Can Dogs Be Retarded Or Mentally Sick? What Are The Causes?

Can Dogs Be Retarded? Or Mentally Challenged? How can you tell if a dog is mentally challenged? Yes, dogs can be mentally ill. Moreover, they do not have immunity over it. Canines can have various mental problems and the causes for those problems are varied as well. Also, the effect of these mental issues can affect a dog in a different way.

Retardation does not affect only dogs. The brain is responsible for any animal’s intelligence. Therefore, any animal could suffer from mental illness or retardation.

Symptoms of a Mentally Challenged Dog

Dogs can show signs of anxiety or depression. In some cases, one symptom can collide with more than one cause of mental illness.

So, how do you know if your canine is mentally challenged? There are different signs that you can look for to confirm that your canine is experiencing 1 or more mental illnesses.

Can Dogs Be Retarded Or Mentally ill

1) Cerebellar Hypoplasia

Cerebellar hypoplasia is not a mental illness, but it is a motor disorder. It means that your dog’s cerebellum is not developed properly and it is creating complications in the movement. CH can be hereditary but sometimes there is an unknown cause.

Dogs with Cerebellar hypoplasia seem unsteady on the feel. Moreover, they may fall frequently and have strange gait. The disease has different severity levels. Also, there is no treatment for CH in canines, but many of them improve as they grow old.

2) Infections

Parvo, adenovirus, and rabies are infections that may lead to encephalitis in canines. This can impact the canine’s neurological system. Moreover, it causes degeneration and inflammation of brain cells. It can also set off an immune system reaction in opposition to the brain.

3) Separation Anxiety

Most canines can suffer from anxiety. It can occur when a canine is left alone at home. Because canines like attention, they get anxious when they are left alone. They start to panic and get aggressive by the time you come back. In the worst cases, separation anxiety can make your canine mentally ill.

4) Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome

Even if your canine is not affected by autism, there is a chance that your old dog gets Cognitive dysfunction syndrome. It is a condition where the brain starts changing due to age and it results in various problems like –

  • Loss of memory
  • Inability to recognize known people
  • Forgetting tricks

A canine affected by CDS will show different symptoms that you cannot immediately recognize as CDS. Also, you can mistake it as mental disability.

The most common symptoms of CDS include:

  • Disorientation
  • Deafness
  • Lack of appetite
  • Aggressiveness
  • inability to focus
  • Reduced eyesight
  • Loss of control of bowel and bladder

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

You have heard of humans suffering from Post-traumatic stress disorder. However, this draft from researchgate shows that your canine can also have it. Canines can have disturbing events in their life that stay in their memory.

These events may include attacks from dogs, previous abusive owners, etc. This can make them feel stressed and mentally ill till the episodes are forgotten.

1) Noise Phobia

Noise phobia can be triggered by specific sounds in dogs. There are various noise phobias like firework phobia, explosion phobia, and thunderstorm phobia. Some breeds are known for their confidence and courage, while other breeds are fearful. These breeds can get anxiety and develop phobias. It can trigger mental instability in dogs

2) Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

In dogs, Obsessive-compulsive disorder is a repetitive sequence that does not change and includes activities that do not have any purpose. The most common behaviours in Obsessive-Compulsive disorder include-

  • Pacing
  • Flank-sucking
  • Rhythmic barking
  • Chewing on objects
  • Self-mutilation
  • Excessive drinking
  • Circling
  • Acral lick dermatitis

OCD can have a genetic predisposition as well. For example, you can see flank sucking in Doberman pinschers, fly chasing in Mini Schnauzers, and Acral lick dermatitis in large or medium canines.

Dog Mental Retardation Test

If you want to keep your canine healthy, then you must know about various tests that a vet can perform on your canine. One of these tests is a dog mental retardation test.

A dog mental retardation test is used to evaluate your canine’s cognitive function. It is a test that determines if your dog has any health condition that affects his/her cognition. Your vet performs the test by doing a series of tasks that the canine needs to do.

These series of tasks evaluate your canine’s short-term memory, level of awareness, and ability to learn new things. If your canine is exhibiting signs of cognitive decline, then you must evaluate him with the help of the vet.

A dog mental retardation test is an effective way to find out if there is any health issue that needs to be addressed.

How do you know if your dog is mentally ill?

Canines with mental illness show behaviour problems like excessive barking, chewing, and aggression. These behaviours can be dangerous and cause harm to a greater extent.

Can animals be mentally challenged?

Most vets will agree that animals can suffer from different mental disorders. It is not the same way as humans do, but animals can be mentally challenged. For instance, mental illness in us is a result of chemical changes in the brain.

Can dogs have autism?

Autism can occur in canines, however, it is known as canine dysfunctional behaviour. It is an idiopathic condition and its cause is unknown.

What are the signs of an autistic dog?

Symptoms of autism in dogs include:

  • Unusual sensory responses
  • Walking in circle
  • Tail-chasing
  • Difficulty in adapting to new situations
  • Difficulty in changing daily routine

Can dogs Have ADHD?

It is possible that a dog may develop behavioural issues resembling ADHD in humans.

A new study reveals dogs can also develop a behavioural condition that resembles ADHD in humans. The University of Helsinki reveals that the dog’s gender, breed, age, and how much attention the owner pays to them is important for whether the dog develops ADHD condition

How can I test my dog’s intelligence?

Just place a treat under one container in front of your dog. Distract him/her and then allow him/her to find the treat. This way, you can find out how efficient your dog is in learning and retaining new information.

What does schizophrenia look like in dogs?

Here are the symptoms of Schizophrenia in dogs-

  • Negative mood
  • No response to external stimuli
  • Aggressive temperament
  • Scared or frightened
  • Attacking other animals and people

What Should You Do If Your Dog Is Mentally Challenged?

Canines who are mentally challenged need treatment according to the issue they are facing. These treatments do not guarantee that your canine will be recovered fully. However, they will assist your canine to have a good quality of life.

It is the same for canines that have neurological diseases. The main problem can be treated according to the condition of your dog.

It is also known as retardation in dogs. In this case, the best thing to do is to take your canine to the vet to understand the best possible treatment. There are many incidents of pet owners and their canines and all of them agree to one thing that their canine is the sweetest and best companion they have ever had.

Final words

Yes, canines can be retarded or mentally ill. Just like us, canines have various mental abilities. Some canines are very intelligent and others are slower to understand things. Mentally ill canines are the result of illnesses, injuries and genetic defects. They find it difficult to learn new tricks, socialising, and housetraining.

I hope you enjoyed the article. I will be back soon with more interesting and informative pieces of writing. Till then, stay connected. Thank you.