By: Courtney Kidd, LMSW SJS Staff Writer
PTSD is a debilitating disorder occurring as a reaction to a highly stressful event or prolonged exposure to stress. We see it more frequently than we’d like in our returning military service members. Those Veterans are not just the human personnel though, military service dogs have demonstrated instances of PTSD after deployment. With similar symptoms including: agitation, anxiety, fear of loud noises or sudden movements, aggression and restlessness, canine PTSD has impacted approximately 10% of service dogs in the military.
Treatment is less than ideal, with retraining, positive reinforcement and xanax being the only services offered to our four-legged Veterans, most won’t see a great recovery. Acknowledging the sacrifice that our non-human soldiers have given comes at a fitting time. The first National Monument to U.S. Working Dogs will be unveiled in January, paying tribute to our furry friends in uniform.