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Old 08-05-2012, 07:56 PM
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Default Rage Syndrome

Just merely curious, I know this used to be kind of a big thing in Spaniels maybe in the 90's-early 00's, but it seems to have kind of dissipated through the years. Used to see people come on forums and blame aggression on 'Rage syndrome', I think it was in the news too, but I really haven't heard anyone mention it in some time. Even a google search shows most forum topics about it are 2007 and prior.

Is it still a 'thing'? Was it ever really a 'thing'? Have you ever known a dog that might have been affected?
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Old 08-05-2012, 08:46 PM
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I've heard of it but I have only met sweet, well behaved Spaniels. So I never knew if it was a real thing either :/
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Old 08-05-2012, 09:00 PM
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There is a university out in California, I believe, that is doing a lot of research into the genetic part of it, in quite a few breeds. My friend got contacted when she had to put down an Aussie for it - the university already had a huge number of samples (20 or more? I forget) from the same breeder that dog had come from. They had wanted a DNA sample. I remember glancing at their website at the time.
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Old 08-05-2012, 11:38 PM
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It is still very much an issue that seems to run in certain lines. Making it to seem "more genetic" than once thought.

It's talked about less because in theory, there is less of an issue. It's also a huge sore spot for anyone breeding the breeds affected by it.
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Old 08-06-2012, 03:11 AM
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I may have met a springer spaniel with it way earlier in the year.

He was solid black and his handler had NO control over him. Full on lunging, snarling, jumping, biting - it was like very heavy aggression with epilepsy. I saw them walk from the sidewalk into the pet store and he was like that all the way while walking.

I dared not ask what was the matter with him but only caught his name and age - Eli, 9 months .....=(. Hope he is still around now, thriving, and in better condition.
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Old 08-06-2012, 06:12 AM
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I see a lot of Springers with crappy fearful, bitey temperaments, and I've occasionally seen their owners blame their bad temperaments/behavior on "rage syndrome" but I don't believe I've ever actually seen a dog with it.

I completely believe it exists, though. It is my understanding that it's either a seizure disorder or closely related to one.
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Old 08-06-2012, 06:27 AM
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I agree with elegy, I've seen a lot of dogs with just "off" temperament and low thresholds but it wasn't until I met a dog with REAL rage syndrom that I was like.. holy ****.

It was really like a seizure. OUT OF NOWHERE. No signal, no sign, no stillness.. and it wasn't a "oh the dog snapped at me" the dog went RABID kind of mindless violent aggression until it was over. There didn't even have to be anyone around.. he would sometimes just lose it in his kennel alone.

The shelter of course put the dog down.. there was just NO telling. It was the most beautiful all white husky so people WANTED to adopt but of course the dog was too big a liability.

They concluded it was either rage syndrom or some kind of tumor/brain disorder.. the shelter didn't have the funding to look into it but the head vet did say he saw similar cases of rage disorder and that rage disorder is often misdiagnosed on dogs that just have bad temperaments.
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Old 08-06-2012, 07:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elegy View Post
I see a lot of Springers with crappy fearful, bitey temperaments, and I've occasionally seen their owners blame their bad temperaments/behavior on "rage syndrome" but I don't believe I've ever actually seen a dog with it.

I completely believe it exists, though. It is my understanding that it's either a seizure disorder or closely related to one.
This is my understanding as well. I have never known a dog with this issue but a friend of mine did. The dog was a perfectly nice, friendly dog most of the time but would randomly and suddenly become very aggressive, trying ti attack anyone or anything around him. Afterwards the dog would be kind of out of it in the way you'd expect a dogs to be post-seizure. Between episodes though, the dog did not have aggression issues and there were not known things which would always cause the dog to become aggressive. That is what the difference between rage syndrome and behavioral issues are.

Rage syndrome used to be a catch all diagnosis for any and all unexplainable aggression. Unexplainable to humans, as in "we have no idea why this dog is aggressive so it must be rage syndrome".
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Old 08-06-2012, 10:44 AM
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Yes, the dog I knew was not a fearful, sketchy dog outside the episodes. He was a normal, friendly, social Aussie who was training in agility and attending classes. When he had an episode, he apparently appeared out of his own control.
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Old 08-20-2012, 07:45 AM
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There was a Cocker with it about 20 years ago I used to see at the vet. Just giving him a shot would set it off. The usual deal would be to give him the shot(s), and lock him in an exam room for however long it took him to get over it. As soon as the first needle went in, off he went He seemed perfectly fine before they did anything, but wow, the foaming at the mouth, biting invisible opponents, and screaming was unreal. There was a window in one of the rooms so I got to see it probably a half dozen times. He was pretty old the last time I saw him, I'm thinking he was close to the end as I had seen him for probably 10 years. I remember thinking, "It's like the exact opposite of Gus, who barely blinked 99% of the time, no matter what was being done to him.
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