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Our 4-month golden retriever puppy almost choked to death recently -- she was without oxygen for about a minute in a very freak accident involving her collar. It appears she will make a full recovery.

My questions, basically is whether she will she have lasting emotional issues because of the incident. Specific questions:

1) Does a young dog remember trauma and pain?
2) Will she be leery of aggressive play anymore?
3) In general, do dogs have long-lasting emotional changes from a near-death experience like choking?

Thanks in advance for any and all advice, answers, and perspectives!

Tom
 

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I know this answer probably isn't super helpful, but it really depends on the specific dog and their nature and personality.

When my BC was just a wee thing, probably 12 or 13 weeks old, my parent's dog had a total melt down and bit her in the face. She screamed, which causes my sister's dog to attack and bite her leg. I was horrified she would have an intense dislike/fear of dogs, but - no such thing. She loves to play, and is very happy to make friends.

A friend of mine had her lab puppy at the vet, and a dog was passing by, and bit her in the face. Badly, she has a big scar still. She has been fear aggressive/reactive ever since.

If the collar incident involved a dog grabbing and twisting, I would just make sure you take off the collar when she plays in the future. I might also counter-condition her to her collar if she is showing any signs of being afraid or not wanting it on.
 

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I replied to your question on another forum, so will cut and paste it again here:

With PTSD in people, it seems that the worse the injury the less the likelihood of PTSD, strange as that seems, and this probably holds true for other animals like dogs. Less severely injured soldiers tend to suffer more PTSD, than those with serious injuries. It seems the reason is the body is putting all its resources into healing and those less injured are not projecting these emotional energies into the body so the mind has to keep reliving it. Freud called it "the compulsion to repeat".

So, I think it is a wait and see thing, to see how your dog has been affected by the event.
 
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