Weird Syndromes That Only Affect Animals

Animals, like humans, have their own specific ailments that are unique to only them. Some of them are similar to human diseases, others are just downright bizarre like something straight out of a cartoon. For instance, there’s a condition that causes dogs’ tails to go limp, or a syndrome that makes hedgehogs inflate like a balloon. So we are definitely not alone when it comes to strange medical conditions. Below are some of the weirdest syndromes that only affect animals.

1. Balloon Syndrome

Imagine if humans blew up like balloons due to a punctured lung. That’s what those poor hedgehogs have to deal with—the punctured lung sends air underneath their skin every time they breathe. And because it’s swollen, this makes the hedgehog vulnerable to predators as it’s unable to curl into itself for protection. Luckily for them, the solution for this problem is really simple and straightforward. All the veterinarians have to do is make a couple of small cuts so the air can escape, then apply some antibiotics to it to prevent infection.

2. Limber Tail Syndrome

Limber tail syndrome is the more common name for acute caudal myopathy which, as the name suggests, causes the dog’s tail to go limp. The affected dogs have zero control over their tail as it hangs down their body lifelessly. This is usually triggered when a dog engages in tiring activities or when it is exposed to cold water, resulting in a lack of blood flow to the tail. This leads to swelling and pain which prevents the dog from doing something as simple as sitting or eating. Hunting dogs are at the most risk due to the activities they engage in and the risk of exposure to cold water.

3. Floppy Trunk Syndrome

Floppy trunk syndrome, also known as flaccid trunk paralysis, is a condition caused by heavy metal poisoning which renders the affected elephant unable to use their trunks due to paralysis. The disorder has been observed since 1992, when there was an epidemic sweeping through the elephants in Zimbabwe – it was caused by the concentration of lead in the lake they drank from. As the condition spreads, the limp trunks become a huge burden for the elephants and most will starve to death since they use their trunks to feed themselves and drink water.

4. Rage Syndrome

Rage syndrome, or sudden onset aggression, is a genetic disorder that makes certain dog breeds attack anything or anyone around them out of the blue. Once the episode has passed, the dog will not even remember what they did and might even walk up to the person like nothing happened. These attacks are usually triggered when someone suddenly approaches the dog while it’s sleeping and sometimes the only warning sign is a glazed look over the dog’s eyes. This syndrome is most common in Springer Spaniels, but also affects Golden Retrievers, Poodles and Dobermans.

5. Small Dog Syndrome

The majority of small dogs have a bad reputation of being overly excited and even aggressive with both humans and other dogs. They often resort to barking and growling at anything they perceive to be a threat. These dogs are often very disobedient and will refuse just about every order but will also go out of their way to avoid larger dogs. This is known as the small dog syndrome and unfortunately, it’s often fueled by the owner’s reaction to their outbursts, such as becoming lax with training and letting them get away with certain things.

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