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PostHeaderIcon Autism And Dogs l Can My Dog Really Be Austistic

We hear a lot about autism and children but dogs and autism is most likely more rare. Because of this lack of awareness on this subject I wanted to write this post.

A friend of mine has a dog whom we believe has autism. This wasn’t a diagnose that any vet gave this dog but one that we both determined after much time and research.  She took her dog to trainers and vets complaining of her dog’s  dysfunctional habits and all the vet suggested was to take her to an animal behaviorist.

This dog was a completely normal dog when they adopted her. I can attest to this fact because as her pet sitter I have many videos of her playing to prove this fact. Her only real issue then was she didn’t want to walk on a leash.

Then it seemed overnight she changed. When she came over she would want to go directly to the furthest point in my house and lay down and stay there all day. She would seek seclusion where ever she was. I tried to put up a gate to force her with other dogs and me. She would try to climb behind the tv and wanted no part of socializing.

She would always be looking up at the ceiling as if something was there.
When she went outside she would do the same thing that she did inside. She would find the furthest point in my yard from back door and stay there. It could be 10 degrees and she would not come back in the house. She apparently would rather freeze than be around any dogs or people. I would always have to go outside find her pick her up and carry her back into my house.

It’s not like there was anyone bothering her my dogs are low-keyed all in their own little world. After a lot of research and her owner mentioning that she noticed her changes after some vaccinations we both thought maybe she has autism. There is a lot of data that says children are diagnosed with autism after many vaccinations so why isn’t it possible for the same to be true of dogs.

Symptoms of Dogs With Autism

Dogs with autism may not display any symptoms or the symptoms are very subtle and may not be recognized.

However, some dogs with autism may show some symptoms. The main symptoms of dog autism include:

  • Dysfunctional interaction with other dogs or owner
  • Restricted behavior, as autistic dogs may only limit themselves to performing only a few moves avoiding new moves and games
  • Repetitive actions. Dogs with autism tend to have a routine they like to stick to.
  • Apathy and inability to communicate joy,  fear or other feelings
  • Lack of activity, even if the breed is a high energy dog
So why if there is so much information online, do veterinarians still tell pet owners to seek animal trainers when they come forward with these symptoms. Could it be that they are afraid that it will affect their bottom line with constant updating vaccinations? This is not true of all veterinarians.
 Many vets do recognize immunity from immunizations last more than 12 months, and many pets have immunity that lasts several years. As an alternative to vaccinations many veterinarians  use a blood antibody test called a titer test to help them determine which vaccines a pet might require. This is a simple and inexpensive approach, but is not used by many doctors. A recent survey by the American Animal Hospital Association revealed that only 10% of doctors surveyed use vaccine titers in their practices.
So next time you get that postcard in the mail from your vet saying it’s time for her or his yearly vaccinations think is it really necessary or can I just check for antibodies.
Autism is sad to watch when the dog was so happy and playful before she completely changed. Was too many vaccinations the cause we will never know but we can be  aware of the consequences of too many vaccinations in too short of a time.
Hopefully in time and with more research we can find answers for autism in dogs and children.


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7 Responses to “Autism And Dogs l Can My Dog Really Be Austistic”

  • Hello, I am thrilled to find your post.Adopted an Italian greyhound 18 months ago. Alarmed on the first day with me butput down her behavior to changed environment. Then I said Autism within a week(I’m a mental health nurse retd.) but thought it could not be so in a dog. My vet then confirmed my opinion with the over vaccinating theory. My little dog is 7 year old ex champion who had been shown +++ and therefore over vaccinated. Your blog has been so very helpful.Mostly we have been doing the right thing with her but often feel unsure.
    She never moves from her bed unlessI call her outside for toileting and then she runs and runs untilIbring her in again.
    She has settled in with us and watches us move around the house which is very quiet with just two senior adults.
    She enjoys food now with extra tiny treat frequently so noextra weight gain. She still insists on sleeping in her carry pen that she travelled in during her working lifeso we go with that. Any further ideas please. I do pick her up now and then but think she hates touch. Should I stop doing that ? Really appreciate your wise counsel. Chris

    • Sue Huss says:

      I do believe just like children autistic dogs can only benefit from touch and your love. I don’t really believe she hates your touch she only is in her own little world and it is perceived that way by you. Please keep me informed on her condition.
      Blessings to you.

      • Hello Sue, Thankyou so much for your reply and your valuable insight. I am reassured that handling Ginger more is ok. It seemed to be the natural thing to do but she is so hard to read. She has developed her own language of communicating by shaking her head and making her ears flap loudly to get attention(food,toileting) which is fantastic.

        Originally I did get a vet who deals with fear to see her but it was a comlete miss for her problem.

        I’ll follow your site with interest. Incidentally we live in Brisbane, Australia and this little dog was a champion. She has really suffered the consequences of early separation and from large dose vaccines every year. My own vet does titer the dose for all of her patients.

  • Steven says:


    Jack was diagnosed with neurological problems 3 years ago, he’s also blind. My wife and I are holistic’s and we treat our dog that way too. We give Jack coconut oil in his food due to an intestinal problem, but Jacks life changed a lot when we started giving him diatomaceous earth for worms. In 3 years Jack has had to be fed, finding something he would eat was a chore, all Jack really did was lay around on the floor. He didn’t play but now he does every day.
    He hasn’t had those shots in the 3 years we’ve had him and I was glad you put the blame where it belongs.
    Jack takes brewers yeast tablets or powder, 2 tsp of coconut oil and diatomaceous earth in his food and he is not the dog we brought home 3 years ago but the big changes happened with the diatomaceous earth. Diatomaceous earth gets rid of any intestinal worm, it scrapes the oil off them and they digest, it was said in an article I read that it also removes heavy metals, as an observer I would have to say that’s true. Jack has changed everyday since we got him but the last 2 or 3 months have been the most fun, he’s turned into a real dog. The coconut oil took that dog smell off of him,but everything I’ve read say’s it got rid of dog breath, humans or dogs if they have bad breath it comes from the intestines not the mouth.
    Thank you great article.

    • Sue Huss says:

      That is an interesting fact that you mention about diatomaceous earth removing heavy metals because it has been shown that children with Autism have higher levels of toxic metals. You can find Diatomaceous Earth Powder for pets at Amazon.Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth Powder for Pets, 1.5 lb

  • Lynn Bradley says:

    I have always thought that my wee blue and white collie boy has autism, having worked with humans the similarities are astounding.

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