Military Working Dogs Get PTSD, Too (Video)


Military Dog with Doggles

Members of the military have been plagued with post-traumatic stress disorder for as long as there has been war. After World War I, it was called "Shell Shock." Veterans of battle in WWII were told they had "Combat Fatigue." Now, psychologists call the mental trauma caused by battle post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD. And, it turns out, humans aren't the only ones who suffer from it.

Lt. Col. Richard A. Vargus, chief of the law enforcement branch at CENTCOM, tells USA Today that as more military working dogs are sent into battle, an increasing number of the four-legged warriors will suffer the consequences:

Military working dogs with PTSD can exhibit behaviors like hiding, cowering, or even biting their handlers. Vargus says dogs with the most severe PTSD are sent to the Holland Military Working Dog Hospital at Lackland Air Force Base in Texas, where they may undergo rehabilitative therapy.

Vargus says right now, there are roughly 725 military working dog teams deployed overseas, with the vast majority of those teams in Afghanistan. Many of these dogs are charged with detecting IEDs with their strong sense of smell.

The Army posted this video that shows the Holland Military Working Dog Hospital in action. It's pretty amazing what they do there. Take a look:

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