WHAT IS AUTISM?
In humans, the term autism or autism spectrum disorder (ASD) refers to a wide range of problems characterized by problems with social skills such as speech, verbal communication, and repetitive behavior. Scientists know that there are many different forms of autism in humans, most affected by a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Because autism is a spectrum disorder, the experiences will not be the same for everyone, and each represents a set of challenges and strengths. You can expect the same to apply to dogs.
CAN DOGS “GET” AUTISM?
As autism research develops, veterinarians and dog owners around the world are becoming increasingly aware of how autism affects relationships between people and their pets. The question of whether dogs can really have autism is being asked more and more often. Old-fashioned scientists still claim that dogs cannot have autism, but modern research shows that there are dogs that exhibit behaviors similar to people diagnosed with autism. The most obvious sign; Repetitive behavior can also be a major sign that your dog may be autistic.
Veterinarians and scientists discussed the onset of autism-like symptoms in dogs as early as 1966. The American College of Veterinary Behavior reported in 2015 on recurrent tail behavior in bull terriers and a possible link to autism. The research was conducted to find a specific gene responsible for the exhausting behavior of the breed, such as forcibly chasing the tail to the point where they chew their own tails. The study identified specific DNA by analyzing the characteristics of bull terriers 132; 55 tail chases and 77 no tail chases. The researchers concluded that tail chasing occurs primarily in men associated with trance-like behavior and episodes of aggression. In addition to repetitive tail chasing behavior, some dogs also have phobias. This led this study to conclude that tail chasing can be a canine form of autism.
Following the results, the researchers began monitoring neurological markers in dogs that were extremely similar to autism in humans. This research has also led to the use of certain serotonin reuptake inhibitors to help and reduce compulsive behavior in humans and pets. It has also led to the development of a new drug for CSOs that can be used in both humans and dogs.
Some researchers believe that autism may be caused by a lack of mirror neurons in a dog’s brain. Because this condition is considered congenital, dogs cannot be suddenly “infected” with autism, which is something they endure from birth. Recent research has shown that puppies can be born with autism if their parents are exposed to unnecessary vaccinations or various chemicals.
HOW DOES AUTISM WORK DOGS?
Most dogs with autism will show repetitive behaviors, such as tail chasing, which is perhaps one of the most dominant symptoms. Some dogs become aggressive during the episode, others withdraw. Some dogs show such mild symptoms that you don’t even notice them.
Similarities in autism in dogs B. Autism in humans
There are many similarities in which autism in dogs is similar to autism in humans, including, but not limited to:
- Repetitive behavior
- Both humans and dogs show significant problems in social interaction.
- Unwillingness to adapt to any changes.
- Not showing feelings
DIFFERENCES IN AUTISM IN DOGS V. AUTISM IN PEOPLE
There seems to be very little difference in the point of view of behavior. The main difference is that a person’s autism is widespread with a series of symptoms called the autism spectrum, which allows the healthcare professional to make an accurate diagnosis. There is no spectrum that can help a veterinarian diagnose autism in dogs, and it is still unclear whether dogs can actually have autism.
What should you do if you suspect your dog has autism?
You should take your dog to a veterinarian for a diagnosis if you suspect your dog may have autism or any other condition. Your vet will examine your dog and will most likely perform a series of tests. In addition to performing the tests, tell your veterinarian if your dog has any of the following symptoms:
- Dysfunctional interactions with you or other pets.
- Repetition of actions / behaviors.
- Unwillingness to adapt to any changes.
- Not showing feelings.
Diagnosis is the most difficult aspect of autism in dogs due to the very limited amount of research and awareness. Until serious research is done, diagnosing dogs with this condition is not an easy procedure. Our understanding of typical and atypical dog behavior is extremely limited. It is also important to note that many autism symptoms can mimic other physical and emotional states. For an accurate diagnosis of autism, your dog must show some of the main signs, such as repetitive behavior and difficulty interacting socially with people or dogs.
My dog has autism. How can I treat this condition?
- Accept reality – Accept that your dog will have this condition for the rest of his life, know that there is no cure for it and try to find ways to reduce the symptoms and help your dog.
- Keep a diary – It is very useful if you keep a diary of when and what your dog is doing to establish patterns and repetitive behaviors. A log can also help identify triggers for a particular behavior. What happened before and after the behavior? What does behavior seem to make worse or better?
- Veterinary assessment – Take your dog to the vet and talk about your problems. You should be as detailed as possible. The magazine comes in really handy here. Your veterinarian may know a therapist who can work with your dog to reduce symptoms. They may also prescribe medication.
- Adapt your life to the needs of your dogs – For example, if going outside when it is busy with a lot of people, the dog blushes, take the dog when it is not busy, use a stroller until you come to a remote area with fewer people, etc.
- Avoid big changes – even if the changes seem small, such as rearranging furniture or changing daily routines.
- You love hard, you love unconditionally – Your dog may not show the same affection for you, despite the fact that you give him a lot of love every day. Love is the best medicine and can make your dog feel safe.
If you have read this guide and still have questions about autism in dogs, write us a comment or question and we will do our best to answer your questions.