This dog behavior is more serious than you think, because obsessive-compulsive disorder in dogs can cause them to hurt themselves. Compulsive behaviors and manners in dogs are among the most common behavioral disorders in pets. They consist of pathological patterns in which the animal loses the ability to control its emotions, which are instead expressed through specific compulsive behaviors.
This lack of control is usually temporary, but in more severe cases it can be for several hours. This is precisely why this behavior poses a risk to the animal’s physical and emotional health.
As if that were not enough, the animal can even go so far as to injure itself. When these seizures take place , the animal moves so feverishly that it unfortunately hurts without noticing it. The dog usually refuses to stop, even though it feels pain.
Most dogs that are diagnosed with obsessive-compulsive disorder lick their tail compulsively. Others gnaw intensely on certain parts of the body, while others have a tendency to chase their tails over and over again.
Causes of obsessive-compulsive disorder and mannerisms in dogs
The development of obsessive-compulsive behavior in dogs is usually associated with a background of physical and emotional abuse. Therefore , it often occurs in dogs that have been abandoned or born on the street. However, obsessive-compulsive disorder can also occur due to great anxiety, lack of stimulation and confinement for a long time. Furthermore, animals that experience intense pain may develop certain obsessive-compulsive behaviors.
Many studies show that diseases that affect the animal’s sensory functions can cause obsessive-compulsive disorder in dogs.
How to detect compulsive disorders in dogs at an early stage
Diagnosing mannerisms and obsessive-compulsive disorder in dogs is important to prevent self-destructive behaviors. It is therefore necessary for dog owners to be aware of whether there are signs of compulsive behavior in their animals.
In general, the first symptoms of obsessive-compulsive disorder in dogs are an intensification of “dog behavior”. It is important to understand that certain forms of repetition are characteristic of the dog’s behavior. However, when these behaviors become pathological or too intense, they can put the animal’s health at risk.
If a dog starts barking, digging, licking, chasing its tail or scratching itself, it is best to go to the vet immediately. The affected animal often develops several symptoms of separation anxiety. This includes chewing on – or destroying – household items, clothing or shoes, as well as urinating and defecating in unusual places.
Symptoms of advanced obsessive-compulsive disorder and mannerisms in dogs
In more severe cases, ie when a compulsive syndrome is detected at a later stage, the dog will usually show the following symptoms:
- Injuries and wounds to the body (mainly on the tail and legs.)
- Feverly bites or licks their injuries or wounds.
- Bleeding on the legs or tail, usually due to self-destructive behavior.
- Hair loss or changes in the coat.
- Changes in the animal’s normal behavior, such as: aggression, fright, hiding, isolation, etc.
- Avoid physical contact with humans and animals.
How to treat obsessive-compulsive disorder and manners in dogs
Although they embody the symptoms in a very obvious way, obsessive-compulsive disorder and mannerisms have a psychological origin in dogs. The treatment of these problems should include increased attention to the animal’s physical body but above all to its mind.
You need to understand that a dog with obsessive-compulsive disorder experiences an emotional imbalance that is reflected in its behavior. These dogs need a lot of patience and commitment from their owners to recover. As a dog owner, you need to be prepared to make changes in your best friend’s environment and review his or her lifestyle.
Most animals affected by these conditions must undergo a training and socialization process to help them strengthen their self-confidence. Letting an experienced dog trainer take over the animal’s training is a good idea.
If the animal has already caused wounds and other injuries, it is also important to sterilize them and help them heal. The animals may be prescribed antibiotics and / or other appropriate medications depending on the location of the wound.
Although it seems obvious, it is worth mentioning that a veterinarian is the only one who is authorized to recommend treatments for animals. You need to approach these types of situations with great care as they undeniably affect the health of the animal.
Can obsessive-compulsive disorder be prevented in dogs?
These are some of the most effective ways to avoid manners and obsessive-compulsive disorder in dogs:
- Offer the animal a healthy and positive environment.
- Never use physical or emotional force to punish the dog.
- Make sure that the animal receives appropriate preventive medicine. This means: recurring veterinary checks, deworming, vaccinations, etc.
- Give it a balanced diet; Avoid excessive calories or foods that provide too much energy.
- Make sure your dog performs regular physical activity to reduce the animal’s tension, stress and / or anxiety.
- Make sure that the dog undergoes a proper socialization process, preferably performed during the first eight months of life.