Today I fielded a hysterical call from a client because her dog bit her child. How can I help her decide what to do?
Naturally, when a pet bites, owners become upset. Unfortunately, biting is quite common; recent research conducted in a general veterinary caseload reported 15.6% of sample dogs had shown biting behavior.1 It is prudent to help owners decide what to do and how to proceed. A metabolic disorder or pain can contribute to aggression, so appropriate physical examinations and laboratory testing should be done in all cases of aggression. Any abnormal findings should be treated if possible and the behavior reassessed, as learning may have contributed to the ongoing aggressive responses and aggression may thus persist after the medical problem is resolved.