Getting veterinary support for an aggressive dog

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Straying In: Latest News About Vet Treatments

Mahatma Gandhi said, "The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated." How incredibly insightful and true. When my children were growing up, we always had various pets on our property. My children were constantly bringing home strays to be nurtured and loved. I still have plenty of animals around because my children leave their pets with 'grandma' when they go travelling. At present, I have two dogs, three cats and a parrot! Over the years, I've always stressed the importance of regular vet visits. As soon as a stray was brought home, I would make an appointment. The simple preventative treatments provided by our vet saved a lot of money and heartache. I like to keep up to date with the latest vet treatments. I hope this blog provides useful information for those who care about animals. Thank you.

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Getting veterinary support for an aggressive dog

8 August 2016
 Categories: , Blog


If your dog is behaving aggressively either with humans or other dogs, you need to manage the issue. If left untreated and your animal attacks a person or someone's pet they may be subject to a compulsory destruction (euthanasia) order. 

Here are some of the issues that can trigger aggression and how a vet can help. 

Pain or discomfort

If an animal is in significant discomfort they may become irritable, especially if the area that is hurt is stimulating. This could include having infections in the foot and paw that flare up when the animal walked and arthritic joints or broken bones which become sore when they are weight bearing. A vet can examine the dog to see if there are any signs that they are in pain, and work out some ways to heal the area that is in pain as well as giving them pain relief medication in the short term. 

Diseases

There are a number of diseases that can make an animal more aggressive, including thyroid disease and brain cancers. Vets can run a series of diagnostic tests to make sure that any of these issues are identified and a suitable treatment plan identified. 

'Playful' aggression

Young and energetic dogs can sometimes play at aggression, particularly if they do not have an outlet for this energy. This can be common in more energetic breeds such as traditional farm dogs (collies and kelpies) as well as certain crossbreeds that are bred for aggressive personalities such as security dogs. Often, giving the animal an outlet for this energy such as long plays at the dog park can reduce their tendency to want to play fight. Vets can advise if this is the cause so that you can make appropriate lifestyle changes. 

Territorial aggression

Dogs that feel like they are being attacked or in danger can also lash out. This can occur if the dog does not have enough space of their own, or has had a recent change to the dynamics of the house such as a new baby or animal being introduced. It can also be a consequence of a history of abuse for rescue dogs. Vets can help to give advice on the best behaviour management techniques to try, as well as behavioural therapist recommendations if you need more help.  

If you have an aggressive dog it is a good idea to take them to a vet clinic for a check up to determine the cause of the aggression.