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Can a Posttraumatic Stress Disorder be caused by a Traumatic Injury to a Companion Pet? | OMICS International | Abstract
ISSN: 2167-1222

Journal of Trauma & Treatment
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Case Report

Can a Posttraumatic Stress Disorder be caused by a Traumatic Injury to a Companion Pet?

Nadine Watters*, Ronald Ruff and Christina Weyer Jamora
San Francisco Clinical Neurosciences, University of California, San Francisco, USA
Corresponding Author : Nadine Watters
San Francisco Clinical Neurosciences
678, Tahos Road, Orinda, CA 94563, USA
E-mail: [email protected]
Received December 07, 2011; Accepted February 23, 2012; Published February 27, 2012
Citation: Watters N, Ruff R, Jamora CW (2012) Can a Posttraumatic Stress Disorder be caused by a Traumatic Injury to a Companion Pet? J Trauma Treatment 1:117. doi:10.4172/2167-1222.1000117
Copyright: © 2012 Watters N, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


This case study explores whether an individual can sustain Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) subsequent to witnessing serious injury to his companion pet. While walking his dog, a 62 year old man was struck by a car and while lying on the road he was emotionally traumatized by the serious injury to his companion pet dog. Although Mr. SD sustained a brief gap in memory as a result of the blow to his head, he presented with little to no cognitive residuals from the mild traumatic brain injury. Instead, he predominantly experienced significant flashbacks of his dog being injured, hyper vigilance, avoidance of the injury site and leaving his house, and fear that his dog would be reinjured among other symptoms. The case study is analyzed relative to the Diagnostic Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th edition (DSM-IV-TR) diagnostic criteria for PTSD. Currently the DSM-IV-TR limits the PTSD diagnostic Criteria A to people only, using a specific requirement that the traumatic injury take place to a “self” or “others” (American Psychiatric Association, 2000) [1]. This case study challenges the current criteria and justifies an expansion of the PTSD’s Criteria A to include additional stressor events, such as companion pet loss.

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