Can A Dog Have Mental Illness?

we have nine different kind of dogs in our house.and i think one of them mao tse (a chinese sharpei)is autistic.he is very different from other dogs.he does'nt play with them does'nt join the group every time we throw ball he just watch the others enjoying.when we are feeding him he runs away from food and them comes back and eat it when no ones watching but before he eats it he turns three times like a ritual.this are just few of his strange behaviors.we asked a vet about this but he just said sharpeis are just misunderstood but i think he is autistic!
vittoria77 vittoria77
22-25, F
4 Responses Sep 23, 2012

I have a Chinese sharpei great pyranise mix, trust me the sharpei are crazy dogs and mine does not normally play ball either, my lab is addicted to his tennis balls and my sharpei could care less about it. the only thing she wants to play with is chewing his tail to stop him. she wants a lot of attention from us and will push the lab out of the way to get some, i think in your case he would just prefer to be an only dog as mine would. mine only gets along with my other dog as she was raised with him. all dogs have their crazy behaviors. my lab will only lay down to eat. so the turning sounds like his way of eating. best of luck. and i must say you are a very loving person to have so may dogs in your home.

Not all dogs are as "social"; as others. I have had various breeds of dogs, most recently just pits and a rottie but I had a blue Heeler that wanted nothing to do with other dogs. He would want to boss them around but that was it. He was aggressive and a general pain in the ***. He was also very smart and I'm thinking that is part of your problem with your dog. Firstly, JMO but you should get yourself educated with exactly what breed of dog he is and take it from there. I notice something that benefits my dogs greatly is that they each get private time with me as well as group time. Every dog has his day so to speak. I'd venture to guess that the turning before the dog eats means he is bored, so he could be developing an odd behavior because of it. All I know for sure is thru my personal experiences I have learned that not all dogs are created equal and he either isn't pack oriented or he just needs something to do with his brain!!!!

thank you very much for your reply and i would really consider that advise!im gona take him to another vet

Animals can have "mental" illness. Many "mental" illnesses can be caused by an injury, imbalanced hormones, underlying physical problem, stress, etc... I personally would consider autism a physical illness because it's something that one is born with. I really only consider "mental" illness to be something that would be brought on by only psychological factors and have no basis on any kind of physical defect. So unless your dog had been abused or something I would find it highly unlikely that it would have an entirely mental problem. I once had a rat that had epilepsy. Some would consider that a mental illness since it is based in the brain, but I would consider that a physical illness. They do now make anti-anxiety medicine for animals as well as supplements that have anti-anxiety properties. You should get a second opinion from another vet. I once had a cat that had a dirty chin, I took it to the vet and he said it was nothing, I didn't think so, I took him to another vet and they determined that he had acne on his chin as a result of the way he was eating his food, which was a result of his gums being irritated because his teeth needed to be cleaned. I scheduled the cleaning operation and took the cat home, shaved all the fur off under his chin and took a close look myself and saw that it did indeed look exactly like bad acne, cleared completely after the teeth cleaning. Never hesitate to go to another vet and get a second opinion if something doesn't seem right.