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Aggression in a dog after being neutered

December 26th, 2010, 08:05 PM
Hi there, I recently adopted a new dog, he is 14 months old and half golden retreiver and half chocolate lab. He was very calm, affectionate and obedient for the first month we had him. At which point we took him to the vet for his castration surgery. He was good for the first week but now three weeks post surgery he growls at everyone! We cannot go anywhere near him without him growling and backing away. We have checked out his incision site for signs of infection or injury (my mom is a surgical nurse) and have given his plenty of opportunities for quiet time by himself as we also have a very young puppy who loves nothing more than to play with her big friend! The puppy entered our house at the same time as the older dog, so it is not the puppy causing anxiety. My question is has anyone else experienced an increase in aggression in their dogs after their surgery, and will it subside as hormone levels even out? We love our big guy and just want him to be happy and healthy and I get the sense he really is not at the moment.
On a side note there have been no changes in diet, routine or appetite.
Thanks for taking the time to read and respond!

December 26th, 2010, 08:17 PM
Hi ILMP :).

Any changes in behavior, such as sudden aggression, warrant a vet visit asap. There may be something causing him pain and it doesn't necessarily have to be the incision site.

From where did you adopt him and was there a history on him?

December 26th, 2010, 08:32 PM
He came from another loving family that couldn't keep him due to the failing health of one of their young children. He had no real history of aggression, except occasionally with another dog (one specific dog) who he would growl at after being sniffed at too long. At the post-op follow-up visit the vet had said everything looked great and was healing well. Perhaps we will have to take him back in to the vet, I was just wondering if this was commonly a side effect of changing hormone levels or just a post-op "cooling down" period?

December 26th, 2010, 08:47 PM
It's not common at all after a neuter. Seeing he has no history of aggression, I would bet his behavior is pain related. Have your vet do a thorough physical exam, the sooner the better.

Good luck and let us know how he's doing :fingerscr.

December 26th, 2010, 09:15 PM
Thank you! I will try to make an appointment first thing in the morning.

December 27th, 2010, 09:01 AM
There is research to show that, generally, aggression in neutered boys and girls, especially girls, is much more common that previously thought. The research found more aggression problems in neutered than in entire dogs of both sexes. You can read about it here and please do because when you get into the finer points it does show variation by breed and gender.

So soon after his castration would make me suspicious of the actual surgery and something maybe not healing as it should though. I'd also be checking back with my Vet as suggested above. Poor boy, if he's not feeling well I hope it is easily resolved.

Do you actually know the family who had him before? Sadly, not everyone is totally honest in disclosing problems.

December 28th, 2010, 11:50 PM
Any updates, ILMP? :fingerscr