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.
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.
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.
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.