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Sally G.
Sally G., Animal Behaviorist
Category: Dog Training
Satisfied Customers: 9518
Experience:  Service /assistance dog trainer,Therapy dog evaluator and trainer, AKC evaluator, pet first aide and member of PAS Animal Response Team.
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My 2 yr old male pit has been acting strange. Normally VERY

Customer Question

My 2 yr old male pit has been acting strange. Normally VERY friendly, loving, and loyal. We dote on him and love him all the time. He's my best bud. Last week or two his behavior was a little off but tonight has been drastic change. He normally sleeps with us and always wants to be close to us. Tonight he has wanted to stay to himself in his crate. I knelt down and talked to him and he growled at me. He and I are very close. I mean very close. He wants to go everywhere with me. He's just different tonight. Scary kind. He has never acted than way before.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Training
Expert:  Sally G. replied 1 year ago.

Hello and welcome. My name is ***** ***** I have been in the dog field for 25 years. I am a Therapy Dog & AKC Evaluator/trainer/ as well as an assistance/service dog trainer, specializing in behavior. It will be my pleasure to help you today.

Normally when a dog suddenly acts out of character it is due to a health issue so that is something that I would look into. Some disease such as hypothyroidism will cause aggressive behavior. also dogs that are ill, generall due to possible disease or bone/spinal aches, do want to be left alone and seek out places they feel they will not be bothered. If there is no crate set up they may seek a closet or under a bed.

How is he acting today?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
He layed in bed with us for a little this morning but he got back down in the floor after a short period. He did come give me affection and hugs before getting down. I think something is hurting him also. Just don't know how to figure what it is. I took him to vet last week. He does smack his mouth together more than usual. I told them that. We put him to sleep so they could check out his mouth. Vet said he had tosilitis. He got a shot of antibiotics and has been taking 500 mg cephalaxin 2x day. Vet also found a large build up of wax in his right ear. They washed his ears out. Got a small marble size piece of wax out of his right ear. I don't think it's joint pain. He was running as hard as he could yesterday. At times he seems totally normal and happy then this aloofness comes over him. He will still wag his tail when you talk to him but normally when you talk to him you better brace yourself because he's gonna show you some serious affection. He supposed to get his teeth cleaned next month. I want to take him back to the vet. I just don't know what to tell them to look for. It is a really good facility. Western Prairie Animal Hospital in Altus, Ok. They have been fantastic with him. They can perform a lot of lab work on site. Any suggestions? I don't care how much it cost. I can't stand to think he's suffering.
Expert:  Sally G. replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for that information. He certainly has a lot going on. The lip smacking might be due to the antibiotic as this one makes dogs nauseous so always give with food.

The fact that his ears were bothering and his tonsils would be reason enough to be grumpy. I would check his gum coloring and make sure they are not on the pale or white side. If they are then let your vet know.

An ear infection can be very painful to a dog and dogs are usually pretty stoic about pain.

I would want to give him plenty of rest and let the antibiotics take their course, which is probably what your Vet will tell you before proceeding with further testing. But the thyroid panel would be one I would look at as if this is even off a little without the other symptoms of feeling cold, hair loss etc. it can still cause an aggressive tendency.

Here you can read medical causes for sudden aggression

http://www.petplace.com/article/dogs/behavior-training/behavior-problems/medical-causes-of-aggression-in-dogs

The cephalaxin is sometimes not enough to take care of some infections but your Vet won't know that until your return visit.

Expert:  Sally G. replied 1 year ago.

Let the recheck by the Vet be done in a couple of weeks and if all checks out well and he is back to his happy self then at least you will know for the next time that when he is not feeling well he gets a little grumpy and it is best to let him rest through this. If the vet check shows the ears are clear and tonsillitis is gone, the full panel thyroid was okay we will visit the behavior side. I just don't want to put any undue training in place if this is all due to illness as it may stress him out more. Keep this link in your email so you can get back to me via this question to put a behavior plan in place. In the mean time try to take note of all changes of behavior, time, place, what is going on around him at the time, is there company either human or other animals there, etc. That may help to narrow down what is causing this.

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