Aggressive dog behavior may take the form of growling, snarling, snapping, biting or lunging at people. It’s very important to determine what is causing the sudden aggression in a dog.
Aggression in dogs can be caused by behavioral issues, medical conditions or both. If a dog suddenly begins to display signs of aggression or hostility, you’ll need to know the cause, or causes, before attempting to help your dog.
Hypothyroidism can sometimes cause a dog to behave aggressively. Hypothyroidism is a medical condition in dogs that causes the thyroid gland to produce less than the normal amount of thyroid hormone. The symptoms of hypothyroidism in dogs can include weight gain, loss of energy, hair loss and sudden aggressive behavior.
When a dog is suffering from congenital or neurological problems, it may display aggressive behavior. A neurological problem caused by illness or injury can affect a dog’s judgment and behavior.
Trauma to a dog’s head, epilepsy and brain tumors can also cause sudden aggression and abnormal behavior in dogs.
Seizures that occur in the region of the brain that contributes to aggression can cause sudden behavioral problems in a dog. Certain breeds of dogs are more prone to this condition. The breeds include Cocker Spaniels, Golden Retrievers, Bull Terriers, Poodles, and Springer Spaniels.
The symptoms of this type of aggression include a sudden change of mood before a seizure, the sudden onset of violent or hostile behavior, dilated pupils, heavy salivating, and aggressive posture. After an aggressive seizure a dog may appear lethargic, sleepy, or depressed.
Obviously, aggressive behavior in a dog must be diagnosed as soon as possible because it usually will continue to get worse and it could also be a sign of something more serious. Contact your veterinarian as soon as you begin noticing any sudden changes in your dog’s behavior or the signs of aggression.
The underlying cause of the problem will have to be diagnosed before any treatment can be planned. The vet will determine what type of treatment is necessary depending on the exact cause of the aggression.
If you have children or other pets, their well-being, or even their lives, could be in danger if the aggressive dog is not diagnosed and treated.