Munchausen syndrome by proxy

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Neely 07/02

Lest We Forget
Barked: Sun Jan 20, '08 5:25am PST 
a psychological disorder in which a parent and typically a mother harms her child (as by poisoning), falsifies the child's medical history, or tampers with the child's medical specimens in order to create a situation that requires or seems to require medical attention

Do you think this can also pertain to pets? I have noticed in a group I am in that there is a dogster thatat least once a month" something" happens to the dog. There are times when just as this dog " heals" from whatever ailment or injury there is another crisis. I know it is real in human to human but never heard any "facts" that it could be human to pet. Has anyone ever heard or thought about this?
If this is possible, it is very alarming to me. For someone to make up an illness or injury or worse yet to actually harm their pet for attention. shrug
Addy, CGC

Let's go for a- walk!
Barked: Sun Jan 20, '08 5:49am PST 
I haven't ever heard of it specifically, but unfortunately I can't see why it wouldn't happen. Our pets often take the same emotional space in our lives that our children do. Someone who has the disorder, but has a dog or cat instead or in addition to human children--I can easily see it happening.

ETA: Might be less chance of getting caught, too, since human doctors do get some training in watching out for the syndrome, and veterinarians may not.

Edited by author Sun Jan 20, '08 5:50am PST


When in doubt- nap
Barked: Sun Jan 20, '08 5:58am PST 
Please try to be careful with this kind of thing. I have suffered for years with unusual and seemingly contestant health issues with Koshka. It has been frustrating and emotionally difficult to deal with. Finally, she was diagnosed with hypothyroidism and she is on the mend.

I know that is someone would have accused me of not caring for or harming my dog I would have devastated and very angry.


Neely 07/02

Lest We Forget
Barked: Sun Jan 20, '08 6:28am PST 
That isn't the things I am talking about... having an illness and doing everything you can to find out what's wrong isn't the same thing. If you read this dog ( and a few others) you can see the difference in something that is real and got help for and something that isn't or never went to a vet. One of my dogs first when I got her was VERY accident prone. Thankfully she isn't anymore. But I can tell you, she was into the vet within the hour. I also had a cat that was hypothyroid and if anyone saw him they would swear I starved him. He was also 18 lbs even being on a diet his whole life. Within 1 month he was under 5 lbs. I was away at the time ( he was home) and when I came home and saw him I took him to emerg right away. Sadly he is gone now but we did manage to get his weight up to almost 8 lbs before he left this world.

This dog was ...hit by a car / hit by a neighbour / poisoned bleeding ,so many other things. But they never or seldom never take it to the vet. It is one thing after another.
There are others that they may as well live at the vet because of all the ailments but the vets can never find anything wrong. The vets always say there is nothing wrong, the pet is very healthy and never see anything through bloodwork / xrays / scans etc. to see what the pawrent is talking about.

Edited by author Sun Jan 20, '08 6:32am PST

Stella- "Blue"

Puttin' my freak- on!
Barked: Sun Jan 20, '08 6:53am PST 
I think it is definitely possible.... but harder to determine, because there are so many pups that have chronic problems. I imagine if it was always for something different... I would be more concerned than for a chronic and documented condition...

It's a scary illness though. My friends sister in law had that... she would actually have "accidents" that resulted in the child breaking it's arm or something. It got dangerous, and my friends brother had to leave her and take full custody of the kid.

ETA: Of course it didn't start out that bad. At first it was running to the doctor when there was a bump on the babies arm, etc... anything to try to get her husband to come home from work.

Edited by author Sun Jan 20, '08 6:56am PST

Neely 07/02

Lest We Forget
Barked: Sun Jan 20, '08 7:06am PST 
Yes, that's what I am talking about. It is always something different and almost like each new " crisis" is like it upped the ante so to speak. There is a difference with a chronic health problem and ALWAYS something different. Then with this dogster, there is NEVER an " update" on what happened with meds / treatment etc. It is like it never happened. I am not trying to be mean or accusing, it is just something that crossed my mind into the possibility of this happening. Even if it is done to an animal for vet attention or peer attention ( like here on Dogster ) I do know it is an illness , that they can't help it. I am wondering how to make them see what they are doing if it is happening this way. I am not the only one who thinks it is either made up or it is really happening and not by accident. Like I said... you would have to read the posts. Everytime this person posts with another injury / illness or whatever crisis with the dog, I do try to help but as soon as this person gets the " attention" all of a sudden the dog is " healed" then it is another crisis.

IF you can- catch- me....
Barked: Sun Jan 20, '08 8:34am PST 
Actually yeah, I do think it can spill over to pets. Have a different take on it though, had some involvement with a woman who calls herself a rescuer, what she does is take in all kinds of pets -dogs, cats, rats, wildlife, anything, can't afford them, can't handle them, sends out appeals for help for money, supplies - then when that runs out she calls AC to come get them or has them put down and finds more and starts the cycle all over again, so have wondered if she has some sort of variation of Munchausen. She doesn't fit as a hoarder cause she doesn't keep them all, seems to only keep them as long as the drama continues and she's getting a lot of attention. She makes some attempt to find some of them homes at times, but will give them to anyone without really checking them out. Its infuriating, have tried to get the AC in her city to shut her down, somehow prevent her from taking in animals, but so far she's managed to outsmart/elude them, although they are very aware of her and her activities. The number of pets that have come into her possession and ended up injured or dead is really apalling, and yet she continues to call herself a rescuer and take in animals, and lately she's branched out into breeding, somehow she's worked that into something that God has ordained for her.
Donovan'sMajesticJet of Solace

Street sweeper!
Barked: Sun Jan 20, '08 8:50am PST 
I also thinks its possible to spill over to pets. In munchausen syndrome, the mother does the harming of the health to her child in order to attract attention to herself!

Barked: Sun Jan 20, '08 9:28am PST 
I think that it is possible as well.... BUT

I think that there is a difference between someone who actually suffers from this in real life, and a person who makes things up or exaggerates things online for attention.

When making fictitious posts online (i'm not saying that this particular Dogster is doing this) one does not have to induce an actual illness or injury on their dog in real life, whereas FII (Fabricated or Induced Illness) is a real form of abuse on someone (or i guess in this case somePUP) under their care.

There are some people who will post things for attention- be it illness, injury or any other made up story.... but i don't think it means that they necessarily suffer from this disorder.
~ Princess ~

Barked: Sun Jan 20, '08 9:39am PST 
I was going to say the same thing, maybe they just say these things happen but they don't. Its hard as online we wont know if it did or didnt happen for sure, they might just be seeking out attention online to feel important or for the attention it brings to them on here.
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