03-27-2018, 08:33 PM
Join Date: Jun 2017
Location: Cambridge MA
Mentioned: 50 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
If the vet didn't do an exam how does he/she know there's nothing physical going on? Did the vet at least draw blood to check for tick diseases and thyroid problems?
Every time my dog has acted aggressive, he's turned out to have a medical issue, and treating the medical issue has quickly brought back his easy going non aggressive personality.
Changes in behavior or worsening behavior can easily be triggered or at least exacerbated by illness, pain or just not feeling well.
My dog is only three. He was less than two and suddenly started fighting with other dogs in the park. He looked a little sore occasionally but not really lame. The vet said it was behavioral. I realized that the shelter I got him from had not vaccinated for Lyme and I hadn't either because I didn't check and thought they had. I insisted on a Lyme test, the vet said Lyme wouldn't cause aggression. I kept insisting. Sure enough the test was positive. I treated him for a month but within a week or two of treatment he stopped fighting with other dogs.
More recently he started fighting again, always the other dogs provoked the fights but he wasn't backing down like I trained him to either. He also stopped playing, slept all the time, doesn't eat much and gained weight despite not eating. Now it's hypothyroidism. He's been on meds for over three weeks now and is starting to get some energy back. No fights in over a week now.
Every vet he's seen always first insist any aggression is just behavioral. But I know him so have to advocate. When he doesn't feel well he gets cranky. Vets just want to dismiss behavior issues. Maybe they don't want to deal with examining aggressive dogs.
Problem is if there's a medical cause or trigger, all the greatest behavioral interventions won't work because the dog still won't feel well.
It's always best to rule out obvious physical reasons. Young dogs can get tick diseases and thyroid issues and arthritis and injuries just as easily as older dogs.