Pain leads to aggression in some dogs, study says

Sudden changes in a dog’s temperament, for example episodes of aggression, could be related to some internal pain they are feeling, which sets them on edge if they are touched, new research indicates.

“If the pet is handled when in pain, it will quickly act aggressively to avoid more discomfort without the owner being able to prevent it,” study researcher Tomàs Camps, of the Autonomous University of Barcelona, in Spain, said in a statement. “Dogs that had never been aggressive before the onset of pain began to behave in this way in situations where an attempt is made to control them.”

Irritability from pain can make otherwise affectionate dogs violent and already aggressive dogs even more aggressive. As such, the researchers say, their findings support the importance of the diagnosis and treatment of pain in dogs.

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