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Sudden Aggression


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Maggie is 14 1/2 years old, and is partially deaf, cataracs so partialy blind and has thyroid issues. She has been with us for almost 2 months now, and is a permanent foster. Maggie, since yesterday has taken to sudden aggression attacks. Yesterday, she grabbed my arm out of the blue when I was reaching to snap her leash on the collar.

 

Today, she snapped and grabbed my arm again on 3 separate issues. The first was when trying to brush her teeth this morning. The second was when I was trying to stop her from going after another food bowl. And this afternoon, she was laying down right next to Tootsie, our house guest, and she suddenly attacked Tootsie and was biting her. I put myself between Maggie and Tootsie, and attempted to remove Maggie from the bed, that I thought she was guarding. And she grabbed my arm again. No damage, just a grab and growl.

 

Then, within an hour, she was lying between my husband and me, and suddenly jumped up, and snapped and growled. We were on the telephone to our GPA liaison about her new behavior.

 

 

She was not asleep for any of these instances. I have snapped a leash on her hundreds of times. Whether she was standing, or laying down. She has always wanted to go with me as soon as she sees the leash, so I don't know what happened.

 

I have removed food from her on numerous occasions also. She is real sneaky about stealing Tootsies food, as our guest is fed raw, and Maggie wants to indulge. I have redirected Maggie to her own dish so many times in the past.

 

Tootsie, age 11 or 12, has been here almost 2 weeks, and they have been getting along greyt. They lay down together, back to back, sleep beside each other, sniff and follow each other in the yard, even drink water out of the same bowl at the same time. Tootsie is a tripod and was sound asleep when Maggie attacked her. Tootsie was laying with her back side towards Maggie. Maggie was awake, and watching me, as it was getting to be time to feed them. My husband was sitting right there also. This just does make any sense.

 

I have the suspicion that this is not the only time Maggie has snarked in the last couple days. We have our precious Kendra here too. Kendra, age 7, has fostered numerous hounds and is extremely mellow, and has been with us for almost 4 years.. When we leave we always muzzle all 3 as we don't want any accidents. But since yesterday, Kendra has been hiding in the closet for hours at a time. When she comes out, and Maggie is in the room, she always peeks around the corner, to see if the coast is clear before she comes out. Taking a wide route away from Maggie.

 

Anybody have any suggestions. I will be calling the vet early tomorrow morning.

Edited by jimsherriek
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Missing our pups at the Bridge--Amandas Kelsey 03-15-1996 to 05-02-2008; Melissa May 07-17-1998 to 11-23-2009; Emily's Maggie 10-05-1995 to 05-20-2010; Flying Kendra 01-13-2003 to 02-28-2011; Izzy (Smile Please) 06-27-2002 to 03-28-2012: Senator (EF Rob Statesman) 04-30-2000 to 12-30-2013: Secret (Seperate Secrets) 04-10-2003 to 08-03-2014: Tugboat (Thugboat) 06-07-2007 to 07-27-2015; Betsy (Bee Better Now) 12-04-2004 to 07-02-2017: Dottie ( Rooftop Spottie) 08-08-2004 to 05-11-2018:Abby (WW's Dear Abby) 11/2008-08/2020: Tiny (Piccadilly Girl) 08/2007-10/2020:  Tiller (Kelsos Tillerson) 10/30/2018: Heart (Lions Heart) 03/08/2014

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Guest TheUnrulyHound

I know certain imbalances can cause behavior changes, I don't know which ones but I am very glad you are taking her to the vet tomorrow. Someone will chime in with a suggestion I hope

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Guest LindsaySF
Definitely a vet visit in order. I would also recommend crating her during meal times.

Agreed with this. The food aggression issues are easily solved by crating or some other form of separation.

 

Some other thoughts:

 

If she is partially blind, it's possible that she didn't see you coming with the leash and you startled her. Even if she was ok on previous occasions, maybe she saw you coming then, but not this time.

