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acts aggressive towards vet

Category: general | Submitted: 4 May 2007 04:56AM | viewed 5923 times
Q Betsey asks:

I have a stray dog who apparently before being rescued was abused badly. She is a very sweet dog. She gets along with all of her family, including two cats and another dog (one cat and one dog who are only there part time). She has no aggressive tendencies, in fact she runs away from uncomfortable situations but when she is taken to the vet and is cornered for shots or what not she acts like she is going to eat him alive. She has been able to get all the muzzles off of her ( I usually double the muzzles and she still gets them off) as a result they have to knock her out every time which means that the vet has a difficult time diagnosing her because he can't observe the problem. Any advice? Are there any vets who specialize in aggressive dogs any suggestions would be helpful.

Q Our vet says: Sorry to hear about this problem- it sounds as if your dog is incredibly fearful at the vet's where she cannot run away. A dog's reaction to a fearful stimulus such as an approaching stranger is often to run away (imagine yourself in the same situation with a stranger approaching you who may well hurt you) if running away is impossible the only option available is to fight! We can therefore at least understand her response. You probably need to consult a behaviourist to get the best chance of resolving this problem but you could try a few other things if your vet would be willing. She may be happier if the vet made a house visit so that she would be on her own territory and perhaps feel more confident. You could also try taking her along to your vet for a few visits when nothing needs to be done and maybe ask for someone to give her a treat so that she comes to think of the surgery as somewhere that nice things and people are. (You would need to speak to your vet about this as they are often very busy places). Even with the best intentions and putting lots of effort into this you may still find that she is fearful of the vet and needs to be sedated and muzzled but it would be worth trying to improve things for everyone concerned.

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