Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is one of the toughest issues facing our troops, and another form is also affecting working dogs back from war or from handling other tragedies.
It's called K9 PTSD, and a local dog who looked for bodies after the September 11th attacks one of many who are living with it.
"They worked for days and days and days and didn't find what they were looking for," said 14-year old Baron's owner Jeff Petzke.
Baron, a red bone coon hound, is more traveled than most humans.
As a search and rescue dog, he's worked earthquakes, tsunamis and even 9/11.
"He tries to find live victims," explains Jeff.
And the tragic day that forever changed New York's skyline also changed Baron.
"It put a lot of dogs into depression," Jeff says.
He does what he can to help, as Baron's condition causes bizarre, stress-related behavior.
"He backs around things, like he would normally be in a covert or in a very tight spot," explains Jeff, "He'll stop and stare down the dark hallway, before he moves."
The military has brought attention to the condition, as about 300 dogs return from war each year, but K9 PTSD has only been on the radar for a few years now.
Anxiety and depression medications are used to treat it.
"We also work on managing the environment to minimize the types of things that might trigger episodes, and we look for ways to enrich that environment," said Bonnie Beaver, Texas A&M Animal Behavior Professor.
Music is one way Baron gets therapy.
It's always on in the house, but treatment for K9 PTSD has a long way to go.
There are only a handful of experts in Texas, but Jeff hopes more will soon come to Baron's rescue.
"I think they could tell us what he's going through or what other dogs are going through, just by watching him," Jeff said, "They could tell us what he's going through, and then we could react to that."
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