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Thread: Need insight or Advice

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    Default Need insight or Advice

    I am posting this under health because I do not believe this is a behavior issue.

    We have a four year old English Bulldog. We also have a three year old son and a 9 year old Pug. Gus is a good dog, but within the last 6 months his usual Bullie stubborn self has taken a scary turn.

    It started with, Gus, our Bullie growling or taking an aggressive stance when reprimanded. Gus is neutered, but he is constantly "humping" our Pug, Shrimp. He lays in Shrimp's bed/crate. Then last night as I was walking by Gus he suddenly jumped up and attacked my leg. I was shocked. I did not react outwardly although inside I was pretty shaken. He did not break the skin, and as soon as he did it he backed away. It was almost as if he was shocked at himself.

    I have made an appointment with our vet for Monday, but I am afraid for my three year old. If it had been him and not me I probably would have assumed that my son had instigated the attack, but the dog would have to go anyway.

    I have been looking around the internet and what I have found is not very encouraging...any advice would be appreciated.

    Thank you in advance for your help.

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    Default Re: Need insight or Advice

    Hello and welcome to EBN

    I think you might be right, he could be in some pain and is trying to protect himself. Is Shirmp still intact?
    Try to remain calm, even internally (if possible) if you are nervous or scared he will still sense that and react. Also, until you know what is going on, try to keep Gus seperate from your 3 year old, prevent any possible incident from taking place.
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    Default Re: Need insight or Advice

    Hum...what can I say? I have no experience with this but wonder if Gus is humping out of dominance? As for attacking your leg, was he trying to hump you? When you say he is taking an aggressive stance when being reprimanded ... #1. what is he doing/how is he acting and #2 how is he being reprimanded?

    I know more questions don't help you with answers but it's hard to address the problem with advise without more information.
    Good Luck.

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    Default Re: Need insight or Advice

    Well, I have had some simular issues with Great Danes and I ended up taking out their canine teeth so they couldn't cause any real damage to others. I have had two rescues in the past I could not break with dominance issues. I had the canines taken out and I seen instant results. Both seemed to know once the canines were gone the game had changed for them. I hated to to it but it was the only way either of them had a chance to find loving homes. It worked but before I did it they were checked and all other avenues were explored to finding a peaceful solution. Good luck.

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    Default Re: Need insight or Advice

    Quote Originally Posted by babeko View Post
    I am posting this under health because I do not believe this is a behavior issue.

    We have a four year old English Bulldog. We also have a three year old son and a 9 year old Pug. Gus is a good dog, but within the last 6 months his usual Bullie stubborn self has taken a scary turn.

    It started with, Gus, our Bullie growling or taking an aggressive stance when reprimanded. Gus is neutered, but he is constantly "humping" our Pug, Shrimp. He lays in Shrimp's bed/crate. Then last night as I was walking by Gus he suddenly jumped up and attacked my leg. I was shocked. I did not react outwardly although inside I was pretty shaken. He did not break the skin, and as soon as he did it he backed away. It was almost as if he was shocked at himself.

    I have made an appointment with our vet for Monday, but I am afraid for my three year old. If it had been him and not me I probably would have assumed that my son had instigated the attack, but the dog would have to go anyway.

    I have been looking around the internet and what I have found is not very encouraging...any advice would be appreciated.

    Thank you in advance for your help.
    My heart goes out to you, the entire situation changes when you have children in the house. You are right on to make an appointment with the vet.
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    Default Re: Need insight or Advice

    I don't have any experience with this, but I have read on this site a while back, someone who had the same issues, and it ended up being a low thyroid problem. Maybe worth checking this out, blood tests? Good luck. Keep us posted.


    I copied and pasted a couple of articles for you on some possible causes of canine aggression, including hypothyroidism.

    What Could Cause Sudden Aggression in a Dog?
    By Melinda Weaver, eHow Contributor

    Print this article

    These dogs are showing classic signs of aggression: wide pupils, lunging and growling.
    Dog aggression can manifest itself in many ways, such as through growling, snapping, nipping, biting or lunging. A sudden onset of aggression is often caused by a medical condition, although behavioral problems can also play a part.
    Other People Are Reading
    Dog Vaccinations & Aggression What Can Make a Dog Suddenly Growl at Someone He Loves?


    Significance
    Sudden behavior changes, such as aggression, fear or aloofness, can be scary, but they are often your dog's way of dealing with something that doesn't feel right in his body. To treat the behavior, you must discern the cause.


    Pain
    If your dog has an injury or has recently developed joint or muscle pain, he may react with sudden aggression if you attempt to touch the painful area. Make your dog as comfortable as possible and avoid touching tender areas while you consult your veterinarian.


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    Illness
    According to PetPlace.com, hypothyroidism--when the thyroid produces insufficient hormones--and hypoglycemia--or low blood sugar--are common causes of sudden aggression. Illnesses such as distemper and rabies can also result in sudden aggression. Seizures, as with epilepsy, can have the appearance of aggression, when in fact your dog is merely seizing and not lashing out.


