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Can a Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Be Caused by a Traumatic Injury to a Companion Pet?

Author(s): Nadine Watters | Ronald Ruff | Christina Weyer Jamora

Journal: International Journal of Psychological Studies
ISSN 1918-7211

Volume: 5;
Issue: 3;
Date: 2013;
Original page

This case study explores whether an individual can sustain Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) subsequent towitnessing serious injury to his companion pet. While walking his dog, a 62 year old man was struck by a car.While lying on the road, he was emotionally traumatized by the serious injury to his companion pet dog. Later,he experienced significant flashbacks of his dog being injured, hypervigilance, avoidance of the injury site andleaving his house, and fear that his dog would be reinjured among other symptoms. The case study is analyzedrelative to the Diagnostic Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th edition (DSM-IV-TR) diagnostic criteria forPTSD. Currently the DSM-IV-TR limits the PTSD diagnostic Criteria A to people only, using a specificrequirement that the traumatic injury take place to a “self” or “others” (American Psychiatric Association, 2000).This case study suggests an expansion of the PTSD’s Criteria A to include additional stressor events, such astraumatic injury or death of a companion pet.
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