When it comes to depression dogs and people have the same emotions but their "reasoning" is different.
What is meant by that?
When a person gets depressed, he or she has specific thoughts which are part of the problem, so much so that some psychologists claim that those thoughts are the actual reason for the depression.
The depressed person thinks that:
- he or she himself is bad
- the world around him is no good either
- the future is grim
On the emotional side the person describes experiencing unhappiness, sadness, hopelessness, guilt and sometimes fear with hopelessness being one of the main features. The behavior of a depressed individual is subdued, inactive, lethargic or agitated. The sufferer finds it very hard to do things, has lost interest in things which formerly made him happy. On the behavioral and on the emotional side people and dogs share the same kind of suffering when depressed. Both feel sad, subdued, have lost interest in their environment, find it exceedingly difficult to be cheerful and generally active.
Because of the very elaborated thought processes human beings go through it maybe very difficult to find the reasons behind their depression. This is different in a dog. Dogs are much less creatures of thought and much more creatures of emotions and activity.
When a dog becomes depressed because of emotional reasons it is mainly because of:
- problems in the family
- a depressed and unhappy owner
Both humans and canines may develop a depression when their diet does not provide the right nutrients or their thyroid gland is under active. The function of the thyroid gland should always be checked when someone, be it man or dog, shows signs of depression which last more than a few weeks.
Should your dog become less active and lethargic after a course of antibiotics his depression maybe caused by pathology of the mitochondria in his cells.
Those mitochondria live inside the cells where they provide all the power the body needs. Since they share some features with bacteria they too may get killed or otherwise harmed when you or your dog takes in certain kinds of antibiotics. This results in loss of physical power, the feeling of physical weakness and fatigue. Mitochondriopathy is an often overlooked condition in dogs and it may well be the reason for an apparently severe depression.
As dog owners we are well advised to limit the amount of antibiotics we give to our dogs. An otherwise healthy dog has an immune system which will be able to fend off most bugs and help the body heal - given enough time and the right nourishment. Antibiotics have their place in life threatening conditions but they should never be used as an easy fix because of the harm they may do to your dog's overall physiology.
Holistic vets provide excellent healthcare without causing damage to the body, healers are often able to enhance the body's self healing powers. Depression is on the rise in dogs as well as in people. Depression is mainly life style related which means it is not a turn of fate! The good news is that provided you take the right measures your dog may soon be well again!