Is The Problem Medical or Behavioral?

Is The Problem Medical or Behavioral? Unfortunately, our dogs cannot talk to us, so when a problem arises, we must investigate to find out what is wrong.  As humans, we often overlook that a problem behavior can be medical. Many times we jump straight to assuming that the dog is doing a “bad” behavior.  As a Registered Veterinary Technician, I am always considering if the reason for an unwanted behavior is medical. Sometimes differentiating if a problem is medical or behavioral can be tricky.  Here are a few things I initially consider: Is the behavior a new behavior? For example, if a dog has been reliably housebroken then begins to have accidents in the house, I will wonder if the dog has developed a bladder infection. Or if a dog that used to love to be petted everywhere begins to growl when someone touches his back, I will ask if the dog has had any recent injuries to their back.   How old is the dog? If the dog is over 8 years old and is displaying “strange” behaviors, the dog may be developing cognitive disorders.   Has the dog experienced any traumas or frightening events? Dogs can develop Post [...]