Have you experienced sudden onset aggression, fear or behavior change with your dog? Imagine if I could give you a pill to solve any behavior challenge. Now, in some cases, there might actually be a pill that can help. We’re looking at what you need to know about your dog’s thyroid.
In the episode you'll hear:
- About my dog Stoni and her sudden lunging at another dog.
- What I learned from Dr. Jean Dodds about sudden onset fear and aggression.
- About the importance of getting a complete thyroid panel for your dog.
- What I noticed with Decaff and her fear of thunder.
- About Buzz’s vestibular disorder episode and his thyroid panel.
- How hormones impact behavior.
- Why behavior is not always a choice for us or our dogs.
- How behavior change could become triggered by events.
- The importance of noticing sudden changes in your dog.
- Dr. Jean Dodds’s Website (Hemopet)
- Thyroid Articles by Dr. Jean Dodds
- TUFTS Reference: Behavioral Changes Associated With Thyroid Dysfunction In Dogs by W. Jean Dodds DVM (W. Jean Dodds, DVM and Linda P. Aronson, DVM)
- Video Blog: Understanding Your Dog’s Triggers
- Podcast Episode 29: Understanding and Preventing Reactivity and Aggression in Your Dog
- Podcast Episode 79: Reduce Anxiety and Grow Your Dog’s Confidence with These Pro Dog Training Tips
- Watch this Episode of Shaped by Dog on YouTube
Very interesting, I shall speak to my vets as my cocker spaniel has for the past year begun to show aggression mainly whilst on a lead when approaching dogs she isn’t familiar with , she is generally ok when off lead but I’ve noticed recently that in some instances if a dog approaches her, rather than her just walk on and ignore which she would normally do, she will confront them and actually go to attack them. She will also starts growling as soon as she sees another dog in the distance as if fearful and as though she is anticipating a threat from them. It is becoming a problem so I do try and walk her in pretty much dog free areas or very few anyway and will avoid any close contact should I see another dog approaching us – she is nearly 6. I have a dog behaviourist friend who advised that it would be a good idea to take her to my vets to check whether there are possibly any underlying problems that could be causing her the act like this – she also recommended listening to these podcasts!!
Comment on sighthounds–their “normals” are lower than most breeds so need to be interpreted differently.
For Deborah, above; In hopes of bringing you some peace of mind, please know that thyroid replacement med (ex:Synthroid) would not likely help at all with changing the development of myelopathy. Rather hypothyroidism and DM are often triggered by an auto- immune disorder. Both diseases are typically the result of an over active immune system attacking specific body protiens (different ones in thyroid and muscle, but both wrongly targeted by one’s own body). Unfortunately there is no cure for DM, rather steroids are used to suppress the immune system, often with suboptimal results and side effects. I am sorry.
Don’t beat yourself up. It sounds like you did well in trying to help your dog, which is all we can sometimes do. I lost my heart dog to DM and understand that it is a soul crushing disease.
Thank you for this info. I had a holistic vet who put my Aussie on Synthroid for lethargy and fear of noise. His numbers were on the low side of normal. I had to switch vets and they took him off the meds because he was “normal”. He eventually developed degenerative myelopathy and it wasn’t until he died that I read research showing a strong correlation between hypothyroidism and DM in dogs. I was heartbroken that I might have saved him some quality of life had I insisted on the meds or switched back to the vet who was more up to date on the research. I now have a BC who became suddenly fear aggressive toward people at 10 months. I am going to insist on a full thyroid panel for her.
What an informative program.
This information was very timely for me. My border collie started showing signs of fearfulness in places around the house that she is very familiar. The behavior came on very suddenly. She has a vet appointment soon. I am encouraged to know there might be a good explanation for her behavior change.
Carol how did you make out this is happening to my border collie.