    Trauma
    Head trauma or brain tumors can cause sudden behavioral changes. Emotional trauma can have the same effect. Dogs at home alone can be traumatized and exhibit aggression from an event that happens without your knowledge, such as a thunderstorm or robbery.


    Treatment
    Visit your veterinarian for a complete health check, including a blood panel, fecal screening, urinalysis and potentially X-rays or CAT scans. If your dog has a clean bill of health, consult a trainer who can help you determine the cause and reduce your dog's fears.






    Read more: What Could Cause Sudden Aggression in a Dog? | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/facts_5910846_co...#ixzz2QwkXmUWb




    by alexadry
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    Medical Causes of Aggressive Behaviors in Dogs
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    Hypothyroidism is seen often in Rottweilers..




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    It is an unfortunate fact that often dog owners feel compelled to give up on their canine friend as soon as he displays aggressive behaviors by either giving him away, or worse, surrendering him to a shelter or permanently solving the problem by putting him down. Yet, there are cases where aggressive behaviors in dogs can be traced down to unforeseen medical conditions. What owners therefore may perceive as out of the blue, unprovoked aggressive attacks, can be instead attributed to something as justifiable as it can be from a dog's perspective: pain.


    Veterinarians know this very well. In every veterinarian office tucked away in a handy drawer lies a set of different sized muzzles ready to be used. They know as a fact that even the most docile dogs may easily turn into vicious and snarling monsters at the sight of a needle or upon being treated for a painful wound. Yet, while in these cases, the pain is visible to the eye and quite obvious, there are sometimes medical conditions in aggressive dogs causing very subtle symptoms that can be hardly recognized and detected by even the most attentive owners.


    Owners of normally well mannered and well tempered dogs should suspect a medical condition when their dog acts aggressively out of the blue or in a gradual, yet, steady manner. Medical conditions should be suspected as well in stray dogs or rescue dogs with an unknown medical history. However, not all owners are willing to give these dogs the benefit of doubt, either out of ignorance (not knowing that there are actually conditions causing aggressive behaviors) or out of fear (the dog is a scary, must get rid of him as soon as possible!).




    Truth is, an aggressive dog is a scary dog, especially when the aggression is targeted towards children and people. Such dogs are perceived as a liability, an animal too dangerous to be handled and is easily converted from man's best to man's worst enemy. A once much loved dog has progressively transitioned into a snarling vicious creature ready to bite. While many cases of dog aggression are behavioral in nature, it would be unjust to simply assume so without first attempting to rule out something medically going on.


    This is why it is imperative to have a dog seen by a veterinarian right before calling a behaviorist or sending the dog to a trainer. Indeed, reputable dog behaviorists should ask for proof of a medical exam before seeing the dog. A dog behaviorist will never be able to fix a dog acting aggressively because of an underlying medical problem! Following are some medical conditions known to cause aggressive behaviors in dogs.


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    Medical Causes of Dog Aggression


    Chronic Pain
    An underlying ear infection may cause a dog to growl or bite upon being touched near the head. Spinal and neck problems may cause aggression when the dog's collar is touched to put on a leash. Chronic disorders such as arthritis and hip dysplasia may cause grumpy behaviors. A recent study revealed that sudden outbreaks of aggression are often pain related.


    • Hypothyroidism


    This condition affecting the endocrine system of dogs is caused by a low count of thyroid hormones. This condition can be easily detected through a simple blood test. Affected dogs typically develop increased weight gain, hair loss, lethargy, low tolerance of cold, and behavior changes such as anxiety, fear and aggression. It is quite unusual for dog to develop aggression as a stand alone symptom when having this condition, however running a thyroid test is still worthy.The condition is easily treated with the long term administration of thyroid pills which will dramatically improve the dog's condition.




    • Seizures


    Dogs may develop aggressive behaviors in the post-ictal phase, following a seizure. Partial seizures in dogs that affect a particular portion of the brain responsible for regulating aggression may be also a contributing factor for aggression and aberrant behaviors. These types of seizures are often found in certain dog breeds such as a Cocker Spaniels, Springer Spaniels and Chesapeake Bay Retrievers.




    • Brain Conditions


    Trauma affecting certain regions of the brain may cause neurological symptoms including aggressive behaviors. These may take place after the dog has sustained brain damage. Brain cancer found often in senior dogs may be another cause for such behavior changes. Encephalitis, the inflammation of the brain may cause significant aggression in affected dogs. Rabies and Distemper are bacterial forms of encephalitis. Hydrocephalus, a congenital condition where the brain's ventricles become enlarged may cause a variety of neurological symptoms, sometimes including aggression




    There are many more examples of medical conditions causing aggression in dogs. A dog reacting aggressively upon being pet on the head may be suffering from an undiagnosed ear infection, a dog suffering from arthritis may react defensively when laying down and feeling like he cannot remove himself from an irritating situation such as when being pestered by a child. A hearing impaired dog may easily startle and bite out of fear when approached without notice. A dog may turn grumpy when dealing with tooth pain. These are just examples of dogs that are dealing with pain and medical conditions that often cannot be detected by the most well meaning owners.
    Last edited by Vikinggirl; 04-19-2013 at 05:28 PM.
    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 Re: Need insight or Advice

    Hi again, I was able to find the original thread where I had read about sudden aggression, it was written by member Twice, she has experience with this , and may be able to help you, or give you some additional information, as she has dealt with this. I have copied and pasted her thread for you, and I will also tag her for you. Hope this helps, and you find answers.

