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k9mania 02-17-2012 03:11 AM

Helping dogs with PTSD
Buck is a chocolate Labrador who's just trying to ease into retirement.
The former military dog spends his days running around a fenced-in backyard and getting rubdowns from his "forever family." He has a new Labrador playmate named Emma.
Even so, he is a dog on the edge.
"If you've ever seen somebody get worked up, and they get a different look in their eyes," said Buck's father, Larry Sargent, " and they are there, but they are not there? Buck gets that look in his eyes."
The four-year-old lab was adopted by Larry and his wife, Lynette, in September. Buck served two tours of duty in Afghanistan as a bomb-sniffing dog. He came back with the story of his experience all over him.
Buck has Canine Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, also called Canine PTSD. It's a condition animal behaviorists with the Department of Defense started seeing in deployed military dogs in 2007. About a year ago, they hung a name on the signs.
"We're not saying that this is the same as PTSD in people," Dr. Walter Burghardt said. "But we're saying there are some similarities."
Burghardt, who is a civilian Army veterinarian, is the Defense Department's foremost authority on military animal behavior.

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