Haiti rescue dogs suffer depression

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Haiti rescue dogs suffer depression

Postby Innuendoes » Wed Apr 28, 2010 7:02 am

Bringing back an old discussion from the old board - I saw a special on TV last week about dogs sent to Haiti to do resue work and during the program, they showed the dogs after a few days of hunting for bodies. The dogs were becoming more and more depressed at finding only dead bodies and no one alive. They would periodically take the dogs to schools or nurseries and let them play with the children because it lifted their morale and their depression lessened while they were there. So this was more or less a therapy for the dogs to allow them to recover somewhat before they either had to go back out to do more searches or be sent back home.

Haiti rescue dogs suffer depression

Dogs just like human beings, do suffer from the occasional bout of depression. This is characterized by most of the same symptoms as humans: moping, lethargy, loss of appetite, weight loss, a chemical imbalance.

According to a member of one of the the South African teams that just returned from Haiti, the rescue dogs used in search-and-rescue operations became depressed by the devastation they witnesses in the aftermath of the 7.0 quake. "One of the challenges was the dogs did get depression...," Mark Louw told a media briefing by the Gift of the Givers (GotG) - a local disaster relief organization - in Johannesburg on Monday. He explained that while the dogs did feel rewarded whenever someone was found alive this seldom happened.

South African rescue teams working in Haiti will themselves need trauma counseling when they return home according to GotG which has sent four teams to the disaster area. The teams assisted in rescuing many Haitians including a 60-year old woman who was pulled out alive from a destroyed hospital in Port au Prince.

In one case they had to pull out hundreds of bodies from a hospital in order to make it operational. The effects thereof has left team members physically and emotionally drained. The South African team of which Mark Louw was a member linked up with a Mexican organization which assisted them with logistics, transport and accommodation -- which was tents and sleeping bags on the cement floor of an old building.

They spoke of their terrible time in Haiti : "Even the poorest of the poor South Africans have something to be grateful for, there's nothing left in that country," said member of the medical team Andre Keyser. "When you starting treating people, especially the children, there are no more smiles. All their smiles are gone," said Keyser as he described a general feeling of depression among the Haitian people. "It's almost as if they are dead inside."

Keyser called on South Africans to pray for Haiti at the briefing which was also attended by North West premier Maureen Modiselle who was there to welcome home the emergency medical personnel team who accompanied the GotG as most were from the province.The message from Haiti's experience is that South Africa is blessed to be facing our problems. They could be a million times worse.

http://www.hbcprotocols.com/haiti-rescu ... ssion.html
 
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Re: Haiti rescue dogs suffer depression

Postby Kes » Wed Apr 28, 2010 9:35 am

Is there nothing they could give the dogs to cheer them up? A bone, perhaps?

Oh, judging by what they are looking for, that would probably depress them even more.
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Re: Haiti rescue dogs suffer depression

Postby AutumnGirlLybbie » Wed Apr 28, 2010 2:28 pm

Poor dogs. I know what they do is so important and we need them to do it. I just wish there was another way.
 
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Re: Haiti rescue dogs suffer depression

Postby Innuendoes » Thu Apr 29, 2010 2:59 am

Yes, poor dogs. Or any other animal that might be used for such a purpose. I'm not aware of any other species but then there may be?

Anyway, I was pointing out that animals can and do become depressed. There was a topic on the old board where many people said that animals don't have emotions like humans do and that we can't even tell if an animal is depressed, let alone what it's feeling, thinking, etc. When I saw the program on tv, it spaked my intereste so I watched it. :)
 
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Re: Haiti rescue dogs suffer depression

Postby AutumnGirlLybbie » Thu Apr 29, 2010 11:29 am

What do you mean we can't tell when an animal is depressed? Of course we can. When they stop eating and sleep all the time and there is nothing physically wrong with them. Same for any human.
 
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Re: Haiti rescue dogs suffer depression

Postby Delilah » Thu Apr 29, 2010 11:38 am

Just for the record, I have never contested that dogs can and do suffer from depression. I remember that big blowout argument. I just can't remember if that particular subject came up. :P
 
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Re: Haiti rescue dogs suffer depression

Postby Belle Leisha » Thu Apr 29, 2010 11:42 am

That wasn't really the issue in the other thread, we were discussing the anthropomorphism involved in using human terms (on account of we don't have any others!) to describe other animals. I.e, dog depression is not the same as human depression, simply because that's what we use to describe a human condition, being humans, we have no idea how the same mechanism works in other species as they don't us. We recognise similarly human traits, like the example of not eating and seeming lethargic. As the limited research on the subject suggests no other species can "mentally time travel" like we do, human depression and other individual emotions are useful ways to describe what we observe in animals, rather than an accurate description. It's just a practical application of the "if a lion could speak, we wouldn't understand him", idea.

