Can a dog have Tourette’s syndrome?

There are several similarities between humans and dogs. We both are highly social, and our physical anatomy is comparable in certain respects; in fact, dogs may even get diseases that are canine equivalents of human conditions. However, is it possible for a dog to develop Tourette’s syndrome?

No, dogs can not develop Tourette’s Syndrome, but they might get other nervous system problems that are similar to Tourette’s. Actually, this disease develops when there is an issue with the brain’s Basal Anglia. And Basal Anglia is present in both humans and dogs. So, the confusion remains. But the fact is that dogs can never develop Tourette’s.

What actually is Tourette’s?

Tourette’s, often known as Tourette Syndrome, is a condition that affects the nervous system and is characterized by uncontrollable, recurrent movements and sounds known as “tics.” Tics might consist of any of the following options:

  • Uncontrollably spouting phrases or words that are considered insulting.
  • Muscle Twitching.
  • A pattern of blinking or shrugging repeatedly.

As of right now, Tourette’s is only believed to affect human beings, and very little research has been done to determine whether or not dogs, or any other animals, may also be affected by the condition.

When researching Tourette’s in dogs, there isn’t a whole lot of a starting point to work with because the precise etiology of the disorder in humans is still a mystery.

Explanation of Tourette’s-like movement in dogs

It is known that certain dog breeds can have movement abnormalities called paroxysmal dyskinesias, which are similar to Tourette’s syndrome.

The symptoms of paroxysmal dyskinesias are similar to those of Tourette’s syndrome in that they consist of short bouts of uncontrollable movements.

There are several similarities between paroxysmal dyskinesias and Tourette syndrome, including the following:

  • There is currently no recognized explanation for paroxysmal dyskinesias or Tourette syndrome origin.
  • Both of these conditions are thought to have their roots in a dysfunction in the basal ganglia, which is the region of the brain that is in charge of regulating how the body moves.
  • Typically, the onset of both these disorders occurs during childhood.
  • The incidence of these disorders is higher in males. In humans, for instance, the risk of developing Tourette syndrome is three to four times higher in men than it is in women. Similarly, male dogs account for around three-quarters of all cases of paroxysmal dyskinesias.


Tourette’s is considered to be caused by a malfunction in the “basal ganglia,” which governs bodily movement.

Dogs have basal ganglia. Theoretically, a dog’s basal ganglia defect may cause Tourette’s, but it is not proven yet. So, dogs can not have Tourette’s syndrome. On the other hand, some dog breeds have Tourette-like issues known as paroxysmal dyskinesias (which is a different ailment from Tourette’s).