Mental Illnesses?

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portia
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Mental Illnesses?

Post by portia » Sat Feb 05, 2011 1:55 am

Ok, like the last question I asked on this board, this one isn't exactly easy to answer (well, as far as I know).

Can wolves have mental illnesses?
For example, have there been any cases where wolves have shown symptoms of depression or something like it? Or perhaps a wolf with tendancies to show behaviour similar to a bi-polar disorder?

Also, I know that this is far harder to answer and also more unlikely to be possible, what about signs of them imagining things that aren't there?

Once again it's just ideas simmering in my mind about what I could possibly make a story on the User Writings board and it is possible that my imagination has run wild this time :3
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-x-Zaroque-x-
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Re: Mental Illnesses?

Post by -x-Zaroque-x- » Sat Feb 05, 2011 3:44 am

Well, brain injuries are possible if out hunting, hurt their head and gave them an injury to the skull sort of thing, which would lead in death evuntually, since wolves couldn't live long without a good body to hunt, survive etc.
Also, I am not completely sure about mental issues with Wolves as in mental disorders. But I am sure it's possible if a Wolf was born with a diformity, since it has happened before, but mental issues? Wolves might have issues like that, but maybe not similar to a human Ilnesses.
I have a quote here of which is related to DOGS, so a Wolf might have a link to this, if not I apoligies!:

Dr Jory Smith wrote: One of the first features of mental illness in dogs is extreme fear, especially in a young puppy. Breeders often look for those signs in early temperament testing as young as 5 weeks of age.

Often, but not always, extreme fear is manifested out of inbreeding or back yard breeding where dogs are breed that are too closely related.

Mental illnesses in puppies manifested itself in other clinical signs such as an inability to communicate with other dogs and the world around them. Their learning abilities are clouded by irrational fears that, despite every effort on the part of professional trainers and behaviourists, only seem to increase and in many cases will become worse by the age of 3 to 4 years of age.

These puppies or dogs can cope reasonably well in very quiet and calm situations, but show excess fear at the slightest stimulation or sounds or activity.

Although attempts can be made to medicate these dogs, the results are often not very successful and the recourse for many owners, is to manage the environment to make it as calm and relaxed as possible.

Diet can play a role. in that these dogs need to be kept on a grain free diet , no dairy diet, with low or no carbohydrates. Since dogs are carnivores, all dogs benefit from a meat diet, preferably cooked to eliminate systemic bacterial infections. Dogs all on meat diets tend to be calmer as a whole.

Early work in confidence exercises and careful exposure to new stimulus have shown positive results with puppies or dogs who just are not 'wired right'. It requires a dedicated owner who understands the challenges these puppies or dogs face in a world full of stimulus.

Care also needs to be taken, as in all puppies or dogs, that vaccinations are only ever given if completely necessary as there is some evidence that vaccinosis can lead to, or even be the trigger that causes neurological disorders. Titer testing, a simple blood test to test for antibodies should always be done before any vaccination to ascertain if the vaccination is necessary.

Puppies exhibiting extreme fear should be examined by a veteranarian early and work should begin with them as early as possible on conditioning them to all manner of stimulation in a very gentle and consistant way beginning with human tough and sounds.

While it requires a lot of work on the part of a dedicated owner, these puppies or dogs can live a reasonably normal life as long as their special needs are met.
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portia
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Re: Mental Illnesses?

Post by portia » Fri Feb 11, 2011 10:16 pm

Thank you, Zaroque! It certainly was an interesting read even if it was about dogs.
And I do realise my question is hard to answer as it is next to impossible to truly understand what a wolf feels or thinks.
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Re: Mental Illnesses?

Post by April » Sat Feb 12, 2011 10:59 pm

OH definitely. Just like people. Especially if at birth their DNA had a problem and didn't turn out properly...they could definitely have mental illness
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Re: Mental Illnesses?

Post by Achak » Wed Feb 16, 2011 12:52 am

Some private studies have found that some wolves show hereditary and/or biologically induced mental illness. As said above, many wolves can get injured, like kicked in the head during elk hunts (hence the damage we take when we hunt in the game :P), but there are instances of captive-bred wolves showing signs of depression after loss of their mate or pup (the last one is usually only for females), or manic-depressive behavior in which they care obsessively for the dead individual even as the corpse begins to rot, becoming "hyper" and running back and forth with food, grooming the corpse, and so on. The grieving individuals show signs of depression at times, refusing to eat, losing weight, unusual hair loss and chewing on their own limbs.

Beyond that, there's not much evidence. There aren't a whole lot of studies on wild wolves, either.

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