You love your pet, you really do. But there are times you wonder if, perhaps, he is a bit slow. I don’t mean not fast, but “slow” in a mental way. Is that even possible? can a dog be mentally retarded ?
Mental Difficulties 101
Actually, the answer, of course, is yes. Dogs can be subject to just as many mental problems as humans, and there can be just as many causes. Inbreeding can cause usually recessive genes to come to the fore. This is presumably the case in purebred animals bred by breeders primarily for looks rather than temperament and behavior. If any animal looks good in the competition arena, who cares if he is a bit slow in other areas.
Additionally, brain damage can occur at birth due to a particularly difficult delivery, or a lack of oxygen at the time.
It could also be caused by some unknown toxin to which the mother was exposed during her pregnancy. Or, a curious puppy who has consumed a toxin on his own, leading to deleterious effects on his mental capacity. This simply means that your puppy may be slow, but certainly not unloveable.
How To Tell If Your Pup Is Mentally Challenged
There are certain signs to look for if you suspect that your pet has certain mental challenges.
Does he exhibit a certain cognitive dullness, unable to recognize his surroundings? He might exhibit an inability to learn, or simply a greatly diminished capacity. He may never accept to come over when called or to sit on command, or merely take forever.
Does he stare off into nothingness, and you just know he is not contemplating the world political situation. Or even his new chewy toy. Just staring.
Is he calm to the point where he seems to be without emotion? Nothing moves him to joy, affection, or even fear. His behavior might not be typical of pups, and he probably will not play with you or his canine companions as you would expect him to. There is virtually no interaction at all as he seems to live in his own little world. And his head may tilt to one side. You think this makes him look cutely inquisitive, but it could be a proof of mental impairment.
Perhaps you have noticed him running or walking sideways at the same time. Surely this does not strike you as normal. Moreover he seems to forget just where to find his food dish, though you have never moved it from the accepted position.
And he could wander around, looking for a way out of the house, despite the fact that the door, like his food dish, has never been moved from its customary position.
One situation, which may seem a bit comical at first, but is certainly cause for concern, is seeing him walk into a corner and not know how to extricate himself. If you have seen such similar sign or symptom, sorry to say, but your pooch may, indeed, be mentally challenged.
This does not mean that he cannot live a complete doggy life, as long as he is able to run, play, remember, and accept a few basic commands.
But, aside from mental conditions arising from a damaged brain, your furry friend could be mentally challenged by certain psychological conditions.
You can be amused by a young puppy chasing his tail. This behavior is common. But if it continues, becoming almost constant, especially in older dogs, this could be a hint of obsessive-compulsive which one of many behavioural disorders (OCD).
Regularly chasing shadows is yet another proof of this disorder. And a dog is not a goat! Puppies will routinely chew on unacceptable items, but if your adult pet suddenly develops an appetite for your socks, it would be wise to verify other indications of OCD.
We’ve all, on occasion, been unnerved by our pet’s licking of certain body parts, but excessive licking of any body part is cause for concern. Not only can this cause damage to his skin, but it is also a symptom of excessive anxiety. Quite a few pets such as cats and pups become anxious when in unfamiliar surroundings, such as taking a walk in the city or visiting a crowded park. But if your hound becomes overly anxious, this is an indication of underlying not yet apparent disorders .
Some anxiety is relieved by his wearing a thundershirt or thundercap, but if these items now seem to have lost their effectiveness, it’s time to reconsider and view what’s going on with his mental health.
A dog who constantly sleeps, or one who exhibits a loss or decline in appetite, is presumably suffering from depression. Certain animals like canines, just like people, will mourn the loss of a companion, whether it is a canine playmate or lifemate, or an abandoned human buddy. And, just like us, they should adjust to the loss in time. If their sadness or depression seems excessive, this is a call that they need help.
We are all well aware that a wagging tail is an expression of happiness, and a tail that does not wag at all should be cause for concern about your furry friend’s mental health.
Many types of breed can suffer from the sprained tail syndrome, which is just what it sounds like. This condition will usually resolve itself within a few days, and the tail will be clicking back and forth like a metronome in no time at all.
But if it does not resolve itself, this is a sure teller of canine depression.
And, while we all know that certain breed of dogs have a reputation for being aggressive, we also know that with proper training such a breed can be controlled.
But sudden, uncharacteristic aggression might be related to your pet’s insecurity and should be dealt with. This is true for domestic dogs and cats .
As we can see, your dog’s intelligence or mental challenges are not that simple as you think. It goes far beyond retardation or being “dumb or crazy”. Having such thought is just an ignorance of knowledge .
In fact these troubles can be congenital in nature, or more psychological.
Some congenital cases can be dealt with by a visit to the vet. Psychological problems, while less physically debilitating, will require more specialized assistance.
A visit to your vet is the first step for a thorough evaluation. He might advise you on steps you can take on your own to assist you to help your challenged pet to overcome these great challenges.
The doctor can also advise you to consult a canine behaviorist or training to handle more difficult cases. You will have to be a patient parent in order to resolve these issues mentally but bear in mind that while you be inconvenienced by the problem, it is your pet who tend to be truly suffering a great deal and they have to live it while all they want is for it to be done .
Do dogs Have Down Syndrome?
Down syndrome is a human genetic disorder caused by an abnormal chromosome. Humans and other animals. although not looking similar , share many things , but are and look different , chromosomally speaking, in various ways.
Your challenged hound probably cannot exactly have downs syndrome per se, but often than not,can suffer from a number of conditions that can mimic the disorder, such as congenital hypothyroidism, pituitary dwarfism, congenital hydrocephalus, growth hormone deficiency, or portosystemic shunt. If you have any suspicions, contact your vet because it is important.
How about Being Autistic?
The jury is still out on this one, as there is still not enough research into what is, and is not, normal behavior for canines to assume . For a vet to continue to make a tentative diagnosis of autism your hound must continue to exhibit atypical, repetitive behaviors and show impaired social interaction for a longer period, both with humans and other challenged pets, but these symptoms can also be associated with other behavioral problems as well.
How To Know If You Have A Special Needs Animal?
A special needs animal is one who requires longer care and attention often above the norm. This includes a set of level such as heat sensitivity, die tary needs, daily medication dependency, fear reactivity/aggression, and other types of behavior and disability like high energy pups who can’t stop jumping at the door .
Do All dogs Have Williams Syndrome?
Research has shown that about the time when people started to domesticate wolves and wild species , a genetic mutation occurred in the wolf genome which is very interesting because it is similar to Williams Syndrome in humans.
Note : Williams Syndrome gives the face an elf-like appearance, cognitive disability and difficulties, and a sort of supposed pathological friendliness with the inclination to love everybody which not necessarily an issue .
Since wolves that were quickly and successfully domesticated were probability carries of this abnormal gene that causes williams syndrome , it is not absolutely wrong to jump points and assume that most domesticated pups today also be affected. rest assured, this is not a mis understanding .