5 Strange Syndromes That Only Affect Animals

There are lots of ailments that affect humans. But what about animals? As it turns out, they have their own afflictions, too, and they can be just as strange, or downright ridiculous, as anything that strikes us. For example, the syndrome that causes hedgehogs to blow up like beach balls or the condition that makes dogs’ tails limp, and it will become immediately apparent that humans don’t have a monopoly on bizarre medical issues.

1. Balloon Syndrome.

Balloon syndrome is what happens when a hedgehog becomes so puffed up that it resembles a beach ball. Scientists do not totally understand the condition, although they know it is caused when air gets trapped under the hedgehog’s skin. They suspect balloon syndrome happens when hedgehogs suffer lung injuries. The lungs get punctured, sending air under the skin as the hedgehog breathes.

2. Irritable Male Syndrome.

Irritable male syndrome is a disorder observed in Soay sheep, red deer, reindeer, Indian elephants, and other mammals with seasonal breeding patterns. It’s caused by a reduction in the production of testosterone. The sheep would often become nervous and withdrawn and attack anything of interest.

3. Berserk Male Syndrome.

Berserk male syndrome (aka aberrant behavior syndrome) is a disorder that causes certain male animals to suddenly turn aggressive and attack anything in their path. The syndrome has been observed in the males of several species, including llamas, alpacas, and peacocks. The syndrome is unwittingly caused by human owners who allow susceptible animals to stay around them when they are younger.

4. Limber Tail Syndrome.

Limber tail syndrome is another name for acute caudal myopathy. It is an affliction that makes a dog’s tail go limp. Affected dogs lose control of their tails, which just hang down as if they were ropes. The dogs cannot lift their tails, wag them sideways, or use them for anything else.

5. Domestication Syndrome.

Domestication syndrome refers to certain features found in domesticated animals. These features are usually absent in their wild variants and ancestors. One is droopy ears. Other features include curly tails, lighter coats, and smaller brains, teeth, and tails.