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Thread: Rescue Dog with suspected mental illness.

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    Default Rescue Dog with suspected mental illness.

    Hello community. My rescue that I work with has a bulldog in some serious need of help which is totally out of my area of expertise for bulldogs. His name is Gunny and I believe he might not be a purebred English but an OEB. I believe me might be suffering from some sort of mental illness. He randomly attacks things out of the blue and than minutes later seems to be a perfect angel looking for a hug or kiss. He is a known biter but I can assure you it has nothing to do with his environment because he gets the best care there is. I have googled this and find nothing on this topic. I have not seen any tremors or seizures but he does react to high energy stimuli in aggressive ways. Has anyone had any experience with mental issues in Bulldogs? By the way, we have tested his eye vision and he has perfect eyes, his hearing is great, no infections, no other issues in blood. His last bite was pretty bad on his faithful human foster parent. I really need some advice.

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    Default Rescue Dog with suspected mental illness.

    Going to tag a couple of people who volunteers at rescues as well. Hopefully they can provide some insight. @Twice @kazzy220

    I wonder if he has some other ailments that's affecting him. Maybe something physical that needs to be detected some other way?




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    Default Re: Rescue Dog with suspected mental illness.

    Has Gunnny ever been tested for low thyroid? Has he just started acting this way, or has he always been this way?
    LEARN A LESSON FROM YOUR DOG, NO MATTER WHAT LIFE BRINGS YOU, KICK SOME GRASS OVER THAT AND MOVE ON.

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    Default

    With rescue bullies its sometimes impossible to know the reasons they react certain ways to certain situations. Bites are scary, I have been there. My foster girl has emotional and behavioral issues that keeps her from being adoptable. The one thing our rescue tries to do in these situations is work with behaviorists and vets to look at what may be causing these type of actions, medications are provided if needed. And training exercises are worked on. Medications can help some things but is not a cure all for behavior issues. It's a tough thing to go through. 😔
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    Default Re: Rescue Dog with suspected mental illness.

    First off, welcome to EBN

    Without knowing his age or weight I would also suggest a full T4 panel be run to rule out thyroid issues. The thyroid is responsible for a lot of sudden aggression in middle age, overweight dogs. I know that you said his bloodwork came back normal but a T4 is a special test that you need to request be run, it is not part of a normal CBC.

    What kinds of things is he attacking? If it's loud or moving things like the vacuum or brooms he has a high predatory drive, not brain damage You also said that he is a known biter? Who or what has he bitten? Has your vet ruled out pain response as a cause? Is he sensitive to the touch in any area of his body? Has he been temperament tested? There are some very basic tests that you can do yourself at home to determine if he is truly aggressive or just in need of serious training

    http://alexbachuk.info/clients/sarah...evaluation.pdf
    http://www.nrta.com/breedforfoundation/temptest.html

    Does the rescue organization that you work with have a trainer or behaviorist? If so it might be worth giving them a call to have him evaluated. Dogs don't suffer from mental illness in the clinical sense but they can and have been successfully treated with medication to calm them.

    Thank you for fostering!!

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    Default Re: Rescue Dog with suspected mental illness.

    God Bless his foster mama.

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    Default Re: Rescue Dog with suspected mental illness.

    Good Morning! Thank you so much for all the support and I will recommend everything you suggest as I know this is out of my area of expertise. Just a little more info on Gunny. Gunny is a 6 year old OEB who walks about 3 miles a day. He is in complete health from his diet to his daily walks and is given everything from yogurt to apple cider vinegar in his water. He was a known biter of both dogs and humans but it was the human bites that landed him in a shelter where our rescue pulled him. He has a lot of aggression outbursts with object such as blinds, car visors, and other stationary items. We thought maybe his eyes but had them checked and he is 100% prefect. He has been trained with a professional trainer for over a year and under one of the best vets in our area. Currently he is on doggie Prozac but as said, that is just a temporary fix. I will have his thyroid checked if the vet has not already done so along with that special blood work. I have a gut feeling though that it is more of a disconnect in his brain as he is one minute scary than the next loving and appears to not remember that he just was growling at you. Thanks again and any other information would be great!!

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    Default Re: Rescue Dog with suspected mental illness.

    I have no additional advice.... just wanted to wish you all luck in helping Gunny,
    ----------------------------------------------------------------
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    e.

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    Thank you for all the love, fun and teachings




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    Default Re: Rescue Dog with suspected mental illness.

    Quote Originally Posted by Twice View Post

    Without knowing his age or weight I would also suggest a full T4 panel be run to rule out thyroid issues. The thyroid is responsible for a lot of sudden aggression in middle age, overweight dogs. I know that you said his bloodwork came back normal but a T4 is a special test that you need to request be run, it is not part of a normal CBC.

    What kinds of things is he attacking? If it's loud or moving things like the vacuum or brooms he has a high predatory drive, not brain damage You also said that he is a known biter? Who or what has he bitten? Has your vet ruled out pain response as a cause? Is he sensitive to the touch in any area of his body? Has he been temperament tested? There are some very basic tests that you can do yourself at home to determine if he is truly aggressive or just in need of serious training

    http://alexbachuk.info/clients/sarah...evaluation.pdf
    http://www.nrta.com/breedforfoundation/temptest.html

    Does the rescue organization that you work with have a trainer or behaviorist? If so it might be worth giving them a call to have him evaluated. Dogs don't suffer from mental illness in the clinical sense but they can and have been successfully treated with medication to calm them.
    Apologies for being so late to this. I saw I was tagged and came straight over.

    The above is great advice! I see he is already working with a behaviourist. Do you have any of his "attacks" on video? I am considering the possibility that it is a form of seizure.

    We do have a dog here in rescue now who was considered un-adoptable because of his aggression and his bite history. We are lucky that the trainer who devotes so much of his time to rescue agreed to take him on and now considers him adoptable to the right family.

    Don't give up hope. If this is pure aggression and not neurological then it is just the matter of finding the "right" trainer!

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    Default Re: Rescue Dog with suspected mental illness.

    Hello again, thanks to all for the suggestions. We are in the process of getting the T4 panel done. Gunny has been working with two trainers for over a year. He has come a long way in behavior issues and is really doing well except for his incidents. It is like he just rages out and anyone in his path, even those he loves, pays for it.

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    Default Re: Rescue Dog with suspected mental illness.

    Please keep us updated. Your experience with Gunny will help someone else.
    @LillysParents - how's Gunny doing?

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    Default Re: Rescue Dog with suspected mental illness.

    So we ran the T4 Panel and everything is normal. He has been working with a trainer so a long time but still has his episodes by randomly attacking objects. He is safe, happy and well taken care of in the rescue but he just might be unadoptable at this point. We love him and think he is pretty darn special. I just wish we knew what he was thinking when these episodes happen.

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