    Things I didn't know.... Thyroid
    I have had this foster (Elvis) in my home for about a month. He needs his tail amputated and patella surgery before we can even think about finding him a furever home. His tail pocket was so infected that he has been on antibiotics since the day after he walked in here. Since getting the infection under control he is in a lot less pain and is a cute, wonderful bully boy and Otis's new bff. But those are things that I did know. Here is what I didn't.


    Last Thursday he turned into a rabid animal. He attacked Otis first. I broke that up. Then he attacked Roxy. I put him in his crate. About an hour later I went to let him out of the crate to go outside and he attacked ME! He did his best to kill me. Thank God I had a big terry cloth bathrobe on because if I didn't it would be my arm in shreds and not my robe. From that point on just breathing in the direction of his crate would send him in a frenzy. Off to the vet we go.


    Elvis, at 3 and a half years old, is considered middle aged. He has skin issues that I thought were from bad food and neglect. He is over weight. Add all of that to his sudden behavior change and we have Hypothyroidism.


    The behavior changes can be anything from sudden aggression to sudden lethargy or depression.
    Skin issues range from hair loss (especially around the head, neck, chest and sides) to dry/scaly skin and/or dandruff.
    Weakness in the hind legs. Elvis has had this weakness since he got here but he also has a luxating patella so this went unnoticed.
    While so far not present in Elvis, seizures and vomiting are also common.


    A full T4 panel (6 tests in total) confirmed the diagnosis and he is now on medication twice a day to control his thyroid function. I've also put him on a low protein, home cooked diet of whitefish or turkey, sweet potatoes (my all-time favorite dog food ) rosemary, echinacea, vitamins E & C, Ester-C and garlic.


    So yeah.. behavioral changes could = thyroid. Add that to the list of things I didn't know.


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    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 Re: Need insight or Advice

    Quote Originally Posted by Sherry View Post
    My heart goes out to you, the entire situation changes when you have children in the house. You are right on to make an appointment with the vet.
    Thanks, Sherry. I have always had dogs. Big dogs, Mastiffs, Great Danes, but this is my first Bullie. I have never felt as if I might be in danger for any dog EVER. I will let you know what happens at the vet. Thank you for your support.

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    Default Re: Need insight or Advice

    Quote Originally Posted by bluesteelapd View Post
    Hum...what can I say? I have no experience with this but wonder if Gus is humping out of dominance? As for attacking your leg, was he trying to hump you? When you say he is taking an aggressive stance when being reprimanded ...#1. what is he doing/how is he acting and #2 how is he being reprimanded? I know more questions don't help you with answers but it's hard to address the problem with advise without more information. Good Luck.

    I definitely think Gus is humping out of dominance.


    Absolutely not trying to hump my leg. And it was more vicious sounding than it felt, but I am a grown woman. If it had been my three year old...well I don't really want to think about that.

    In general if I tell him and reach out to grab his collar he turns and snarls and arches his back. I just walk away, but I have the feeling I may be adding to the problem...

    Absolutely, and I appreciate you taking the time.

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    Default Re: Need insight or Advice

    Quote Originally Posted by babeko View Post
    Thanks, Sherry. I have always had dogs. Big dogs, Mastiffs, Great Danes, but this is my first Bullie. I have never felt as if I might be in danger for any dog EVER. I will let you know what happens at the vet. Thank you for your support.

    anytime , This support group is always here. I have an aggressive very large American/English and I could never have small children and have kept him. he is 8 yrs old and my daughter is 21. he hasn't been to the extreme where he's attacks us, but he has bitten guests and must be kept secluded when we have company, he also goes nuts when he see's anything or anybody anywhere near the property. very uncool .
    he was not raised like this by us, we rescued him from a woman who had never had dogs and was training him to me aggressive and found she couldn't handle him . what she thought was cool as a 8 week old pup, wasn't so cool when he was 30 pounds. at 100 pounds today, if it wasn't for us, he'd be gone. he has what is known as fear aggression.

    I too have always had many dogs. or as I call them, my fur kids.
    by the way honey to the site. It's like family here.
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    Default Re: Need insight or Advice

    In no way am I trying to pick apart your post, but I've got another question.....
    Why do you feel the need to reach out and grab his collar? What is happening before you get to this point that gets you to that reaction?
    And I 100000% understand, if that happened to your child, I would be heart broken, too. I too am glad (sounds kinda twisted to say that) that this happened to you and not your son. I appreciate you coming here for help and applaud you taking our questions and advise. We are all here to help.

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    Default Re: Need insight or Advice

    Thank you so very much for taking the time to find this! I will be discussing this with the vet on Monday!

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