Can A Dog Be Schizophrenic?

25 May 2016 | by | Posted in: Wag News

There are two opposing schools of thought regarding this question. One says,’ Schizophrenia in dogs is not as uncommon as one may think’. While the other says,’A dog can have any psychotic disorder apart from schizophrenia, and schizophrenia is unique to humans’.

We will evaluate both thoughts and in the end you decide whether you should see a vet psychiatrist or is it just a bad day for your pooch.



The believers:

Have you ever wondered why your dog is all fine one moment, relaxing with hi tongue out and immediately wants to lash out and satrt barking for no apparent reason. Hallucinate a threat that isn't there or get overly aggressive against his human or a guest. Some Veterinary Doctors believe that this can be because your dog is suffering from Schizophrenia.

Dogs who have these kind of mood swings are dangerous to themselves and those around them. Some even considering slaughtering such a non-stable dog. A dog is a member of the family and slaughtering a family member seems far-fetched and inhuman. The cause for such mood swings can be because of the fault of their owner or the previous owner of the dog. A dog excels in a sound , peaceful and calm environment. A home with unrest and violence can make the dog confused and jittery and lead to such problems. A dog is like a mirror to his human's emotions, what you give is what you get. 



The naysayers:

As per Dov Michaeli MD, PhD, writer about brain and human behaviour, believes that dogs can suffer from almost every psychiatric disorder, all but one, i.e. Schizophrenia. He believes that schizophrenia is unique to humans because of our ability to hope and to plan for medium and the future. The traits that identify us as human are also the reason why no other species can be diagnosed with this painful disorder. There have been instances of dogs suffering from separation anxiety or pehaps having mood swings in their new homes when they have been mistreated in the past by their previous humans, but there is no concrete evidence to suggest that dogs can be diagnosed with the psychotic disorder of Schizophrenia.


Your dog is a feeble creature, made of love and made for adoration. Love him and he will love you back, whether he can have schizophrenia or not is a secondary thing, if he can be schizophrenic, you should pay attention to the four legged family member. And if he can't be Schizophrenic, pay attention to your four legged family member, that's what family does, doesn't it?

A happy home makes a happy dog!



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