Dealing with an Aggressive Pet
on September 12, 2011
Posted in Behavior Management
Aggressive behavior in pets often stems from a variety of underlying sources. From anxiety to a biological response to the environment. Aggression is classified and has been described as the following: lack of socialization; play, fear, or pain; predatory; territorial; and idiopathic meaning a source cannot be identified. Whatever the source aggression in pets can be very dangerous and it is important to consult with a trained animal behaviorist in seeking ways to approach the treatment of aggression. It is important to note that medical therapy will not cure any behavioral problem. Behavior modification training augmented with drug therapy may help in some cases. Typical conventional drug therapies include acepromazine for sedation, anti-depressants such as fluoxetine and anti-anxiety medications such as amitriptyline. Psychiatric drugs should be reserved for only the most severe cases because they may cause damage to the liver and nervous system of affected animals. Besides the side effects associated with these drugs it is again important to state that drugs used alone, without behavior modification, are not effective.
The holistic veterinary approach to aggression takes into account internal, physiological, nutritional and autoimmune reactions such as those associated with vaccines. When nutrition, medicinal herbs and other holistic remedies are used with drugs and behavior modification the aggression can be improved. Some chinese herbs that have sedative effects include ‘Albizzia flower’, ‘Bupleurum’, ‘Polygonum’ and ‘White Peony’. Another area anecdotally reported to assist with aggression involves the use of flower essence. They may be used primarily when there are disturbances of a mental, emotional or behavior nature. Aspen is though to help in situations of apprehension or fear; ‘Mimulus’ is useful for fears of unkown things; Holly is used in the strong and aggressive emotions of outright anger.
Aggressive pets are not fun and can pose a burden if not handled appropriately If you have an aggressive pet seek the assistance of a trained behaviorist to provide the best treatment options available.
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Janice Huntingford, DVM, has been in veterinary practice for over 30 years and has founded two veterinary clinics since receiving her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine at the Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph. She has studied extensively in both conventional and holistic modalities. Ask Dr. Jan