitely have an altered model of this when referring to animals. I used the terms I did in my OP because I didn't know what else to use. I don't want animals to suffer - I don't want them to be put through horrible things - I just want them to get attention and noticed too. Their mental health matters to me, and I don't think humans are special when it comes to having mental health issues.

Rereading some other parts you wrote - I'm sorry if I've hurt you in any way or have been dismissive. I'm not very good sometimes knowing if what I'm saying will cause others pain.

peripatetic
08-20-16, 11:15 PM
i appreciate the thoughtful reply, bella.

just to ease your concern, as i said in my original post i'm not "totally offended" and what i meant was that i'm not offended by those posts i've read here because i know they come from a good place. sorry if that wasn't clear. but you haven't wronged me.

i just strongly disagree. and i think applying the structure, the framework, is doing a disservice to both us and non human organisms because it doesn't permit the non human experience to be seen on its own value, it's only seen through the lens of a framework intended for people who are able to communicate, or not, in specific ways. i'm, again, not saying non human organisms can't have a range of emotional experience and rich inner life; i'm simply saying that using our current medical model mental illness framework to describe it not only diminishes the authenticity of its use for humans (something i already question enough), but fails to meet the non human on its own terms...it is like taking a framework that's intended to describe distance and saying that all descriptions of colour can be reduced to terms of distance. that may be true, it is true if you assign a third bridging means to quantify colour, perhaps in terms of spectrum placement, but is that really giving you an idea of what colour is? i say no.

cheers for reading and, like i said in my post, i was treading lightly because i didn't want folks to think i was hostile or totally offended or anything. i don't know how to state that more clearly, but you haven't wronged me deeply or anything. :)

mildadhd
08-24-16, 09:40 PM
Emotionally neurotypical, but not cognitively neurotypical?

G