What is Autism?

Autism is characterised by marked difficulties in behaviour, social interaction, communication and sensory sensitivities.

For all of you to determine if your Dog has Autism or not, your first and foremost option is to visit your vet and have him examine your dog and run a number of tests.

However, there are some symptoms that can help lead to a diagnosis of autism. 

Symptoms

  1. Limited behavior, such as being willing to perform a limited number of moves.
  2. Dysfunctional behavior, when it comes to interacting with you or other dogs.
  3. Performing repetitive actions, such as tail chasing.
  4. Being apathetic, unable or unwilling to communicate feelings such as happiness and fear.
  5. Being lethargic, even for those breeds that are typically considered high-energy.

Causes

  1. Autism in dogs is considered to be idiopathic, but it may also be a genetic condition inherited from one of the dog's parents.
  2. It is thought by some researchers that autism in dogs may be caused by a lack or mirror neurons in the brain.
  3. Some recent studies indicate that puppies may be born with autism if their parents have been exposed to a variety of chemicals or have been given unnecessary vaccinations.
  4. Since this condition is congenital, it is one that a dog is born with. Dogs cannot suddenly "come down" with autism, it is present from birth.

Diagnosis

 One of the most important things to understand is that only a limited amount of research has been done regarding autism in dogs. Until more research is completed, being able to diagnose this condition in individual dogs is not an easy process. The reason for this is that as humans, our understanding of what should be considered typical, this behaviour is very limited.

At the same time, many of the symptoms of autism bear a close resemblance to those associated with other conditions, such as pain and anxiety disorders.