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Dr. Gregg
Dr. Gregg, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 370
Experience:  35 years experience providing medical care for dogs
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We need help in determining whether or not we need to get

Customer Question

We need help in determining whether or not we need to get rid of our dog. He is seven years old and a very sweet and intelligent dog but recently he has bit my wife in the face and acted aggressively towards our cat who he has tolerated over the years. I believe that the problem started when I took him with me to make deliveries when I was working about 60 hours a week. He expected to go with me every time I left and did not want to have contact with my wife for fear she would ask him to stay home. I think that he was focused on me the other night when my wife went to tell him good night and he perceived that she was coming between us and bit her in the face requiring 100 stitches. Then this morning he was staying close to my side of the bed in anticipation of going somewhere. The cat came by and he reacted aggressively towards her. We need advice as to what to do.
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Gregg replied 10 months ago.

Hi, I'm Dr. Grgg and I will try to help you out today

Expert:  Dr. Gregg replied 10 months ago.

I am very sorry to hear your wife was so severely bitten. This is a very bad situation to be in. That severe of an attack is not a mistake, Murphy meant to cause damage. I have seen this sort of thing before and am always unsure of what triggers a pet to snap like that and attack the people who love them. The first thing recommended in a situation like this is defend yourself. Do not let Murphy be in a position to repeat an attack. Next I would have him undergo a complete medical workup to be sure there is not some hidden medical condition that could account for his actions. I assume his rabies vaccine is up to date, if not you need to quaranteen him and call animal control. If no medical problem exists then you need to decide if you want to get involved with behavior specialist to try to identify the problem and "retrain" Murphy. This may be involved and expensive and no guarantee it would work. The other option is to have him euthanized as a dangerous dog. The big question is will he attack someone again. The safety of your family and friends is at stake, not to mention your legal liability. I am not a lawyer, but If you keep a dog who has attacked someone, and it happens again, you open your self up to being sued. The decision is up to you and your wife but the decision to euthanize is , while difficult, is not wrong. I wish you and your wife luck. Again, I am sorry this happened to you two. I am happy to answer any questions you may have. If not, please accept and rate me for the website. Good luck with your decision. Dr. Gregg