Even our furry and feathered family members can have a mental illness

Many of us think of our pet as just another member of our family, so why shouldn’t we treat them like we treat our own children? It makes sense that if mental illness runs in families, our pets could become mentally ill as well. Indeed, this is what veterinary psychiatry has discovered. Mental illness in pets is on the rise!

“Dr Carter, a leading animal psychiatrist, said animals were being put on anti-depressant medication in increasing numbers as vets and owners became more aware of the signs of mental illness. “We use a lot of drugs like Prozac and other anti-depressants and Valium,” Dr Carter said.”

You may wonder how to identify mental illness in non-verbal creatures. Well, just as six month old mentally ill infants cannot describe their symptoms, we don’t need to hear from our pets to know that they too have a serious mental illness. It’s all about the behavior!

Has Rover hit his rock bottom? Is he defecating on the sidewalk?

Drinking out of toilets?

Licking his testicles on the living room sofa?

Don’t worry. Help is here. Psychiatry can treat pets with mental illness as effectively as they treat humans, and with the same drugs, no less!

“Year-old Luna is one of Dr Carter’s success stories. At just four months old, the labrador cross began displaying signs of severe mental illness. Owner Lydia Spicer said: “I was appalled and in tears when my four-month-old puppy turned vicious before my eyes. “I’d take her for a walk and if someone came past, she’d start going nuts and lunge and growl at them.”

Can you imagine how hard it must be to see one’s beloved little puppy lunging and growling at another animal during a walk? This is obviously a sign of a very disturbed little pup. Dogs are not the least bit territorial, so this is clearly a sign of irrational, sick dog behavior requiring psychiatric intervention.

“Not only dogs can develop mental disorders. Dr Carter said she had treated cats, horses and even birds. Birds being kept as pets quite often display signs of mental illness. The most common sign for birds with mental illness is plucking out their feathers. There are lots of reasons a bird might pull its feathers out, but anxiety can be a cause for it.”


We all know there’s nothing about keeping a living creature locked in a cage all day long while we’re away at work or running errands that should provoke such behavior. We love these creatures as much as we love our children. That’s why we cage them and keep them stored in our homes for our pleasure and enjoyment. Therefore, if Tweety starts pulling out her own feathers, she probably has a mental illness. This can be corrected with Prozac-laced birdseed. In extreme cases, anti-psychotic birdseed may be necessary. Your animal psychiatrist can provide you with all your treatment options.

Helpful hints *Sometimes, a smaller cage with no toys is a better option. If Tweety is self-harming, it may be useful to reduce her environmental stimulation. Additionally, this can give Tweety some motivation to stop acting out and to earn her toys back by engaging in the desired behaviors.*

Just as is the case with our own offspring, “We need to be more aware of the needs of animals and realize their needs are not always being met by our busy lifestyles.” Don’t stop to consider sending your beloved labrador to live on a farm just because he chews on his own paws until they bleed while you have him caged for 18 hours each day. That would be unreasonable. We can alleviate our pets’ needs by drugging them with the very same chemicals we use on our mentally ill children.

Psychiatry saves the day once again!

Posted in "mental illness", animal psychiatry, biobabble, childhood bipolar disorder, children and psychiatric drugs, ethics get in the way, lies, mentally ill pets, shit-based practices, The Lazies | 16 Comments

16 Responses to Even our furry and feathered family members can have a mental illness

  1. Becky Murphy says:

    Namidearest,

    Thank you for raising awareness so that people can realize that even pets need pills to treat their mental illness! As you know it is cat feces which causes the schizophrenia! Please share how we can donate our pet’s brains to the Brain Collector, as I am sure he will soon find the cure for all mental illness if he just can get enough brains!

    Thank you for you advocacy!

    • NamiDearest says:

      You’re welcome, Ms. Murphy. Indeed, we will need mentally ill pet brains as well. Let me contact Mr. BJ Daffy to see what he suggests.

  2. Emma Goldman says:

    I’m very concerned about my cat “Elbow”- he howls piteously sometimes for no apparent reason. Do you think he needs valium? What would his diagnosis be? Are DSM diagnoses really valid for non-humans?

    • NamiDearest says:

      It’s possible that Elbow has the schizophrenia or the Bipolar. I’d suggest a consult with Psychiatrist Barbie. DSM diagnoses are just as valid for animals as they are for humans.

  3. Mark p.s.2 says:

    Pets are irrational , and have a loss of contact with reality when the female is in Estrous and the male can sense the female (sight, smell, hear). The animals are clearly psychotic and need some antipsychotic medication to help them control themselves.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Estrous_cycle
    Psychotic: Psychotic disorders are a group of serious illnesses that affect the mind. These illnesses alter a person’s ability to think clearly, make good judgments, respond emotionally, communicate effectively, understand reality, and behave appropriately.

  4. susan says:

    You are absolutely right. I’ve made two perfectly normal cats crazy by loving them, spoiling them and catering to their every wish.

    And yet when one was sick, the vet wanted to put her on kitty Prozac.

    I’m sorry. I will plead and admit my cats should be members of Tuna Anonymous, and are surely plotting to take over the world with Cheezeburgers, but my girls are never seeing a psychiatrist.

    Besides, if you put a cat on a couch, they will just fall asleep on it.

    (Cat’s note: So why are you so mad at me dear human for not covering my feces in the box since we moved?)

  5. Rossa Forbes says:

    I’m confused about whether I should give an antidepressant to Hammy. He sure seems depressed, unwilling to run that treadmill like he used to. On the other hand, what if he’s bipolar and not really depressed? Maybe all the rattling around at night was a manic high. If I give him an antidepressant, will I run the risk of inducing full blown mania? Your advice is most appreciated, and please make it quick, as Hammy’s nearing the end of the hamster life span.

    • NamiDearest says:

      When in doubt, medicate for every possible scenario. Hammy should have an antidepressant, a benzo, a mood stabilizer, and an antipsychotic to cover all the bases.

  6. Duane Sherry says:

    NamiDearest

    I hope barking at the moon isn’t a sign of canine “mental illness.”

    You see, I know a person… actually, a friend of a friend, who has a dog…

    Should I suggest “treatment?”
    What if the dog refuses, due to “lack of insight?”

    Duane Sherry

    • NamiDearest says:

      Mr. Sherry,

      I do know of a woman who howls to make her dog howl…now that, I am sure, is caused by a very serious mental illness.

  7. madhuri says:

    my female dog is one yr old and his partner expired 5 days back afterwards she became so dull and most of the time she is sad and luk depressed she is not able to walk properly and her neck while walking is slightly tilted wat to do plz give sum suggestion to get rid her away from this.

  8. ddixon says:

    My cockatoo Mindy chewed all flight feathers off. She also has periods when she hisses at some invisible sight. I think she is hallucinating . Her vet just says some animals see ghosts. She is very sweet and extremely intelligent. Please help.

    • NamiDearest says:

      Welcome, ddixon. Unfortunately, the current treatment laws do not allow us to commit our feathered family members. This is why we work so hard to change these laws. We shouldn’t have to wait until our feathered and furry loved ones pick themselves bald before we can do anything to help.

      If Mindy is seeing ghosts, I suggest calling in a psychic medium or a spiritual consultant of some sort that is trained in communicating with and clearing homes of earthbound entities.

      Otherwise, you might try changing her diet, the lighting in the room, the temperature, the size/style of her cage/habitat, and see too it that she is not left alone and isolated for long periods of time. Does she have enough water? Does she have enough toys? Would she like to listen to music? Think about what you might find comforting if you lived Mindy’s life. A little empathy goes a long way.

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