Do Animals Suffer From PTSD?

BWC2 has long observed that our rescued horses exhibit behavioral traits similar to those of our veterans and first responders suffering from PTSD. For both the animals and the humans, their trigger can be the slightest touch, sight or sound. 

A study published by the University of Western Ontario demonstrates what we have observed for years. Fear of predators leaves long lasting changes in the brains of wild animals, leading to changes in behavior similar to those seen in Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in humans. 

The researchers were able to prove for the first time that the changes in a wild animal’s brain during the ‘fight or flight’ response actually leave traces in the brain long after the immediate response. Interestingly enough, biomedical researchers have begun suggesting that PTSD is a natural outcome of our having inherited a portion of the human brain that prioritizes survival over the quality of life, what some people refer to as the reptilian brain.  

Researchers have also noted that predators do not necessarily have to kill their prey to affect the overall population. Just the trauma brought on by fear changes the animals’ behavior.

Read the entire article in ScienceDaily

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