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My every body and every dog loving mutt Smalls has displayed some concerning signs of aggression lately. Towards me, our other dogs, and dogs she's familiar with. She IS food aggressive, but these situations do not involve food or any valuable item at all. TODAY she has lunged snarling and snapping at my Dachshund THREE times. All three times he was either walking in the living room, or simply standing/sitting. TWICE today she has lunged at my Elkhound, both times he was just standing there, not even facing her. Same thing with my boyfriend's parent's dog twice a few days ago. Both times he was simply standing near her, and like Jack, not even looking at her. There have been similar incidents all week, once involving her walking up to me, standing at my legs for a moment, and when I said "Hello Smalls."and looked at her she lunged at me. She did not hurt me, or the dogs, even though she her teeth made contact. She started and stopped each incident and only seemed to be "warning"

We took her to the vet for a full panel, and every thing came back normal. I'm concerned this is a thyroid issue, though they keep telling me her thyroid levels are normal. My reasoning for thinking they're "wrong" is because she suddenly gained weight, her hair is falling out in large patches, she has been depressed, and the aggression. They had no answers for the weight gain and insisted we must be feeding her more (not the case.) and the hair falling out is "Seasonal Alopecia." because skin scraping came back negative. I've looked up some of her symptoms and they describe a couple serious health issues.

I want to go to another vet. I've been to this vet her entire life, and they've always done a good job, but I feel like something is wrong. Are we going on a fishing expedition? My Dachshund sees a behaviorist, and I'm wondering if this is something we should just turn to her for. I'd like to do both, but I'm wondering if any one has experiences similar to this? What am I missing?
 

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If you want to go to another vet, go to another vet. It's just a matter of calling them up and explaining the situation. There's no need to sever ties with your current vet just to get a second opinion. How old is this dog?
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
If you want to go to another vet, go to another vet. It's just a matter of calling them up and explaining the situation. There's no need to sever ties with your current vet just to get a second opinion. How old is this dog?
She'll be three in November. Oh, if it makes a difference, she's UTD on shots and spayed. ALSO she just had a small malignant tumor removed from her ear but they said that any cancerous cells were removed with it.

I would visit another vet especially if patches of fur are falling off. That's not normal.
That's my deal. She's never lost her hair before. Her skin is normal and not irritated in any way. She is not biting/itching. They keep telling me it's seasonal Alopecia.
 

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you know you're burnt out on school when you see "brain storming" in the title of a thread and think that it says "barn storming" :eek: :confused: was like wtf? there for a sec....

anyways...

videotape it. see if you can get the behavior on tape. not only will you be able to show the behavior to the pros but oftentimes if you videotape it, you will catch something you didn't see as it was happening as you can go back over it.


id go to the vet and flat out state my concerns, show him what you found regarding the symptoms and ask if he's tested specifically for any of it, and if not ask that he do it(taking into consideration funds of course) AND get a second opinion.

they are there for you. they tell you what's going on. Don't be afraid to grill them on every little detail. My vet says I am a nightmarish mommy and that she is soo happy I take the time to really understand what she is doing and why. it will help you make better decisions concerning treatment...which ultimately is in your hands.

this is the one who came with health issues right? all the more reason to aggressively seek out whatever the solution is. Id also ask if the previous health issues could be indicative of what may be going on.

id also take her to the behaviorist.

good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
you know you're burnt out on school when you see "brain storming" in the title of a thread and think that it says "barn storming" :eek: :confused: was like wtf? there for a sec....

anyways...

videotape it. see if you can get the behavior on tape. not only will you be able to show the behavior to the pros but oftentimes if you videotape it, you will catch something you didn't see as it was happening as you can go back over it.


id go to the vet and flat out state my concerns, show him what you found regarding the symptoms and ask if he's tested specifically for any of it, and if not ask that he do it(taking into consideration funds of course) AND get a second opinion.

they are there for you. they tell you what's going on. Don't be afraid to grill them on every little detail. My vet says I am a nightmarish mommy and that she is soo happy I take the time to really understand what she is doing and why. it will help you make better decisions concerning treatment...which ultimately is in your hands.

this is the one who came with health issues right? all the more reason to aggressively seek out whatever the solution is. Id also ask if the previous health issues could be indicative of what may be going on.

id also take her to the behaviorist.

good luck!
I'm also a vet griller. I don't want to be counter productive, but I want to know every thing. I was the one who pressed for all the extra tests/full panel because all they wanted to do was skin scrape her, despite my describing the aggression and weight gain. When they let me know the tests were normal I flat out said "They cannot be. What can we do?"

