Military Bomb Sniffing Dog Named ‘Gina’ Diagnosed With PTSD

August 5th, 2010 - 1:57 am ICT by Angela Kaye Mason  

Aug 4 (THAINDIAN NEWS) “Gina” the bomb sniffing canine is a very well trained United States military dog which served six months in Iraq was recently diagnosed, by a military veterinarian, as having PTSD, or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Recently there has been more and more dogs coming home from Iraq and Afghanistan who have been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder. Gina is being treated after it was noticed that after she came home from the war, she would not enter rooms.

The poor animal becomes very distressed when she goes inside, and will tuck her tail between her legs, and crouch, trembling and visibly scared on the floor. She will scramble to hide under furniture to avoid people, when she was once a very human-friendly dog.

Gina was sent to Iraq at the age of 2 years to search homes there, and would often hear loud explosions. She was also a part of a convoy which was bombed. “She was terrified of everybody and it was obviously a condition that led her down that road,” said Master Sgt. Eric Haynes, who was the kennel master at Peterson Air Force Base.

The head over the animal behaviour program at Tuft’s University’s Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, Nicholas Dodman says that dogs can easily get a type of PTSD which is very similar to the disorder in humans. “Many vets don’t like to diagnose the condition to animals because they feel it degrades military personnel,” he added.

Gina has been home for a year, and has been recovering after therapy. She is being slowly introduced back into military life. Haynes stated, “While I have worked with many dogs affected by war, Gina has been the worst,” and added that he hopes she will recover but is not sure that will happen. “Anytime someone has that much fear about anything, then obviously it will be hard just to get it fixed,” he explained.

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