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Rage Syndrome In The GSD?

8836 Views 4 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  BlackGSD
Yesterday I posted in the aggression forum regarding my 7 year old Shepherd mix's problems with sudden unprovoked aggression. This is the post:

The condensed version of my original posting in that forum was this is a very good natured, VERY well trained, obedient, willing to please dog. He never showed any aggro issues in his life save for about 2 yrs ago, when he attacked me & my mother without provocation. His eyes were very wild that night - I was not looking at Thunder when he lunged for my face
He was a different dog entirely. This aggression corresponded with a problem w/ the Eukanuba we were feeding the dogs at the time, and I did have other dogs become ill from it as well. It took a while to get him back to normal, but today Thunder seemed to be back to his old self - healthier than he's been in years and that happy go lucky attitude was back. Until he viciously attacked my other dog last night, for absolutely no reason. Just came running down the stairs and attacked him.

I have been racking my brain for ideas as to what the problem can be. I know there IS some type of underlying problem, and not just a dog who has an aggressive streak. Because Thunder is not an aggressive dog. So something is seriously wrong. I will be taking two of my other dogs to the Vet tomorrow & will convey his symptoms to her then. In the meantime, I've been searching for answers. Is it thyroid related, a brain tumor, toxicity? He has a hint of symptoms from all of these problems, but many, many more symptoms that he does not have, either. In the back of my mind I want to say it's almost seizure like with the way it sets on so suddenly and then I thought of something ... A longshot, but I was curious.

Rage syndrome. Seemed to me very far fetched, and I wasn't even sure it was a true condition, but I Googled it and what I'm finding is very disturbing. His symproms are matching.
- Mostly occurs in spaniels but also has been reported in GSDs (and Dobies, which is a breed he may be mixed with)
- It's theorized that it can be cause by, among other factors, low thyroid. Now he does have a few symptoms of thyroid problems - poor coat, chronic ear & eye infections

As for the symptoms:

"Sudden attacks for no apparent reason; the dog will often be sleeping and then attack without warning. The eyes become dilated and sometimes change colour during and after an attack, the dog is totally confused when attacking and will not respond to any attempts to stop it. The attacks are very unpredictable and the dog will often appear disorientated afterward and unaware of it's actions, then return to it's normal self shortly after. Victims are usually members of the family and due to the lack of warning from the dog, suffer from a flesh wound that will need medical attention."

Geez. Yes, the attacks occur suddenly & without warning. There have been issues with his eyes during & after an attack - they looked strange & wild but I couldn't place my finger on it until tonight, when I saw both his eyes looked odd, like they did during the attacks. It stopped me cold for a second I thought he was going to attack again, but when I took a closer look - his eyes are fully dialated. He DOES appear disoriented after the attack stops. And once it stops, 99% of the time he makes no further attempt to attack again. Just seems to be in his own world, looking like we've just reprimanded him. I could be jumping to conclusions (or grasping at straws) but has anyone heard of Rage Syndrome in a GSD?

What I found on rage syndrome:
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I don't know anything about Rage Syndrome, but just wanted to make sure you had seen this thread, I know you have probably done alot of searching but maybe it will help?

Medical Causes of Aggression
This is confusing... the article suggests a veterinarian, but also a behaviorist. I wonder... it also mentions anticonvulsants. I know in humans, there is a type of epilepsy without the typical falling down type seizures, but rage, terror, etc that happens suddenly and without reason. I sure hope something like anticonvulsants can be the answer for your dog! I will be keeping you in my thoughts and prayers.
Epilepsy is my guess , it also can be seen as when a dog just "spaces out". Sounds neurlogical. Good luck.
I've never heard of Rage in GSDs (NOT saying it doesnt' exist, just that I haven't heard of it.) Though I have heard of it several times in English Springer Spaniels.

Is your dog on any kind of HW preventative? I have heard of some of them causing "Neurological issues".
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