Dog Bites Resulting from Health Conditions

Dog Bites Resulting from Health Conditions
When a person is attacked by a dog, it can be for a number of different reasons.  Many times, canine aggression may be the result of a health issue.  Dog owners should be aware of these potential health problems and ensure their dog is not placed in a situation where additional stress or pain may trigger an attack.
When a person is attacked by a dog, it can be for a number of different reasons. As referenced in our previous article, dog bites may occur due to various types of canine aggression. There are certain actions that should be avoided to prevent dog bites. However, there are several cases where canine aggression may be the result of a health issue. Dog owners should be aware of these potential health problems so they may visit their veterinary office if symptoms are presented.

The most basic medical causes of dog aggression may seem obvious:

  • Painful joints

  • Injured muscles or limbs

  • Sore or aching gums and teeth

  • Upset stomach

  • Loss of important senses, such as hearing, sight, or smell

  • Hormonal complications, such as hypothyroidism, which may result in overly-protective behavior around food


 

In other cases, the health issue may be neurological. Several conditions can cause inflammation of a dog’s brain, which could create neurological difficulties. This change can make a dog more lethargic, but it can also cause the dog to become more anxious or aggressive.

Health conditions that may instigate neurological disorders, resulting in canine hostility, include:

  • Head trauma or brain trauma

  • Brain tumors

  • Epilepsy, or any form of seizure

  • Bacterial or viral encephalitis

  • Hydrocephalus, which is most common in short-nosed breeds

  • Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome, which is frequently a result of age-related neurological degeneration


 

Unfortunately, dogs cannot tell their owners, “Ouch! I hurt my leg running up those stairs!” This is why it is so important to keep a close eye on canine health. Behavioral changes can occur for a long list of reasons. Many dogs simply feel increased anxiety during new experiences. If behavioral problems aren’t strictly medical, the best option is to work with a friendly and professional trainer.

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