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Human-directed aggressive behaviour as the main presenting sign in dogs subsequently diagnosed with diskospondylitis

Abstract

This is the first report of aggressive behaviour as the primary presenting sign in two dogs subsequently found to have chronic diskospondylitis, with neither dog showing other typical clinical signs of this condition. Mild signs of pain were elicited on physical examination in both dogs. Further medical investigation revealed signs indicative of chronic diskospondylitis (L7/S1) and treatment with analgesics and antibiotics was commenced. A marked improvement in behaviour was seen in both dogs when on treatment. Dog 1 stopped exhibiting unpredictable episodes of growling and biting when handled or approached and dog 2 stopped vocalising and occasional growling when handled or lifted. Gradual treatment withdrawal (dog 1 after six weeks and dog 2 after four weeks, respectively) caused a recurrence of behaviour signs thus further treatment was recommenced. Continued follow-up over a year revealed the importance of long-term use of analgesics to prevent behavioural deterioration when chronic lesions are present.

  • Dogs
  • Diskospondylitis
  • Aggression
  • Human

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