In this case, however, that is completely irrelevant. The issue here is the dogs suffering, their health being threatened because of what they were being used for, regardless of what cognitive process was involved. It's not altered at all by the fact that using our own terms is intentionally anthopomorphic. Plus with depression, if you're just referring to a chemical imbalance and not the specific feeling that it involves to humans, then it's not an emotion so again, not what was being discussed in the old topic.

Very sad to see, I know my dog gets restless and grouchy if all of the family aren't at home, it's not surprising rescue dogs were disturbed by fallen buildings, blood, etc.
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Re: Haiti rescue dogs suffer depression

Postby AutumnGirlLybbie » Thu Apr 29, 2010 1:11 pm

You guys over think things too much.
 
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Re: Haiti rescue dogs suffer depression

Postby Belle Leisha » Thu Apr 29, 2010 2:00 pm

AutumnGirlLybbie wrote:You guys over think things too much.


Just explaining why despite the reference to that mess of an old thread, there's no need for a similar argument here, given it's two different issues.
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Re: Haiti rescue dogs suffer depression

Postby AutumnGirlLybbie » Thu Apr 29, 2010 3:43 pm

Belle Leisha wrote:
AutumnGirlLybbie wrote:You guys over think things too much.


Just explaining why despite the reference to that mess of an old thread, there's no need for a similar argument here, given it's two different issues.


I didn't see the old thread but I assume the issue was when people attach human emotions to animals. "oh my dog was so frightened by the storm because he thought the thunder was giant stomping feet" or something like that (lame example I know) But all it all means is that people enjoy their pets and see them as part of the family. Some things just shouldn't be over thought.
There is this really good show on cable here in the States called the Dog Wisperer. This guy travels the country and sometimes the world helping people with dogs who they can't control or have other issues. I don't even have a dog at the moment but this guy fascinates me. I see these people, they have these dogs that they can't control and they try all these things, treats, yell at 'em, seperate them from everyone else in the house, etc.. This guy walks in, makes some clicking noises with his mouth and the dog suddenly has a major personality adjustment! LOL!
Hey I bet this guy could help these dogs!! Someone should email him!
 
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Re: Haiti rescue dogs suffer depression

Postby Belle Leisha » Thu Apr 29, 2010 4:01 pm

I've seen the dog whisperer, certainly interesting.

Well I don't know about being over thought, but in the context of the old thread it was a discussion about cognitive abilites of other species so to be talking about the attaching of human emotions to animals was just the right amount of thought. :P

I think the problem was that people seemed to assume by saying animals and humans emotions are different you were somehow denying the relevance of recognising things like fear in pets, which wasn't true at all, I have a dog who is very much a "family member" in the soppy pet owners sense, and two Guinea Pigs managing a similar feat :lol:, so I'm unlikely to be criticising it or suggesting animals don't have feelings. That they don't have human feelings is..well pretty obvious really, nothing but humans have human anything!. Humans don't feel or experience anything none human either, that was the point trying to be made.

In this case thought, dogs being "depressed" by the Haiti rescue op is less about the semantics of dog depression and more about the dogs suffering for a human rescue operation. Very sad indeed.
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Re: Haiti rescue dogs suffer depression

Postby Innuendoes » Thu Apr 29, 2010 7:31 pm

Delilah wrote:Just for the record, I have never contested that dogs can and do suffer from depression. I remember that big blowout argument. I just can't remember if that particular subject came up. :P


I don't think rescue dogs came up but I do believe depression did. Of course, several people informed me I was wrong and that dogs can't feel depression or if they do, it's not the same depression a human feels. Then the word anthropomorphism was used about 759 times in the same thread. lol
 
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Re: Haiti rescue dogs suffer depression

Postby Belle Leisha » Thu Apr 29, 2010 7:45 pm

Well I'm glad I didn't explain that for absolutely no reason apparently. :lol:

Inny, you could equally say that you continually said the people arguing against you were wrong too, so let's not deliberately try to restart an old row, shall we.
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Re: Haiti rescue dogs suffer depression

Postby Innuendoes » Thu Apr 29, 2010 8:40 pm

Belle Leisha wrote:Well I'm glad I didn't explain that for absolutely no reason apparently. :lol:

Inny, you could equally say that you continually said the people arguing against you were wrong too, so let's not deliberately try to restart an old row, shall we.
I'm not trying to start anything and I am not backing down and saying you were right and I was wrong. Let the cards fall where they may.
 
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Re: Haiti rescue dogs suffer depression

Postby Belle Leisha » Thu Apr 29, 2010 8:46 pm

I didn't ask you do say I was right, I certainly haven't said you were wrong and I'm willing to bet you don't actually remember what I argued in that debate! :lol: You just do continually keep mentioning that old thread which was a ridiculous, unreasonable mess, depsite the fact the two subjects are completely different. Absolutely let the cards fall where they may, however there's nothing to disagree with here unless anyone thinks it's a good thing that dogs are suffering in the Haiti rescue mission which I highly doubt.
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