When I first told my
friend that my Corgi suffers bouts of depression, they find it hard to
believe. Like humans, dogs do occasionally suffer from depression. They
get lethargic, stop eating, and drink only minimal amounts of water,
stop wanting to play, and even lose drastic amounts of weight. My Corgi
is such a case. He caught us totally unaware. He went on and on like
this for 2 weeks before we surrendered and brought him to the vet. The
vet ruled out all physical problems and told us that Corgi is a little
bit "depressed". We were shocked to learn that dogs do suffer from
depression! However, the minute he stepped out of the veterinary, he
became his old self again.
cause this in pets?
Grief, change of
scenery, or sometimes it is a chemical imbalance, needing
medication to correct it. In my Corgi's case, it resulted from a sudden
action from my dad. He accidentally pressed hard onto his hands when he
rolled over in his sleep. And Corgi happens to be sleeping besides him.
From then, Corgi recoiled into his own protective world for two weeks!
Despite all the persuasion and treats, he refused to step out of his
shell. My whole family was worried sick for him.
As a pet owner, how
do you fight an invisible, inner enemy? The first step is recognizing
the problem. You've ruled out all the possible physical causes with
help from your veterinarian, now it is time to start looking at the
Has your pet
recently lost a friend? Perhaps a neighbourhood dog he played with is
gone, or perhaps he missed someone close in the family, out on
vacation? My sister's dog, Ebby was restless for a week when she was
away for holidays. He slept beneath my bed the entire week and only
came out for his meals.
Losing a playmate,
especially an in-home playmate is often a reason for depression. When
my stray dog, Casper was killed in a car accident 3 years ago, my old
dog, Gal saw us crying and holding him. She became so quiet and still
that I could almost feel the sadness in her. We may not notice it very
often, but pets do grieve, and in some cases, especially concerning a
violent death or just a disappearance, dogs can grieve to a dangerous
point, and it can be very hard to bring them out of it.
How do you tell that
something is bothering your dog? He is slower in response or appears to
lose interest and initiative. If you notice this is happening to your
pet, do something now and start to make life fun for him again. Ask
your vet about Anti-depressants available as well. Depression if left
too long could very well turn into a life-threatening physical
Be sure to have all
physical aspects of your dog's health checked out by a veterinarian
first. Pain is frequently the cause of moodiness and irritability in a
normally pleasant pet, but often locating the source of discomfort
requires veterinary help, and often x-rays. Those blood tests your vet
mentioned could be crucial in determining the problem.
bring your dog out of depression
Once you and your
vet have determined that depression is the cause, there are a few
options. One is medicated therapy. This could be veterinarian
An increase in your activity
level or at least your dog's will also likely be called for.
In cases of grief, arrange play dates with your dogs and with other
dogs may be a good way to draw him into the happy mood again.
If you are ready,
you may even consider getting another dog.
Depression can be
both a physical and mental cause. Taking care of your dog's well-being
involves commitment to go through with him, his life's up and downs,
just like a human companion. A dog is a healthy dog! Help him embark on
a healthy body and mind and allow him to live longer through well
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Remember, a happy
dog bring happiness to owner and whole family!