PTSD hos hund : en enkätstudie om psykiskt trauma hos hund

Detta är en Magister-uppsats från SLU/Dept. of Animal Environment and Health

Sammanfattning: Canine post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a subject in need of scientific attention, as dogs suffer greatly from traumatisation. Previous animal studies prove the disorder not only to be a human phenomenon. This study investigates canine symptoms of PTSD, and if the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorder 5th edition (DSM-V) can be used as a guideline when diagnosing dogs. Another aim was to research the characteristics of the traumatising incidents, the so called stressor. Furthermore, sleep disturbance and gastrointestinal issues were studied as well as the dog owners’ perception on the effectiveness of training methods and the use of punishment. Data was collected via an online questionnaire. The results are based on 57 cases of dogs, the dog owners state their dogs to have experienced a potentially traumatising incident, subsequently developing symptoms such as; increased reactivity, vigilance, self-destructive behaviour, sleep disturbance, startle responses, fear induced behaviours, general stress symptoms, avoidance, withdrawal, avoidance of triggers and aggression. Both active and passive coping strategies were detected. These symptoms resemble the key criteria required when diagnosing PTSD in humans. The traumatising experiences catalysing PTSD symptoms in dogs had humans as a common denominator; harsh handling, domineering training attempts, attacks, abuse and/or neglect. Being attacked by other dogs, accidents and experience of fireworks were other recurrent incidents. In regards of training, tattling and BAT were perceived effective and very effective by the dog owners. Methods such as positive punishment and CAT were often perceived as ineffective or even stated to have a bad effect. The reported use of punishment, attempted to control extrovert symptoms, was alarming and strongly advised against when dealing with dogs in general, and in PTSD dogs in particular, since harsh handling and domineering was a common stated stressor leading to the onset of PTSD. The suffering experienced by PTSD dogs is extensive and in many cases easy to prevent. The strongest preventive tool being the understanding of dogs´ emotional life.

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