2 Canine Illnesses That Can Cause Aggression In Your Pet

As a pet owner, you have a responsibility to ensure your dog's health and happiness. Dogs that are taken care of can make great companions for you and your family. Of course, even the healthiest and happiest of dogs can develop illnesses. Certain illnesses can have a neurological impact on your dog that may lead to aggression, and an aggressive dog can be a scary dog. Identifying illnesses that cause aggression in your dog can allow you to seek out the proper treatment to ensure the safety of both you and your pooch.

Lyme Disease

Just as people are prone to Lyme disease, so is your pet. Ticks carry bacteria that is known to cause Lyme disease, and they transmit that bacteria when they bite into their host. Unfortunately, Lyme disease can lead to certain neurological disorders that may impact your dog's behavior. For instance, a dog with Lyme disease may display symptoms such as:

  • Confusion
  • Depression
  • Excitability
  • Irritability
  • Aggression

Other symptoms may include overeating or a loss of appetite, inflamed joints, swollen lymph nodes, and a fever. Keep in mind that Lyme disease rarely causes neurological disorders, but it is still something to be aware of should your pet become afflicted.

Pets are prone to tick bites since they often go outside. Even a dog that is an indoor dog is prone to tick bites since they must go outside in order to go potty. For that reason, it is important to recognize the signs and symptoms of Lyme disease. It is equally important to know how to treat and prevent the disease.

To begin with, it takes 24 hours for your dog to become afflicted. Therefore, you must make it a point to check your dog thoroughly for ticks regularly, particularly after they have been outside. Remove any ticks you find. It is important that you remove the head of the tick. If you fail to remove the head of the tick, ask your local veterinarian for assistance. You should also speak with your veterinarian about the use of tick repellents to help protect your dog against the threat of Lyme disease.

Thyroid Problems

An aggressive dog may bark, growl, snap, lunge, or bite other dogs and even people. Aggression toward other animals and people can have negative results for your pet. For instance, if your dog acts aggressively toward another person, you run the risk of having to put your beloved pet down. Fortunately, Fido's aggression issues may very well be attributed to a treatable problem known as thyroid aggression, which is caused by thyroid problems.

The thyroid gland is a hormone-producing gland that aids with metabolic functions. A dog suffering from hypothyroidism can experience a change or sudden loss of hormone production. The loss of your dog's hormone production can lead to certain abnormalities in your pet's health and behavior. For example, a dog suffering from hypothyroidism may display the following symptoms:

  • Aggression
  • Lethargy
  • Skin problems (dry skin, dark patches)
  • Excessive shedding or loss of fur
  • Weight gain
  • Difficulty having a bowel movement

Although hypothyroidism can occur in any breed, certain breeds are more prone to developing this illness than others. Dog breeds that are prone to hyperthyroidism include:

  • Golden Retrievers
  • Labradors
  • Boxers
  • Great Danes
  • Dachshunds

Those are just a few of the breeds that are at risk of the disease. If your dog displays symptoms of hyperthyroidism, it is important for you to make an appointment with your veterinarian. Treatment of the disease is of the utmost importance in order to ensure your dog's health and to prevent the threat of aggression. Your vet can provide medications to help regulate your dog's thyroid and reduce symptoms, including aggression.

Although an aggressive dog is often taxing to deal with, it is possible that your dog's strange neurological behavior is related to one of the two illnesses mentioned above. It is important that you take your dog to the pet hospital to rule out illnesses as the cause of your dog's behavior. If your dog's aggression comes on suddenly despite a normally sweet disposition, an illness may very well be to blame. Talk to your vet about other illnesses that may cause aggression in your pet in order to treat each one properly.