Yep, Smalls is the walking health issue, which is why I'm on high alert. She has GI tract issues and has a short small intestine left from a long untreated prolapsed rectum as a pup. Our behaviorist is our go to (Jonas has a load of problems) for a lot of stuff, but I want to make sure there are no underlying health issues. Frustrating.
 

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I'm sorry you're having trouble. I would also recommend another vet. If you get the same answer, nothing lost except a few $$. You can still go back to your other vet. If it's me and the vet's advice feels that off to me because I know my dog better than the vet, I would prob. get a 3rd opinion, too, but I'm a way hyper mom!!

Edit: Just wanted to add something that is absolutely only an opinion and is not meant to offend any vets out there: It's been my experience that when a dog presents with multiple symptoms, some (not all by any means) vets tend to treat the most severe, health threatening one and ignore behavioral and secondary ones (esp. if they seem unrelated) because that can be less familiar territory to them. I've been very frustrated by a vet who seemed to pick and choose what he wanted to pay attention to.
 

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Edit: Just wanted to add something that is absolutely only an opinion and is not meant to offend any vets out there: It's been my experience that when a dog presents with multiple symptoms, some (not all by any means) vets tend to treat the most severe, health threatening one and ignore behavioral and secondary ones (esp. if they seem unrelated) because that can be less familiar territory to them. I've been very frustrated by a vet who seemed to pick and choose what he wanted to pay attention to.
You are quite right. As with anything not all vets are created equal. Some are just better than others.
 

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I love my vet to death and I would still go for a second opinion if I felt he, or I , were missing something.
This aggression seems like NEW behaviour..things don't pop up for no reason behaviourally.
You say you tested for a full panel thyroid...did he show you the results? If ANY of the results are even borderline low she still could be having thyroid issues..subclinical signs of behaviour changes are often evident BEFORE you have a real dip in thyroid hormones.

Also, have you thought about adrenal disease? Diabetes? Both of these can also cause behaviour issues and in the case of adrenal disease (Cushings, Addison's) hair loss can occur.

Do you have any Veterinary behaviourists in your area (DVM AND Phd in behaviour)?
Follow your gut here, kiddo.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I love my vet to death and I would still go for a second opinion if I felt he, or I , were missing something.
This aggression seems like NEW behaviour..things don't pop up for no reason behaviourally.
You say you tested for a full panel thyroid...did he show you the results? If ANY of the results are even borderline low she still could be having thyroid issues..subclinical signs of behaviour changes are often evident BEFORE you have a real dip in thyroid hormones.

Also, have you thought about adrenal disease? Diabetes? Both of these can also cause behaviour issues and in the case of adrenal disease (Cushings, Addison's) hair loss can occur.

Do you have any Veterinary behaviourists in your area (DVM AND Phd in behaviour)?
Follow your gut here, kiddo.
The aggression is new and came right on the heels of her hair falling out, and her noticeable depression. I made the appointment immediately, but did some digging online and found that some of the main reasons could be cancer, diabetes, or Cushings, so when I went to the vet I immediately showed them what I found and how Smalls is exhibiting symptoms that could definitely be any of these. They drew blood in each follow up visit (we've gone three times) and ran the gambit of tests and insisted there aren't any signs of anything.
I just feel like this can't be right and there must be other tests out there, but great vets are few and far between in our town and we just left ours when we moved. I know I'm not a vet, but I know Smalls. She's a big happy dumb and would never hurt me or her dog siblings.

We found a Veterinary Behaviorist Dr. Victoria L. Voith right in our town. I've looked up a lot of good things about her, so this clinic is our next stop.
 
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