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Old 04-13-2014, 09:15 AM
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Default Sudden aggression towards other animals?

Abby (6yr old GSD X Boxer) has attacked four other animals (feral cat during a walk, Kieber, and two of my cats, Binky and Raiden). None where injured (Binky does have a small scratch on his ear) and none where near food/treats or anything of value to her. The feral cat was sunning itself, Kieber was three feet away from here, Raiden was under a table and Binky was across the kitchen. She also has started growling at the other dogs/cats more. It is to point that Zane and Deputy are keeping away from her and Zane is frantic to get into my room at night (Dep is in Dementialand half the time, so no idea if he even notices).

When we came home yesterday after noon, she barked at us and attempted to hide under the couch. We where coming in the same door as always and weren't carrying anything that would freak her out to that extent. She was barking at us like she does at strangers. She had her yearly exam in Feb and the vet did not find anything. She is UTD on shots,spayed, and is on the same food and schedule as always.

At first I thought it was because of us bringing Kieber home, but after the attacks on the three cats, I'm not so sure. She has always been an aloof dog, would only come to you to be petted once or twice a day and that has not changed, she is still wanting the same amount of attention and is not acting clinging at all. As soon as the vet has an opening I'll take her in. She is separated from the other animals when we are gone and at night.

Does this sound like a thyroid issue? Vision?
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Old 04-13-2014, 09:27 AM
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I'd definitely have bloodwork done, to rule out anything going on internally.

It could also just be behavior issues compounding. As Chile has gotten older she's gotten a lot more...irritable? towards the other animals. She tries to attack the cats at times now, where she used to be fine unless they were running away outdoors, and she's also much more dog selective and her reactions are more extreme when she doesn't like a dog. She's older, she has a bum back leg, and she's just not the most stable dog to begin with. Her blood work was fine when she had her teeth cleaned a few months ago. Really, her behavior isn't "new"...her reactions have just gotten worse. Where before she a have barely tolerated a cat walking through *her* space, she now snarks and lunges at them.

The other instance I know of on regards to sudden uncharacteristic aggression was due to a brain tumor.

Regardless, I'd keep her separated from the other animals when you aren't directly supervising until something is figured out.
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Old 04-13-2014, 09:29 AM
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It's always a good idea to check the thyroid (do a panel, not just a T4), but I have to say that stuff like this is hardly ever the thyroid. I'd definitely be suspicious that SOMETHING is wrong, though.

She may have been perfectly normal at the time of her yearly exam and something has changed. If she's acting weird towards you, even, the types of things I'd be thinking about would be vision problems or neurologic disease, or maybe pain somewhere.
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Old 04-13-2014, 11:28 AM
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Originally Posted by *blackrose View Post
I'd definitely have bloodwork done, to rule out anything going on internally.

It could also just be behavior issues compounding. As Chile has gotten older she's gotten a lot more...irritable? towards the other animals. She tries to attack the cats at times now, where she used to be fine unless they were running away outdoors, and she's also much more dog selective and her reactions are more extreme when she doesn't like a dog. She's older, she has a bum back leg, and she's just not the most stable dog to begin with. Her blood work was fine when she had her teeth cleaned a few months ago. Really, her behavior isn't "new"...her reactions have just gotten worse. Where before she a have barely tolerated a cat walking through *her* space, she now snarks and lunges at them.

The other instance I know of on regards to sudden uncharacteristic aggression was due to a brain tumor.

Regardless, I'd keep her separated from the other animals when you aren't directly supervising until something is figured out.
Abby sounds alot like Chile. Did your vet give you any advice on how to deal with this issue? Supplements, training,etc?

I just pray its not a brain tumor, I already have one that I'm loosing to a brain issue and don't need another.
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Old 04-13-2014, 01:37 PM
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With Chloe, a lot of her reactions are anxiety based. She just doesn't know how to deal with any kind of frustration, and it makes her very reactive. Now that I'm in a house with a fence, I've thought about having her live with me again, because I feel like I kind of just...left her. But in a year or two we want kids, and then she wouldn't be safe to have around anyways, so...with my family she stays.

Behavior modification was a huge part of her younger years, but when I moved out she is no longer worked with and my family does a lot of management with her to keep her and them happy and safe. I am forever thankful they were willing and able to do that for me, because the alternatives were not very good.

For Chloe, the biggest thing that helped her besides very consistent behavior modification training and just daily structure was getting her put on an anxiety medication. We didn't see a difference with prozac, but for situational issues we use zanex and it makes the world of difference. I know there are other drugs on the market, too, and I think looking into them if nothing is medically wrong with her may be a good decision.
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Old 04-14-2014, 11:42 PM
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Nothing physically wrong with her, she's just being a Grumpy Old Dog. She has calmed down a ton and now is back to just growling at any animal that strolls by "her" couch.
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Old 04-15-2014, 11:37 AM
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Originally Posted by TexasRanger View Post
Nothing physically wrong with her, she's just being a Grumpy Old Dog. She has calmed down a ton and now is back to just growling at any animal that strolls by "her" couch.
If you just want to vent, that's fine. But saying there's nothing wrong with a dog who is having significant behavior changes, without taking her to see a vet... I just, don't get it.
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Old 04-15-2014, 01:40 PM
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If you just want to vent, that's fine. But saying there's nothing wrong with a dog who is having significant behavior changes, without taking her to see a vet... I just, don't get it.
I don't either. I saw behavior issues in my "grumpy old dog" and I pushed and researched and persisted with the vet, and I was right. Now, we have a little bit of medication and it's as if nothing was every wrong
TONS of issues get brushed off as "just" an old dog thing. And I disagree with that 110%
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Old 04-15-2014, 01:53 PM
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I don't either. I saw behavior issues in my "grumpy old dog" and I pushed and researched and persisted with the vet, and I was right. Now, we have a little bit of medication and it's as if nothing was every wrong
TONS of issues get brushed off as "just" an old dog thing. And I disagree with that 110%
^^^^This. So many people push things off as "oh, it's because they're old". Showing these signs as "old" is only acceptable because people have made it that way. Old isn't an excuse.
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Old 04-15-2014, 04:29 PM
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If you just want to vent, that's fine. But saying there's nothing wrong with a dog who is having significant behavior changes, without taking her to see a vet... I just, don't get it.
This

I was confused by the first post looking for possible answers and then a day later doing a complete 180 to "nothing is wrong, she is just old"

And 6 is not an age (even in Danes) where I would assume it was old age issues...that is still pretty young.

I know Marley got grumbly as he got older but its because he was in PAIN. He never attacked though, he just gave more grumbly warnings to let the other dogs know not to play to close or run into him etc. Attacking is different from grumbly old dog IMO....and even then its something that needs to be treated. I could always tell when we needed to change our medications and dosages based on how grumbly he got.
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