 

As for the sudden aggression when laying down, she could have space aggression issues, she doesn't need to be asleep to suddenly decide to guard her bed or space. Teagan has space aggression, he will be wide awake and will "out of the blue" jump up and go after any dog laying nearby. He also tends to pick on the more submissive dogs, or the ones that really don't heed his warning signals. And interestingly enough, Teagan will choose to lay down next to another dog, just to snap at them minutes later. rolleyes.gif

 

See what the vet says and make sure she is not sick or in pain. But if the vet visit checks out okay, I would attribute her behavior to space aggression and startle responses. Good luck.

 

 

 

 

~Lindsay~

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Hugs to you and Kendra! No experience, though it does sound like her deafness and blindness could be at least part of the issue. Age related doggy dementia might also be playing a role in the sudden aggression. If you haven't done it in a few months, it would be worth seeing what her thyroid values are as well, as thyroid can play a part in aggression issues.

 

Hope your vet can help you figure it out.

Chris - Mom to: Lilly, Felicity (DeLand), and Andi (Braska Pandora)

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Angels: Libby (Everlast), Dorie (Dog Gone Holly), Dude (TNJ VooDoo), Copper (Kid's Copper), Cash (GSI Payncash), Toni (LPH Cry Baby), Whiskey (KT's Phys Ed), Atom

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Guest mcsheltie

Get her thyroid levels checked. Don't do the quickie panel they run in the office. Send it to MSU for the complete profile. They are the only lab in the country that runs TSH levels. And that is important with Greyhounds.

 

I agree about feeding in crates or separate rooms.

 

Since Maggie is sharking the others when you aren't around, until you can get to the bottom of it, I would baby gate her by herself when you can't be supervising. Kendra shouldn't have to hide in the closet! After two months she might be feeling comfortable enough in your home that she is being herself. She is quite an old lady and with her health problems might not like the other dogs around her.

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Guest 2greygirls

I concur..Vet visit, it could be pain, or thyrouid, or someother imbalance. Sadly, our furkids are not immune to some of the age related disorders we experience.

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Another thought is that if she's almost deaf, and almost blind, she may feel defensive of all the other dogs since she's been with you such a short time. She may be more blind than you think also and given her age she may feel very vulnerable with things coming at her that she can't hear or see. Poor thing, I feel for her. I know when Emmy went blind she became quite snarky at first because she couldn't see what was going on around her. She still had her hearing though so I can't even imagine what it must be like to not be able to see or hear things going on.

 

I'd feed in a crate and maybe put a bed in there for her to lay on. In her present state, she may feel safer in the crate. I'd have the vet check her over good too.

Judy, mom to Darth Vader, Bandita, And Angel

Forever in our hearts, DeeYoGee, Dani, Emmy, Andy, Heart, Saint, Valentino, Arrow, Gee, Bebe, Jilly Bean, Bullitt, Pistol, Junior, Sammie, Joey, Gizmo, Do Bee

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Another thought is that if she's almost deaf, and almost blind, she may feel defensive of all the other dogs since she's been with you such a short time. She may be more blind than you think also and given her age she may feel very vulnerable with things coming at her that she can't hear or see. Poor thing, I feel for her. I know when Emmy went blind she became quite snarky at first because she couldn't see what was going on around her. She still had her hearing though so I can't even imagine what it must be like to not be able to see or hear things going on.

 

I'd feed in a crate and maybe put a bed in there for her to lay on. In her present state, she may feel safer in the crate. I'd have the vet check her over good too.

 

I agree with this post. If this girl is having a tough time seeing and hearing then she is probably not getting any warning that either you or the other dogs are close until she gets "touched" and thus, causing an immediate defensive reaction on her part. Do you think she might hear something like a cow bell if it was put on the collar of the other dogs or maybe "hear" a vibration like clapping your hands or tapping your feet?

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