The terrible experiences of war often stay with soldiers long after they leave the battlefield. Many exsoldiers develop a condition called post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Sufferers experience nightly bad dreams and panic attacks and may become moody, jumpy, or depressed. But it's not just human soldiers who suffer from PTSD. Dogs used by the military suffer too.
Because of their sensitive noses and excellent instincts, dogs are being used more and more by the military. They are used to find bombs, track down enemy fighters, and clear buildings of dangers before human soldiers enter. They're excellent soldiers, well-trained and disciplined, following orders without question. But dogs are also very emotional animals, who form strong relationships with the soldiers they serve beside.
During their tours of duty, military dogs experience the same types of traumatic events as regular soldiers. Experiences such as losing a fellow soldier, getting wounded, or coming under heavy fire cause these brave animals great stress. And they bring the emotional scars of these experiences home with them when their duty is done.
The treatment for these dogs is, again, similar to that for humans. Dogs with mild PTSD can be cured with a period of rest. More serious cases require drugs to help them stay calm. Some dogs, unfortunately, never fully recover and must be re-homed with loving families who understand their condition.
It's sad that the wars of men hurt not only people, but also man's best friend.