How Can I Tell if My Dog is Hyperkinetic?
There is a lot of interest in over excitability in dogs, what it is exactly and what leads to this condition. In my last post, I talked about identifying psychotic dogs, and so I thought the subject of hyperkinetic dogs would be appropriate and perhaps helpful for those who may be dealing with this issue with their dog.
Anyone who has worked extensively with dogs has occasionally been confronted by an over-active, sometimes raging, vicious kind of dog, the handling of which has required a heavy duty tranquilizer and several helpers. In many cases, such behavior cannot be explained by improper handling or cruelty and neglect by their owners. When it seems that nothing can be done to correct the problem, the dog is then usaully destroyed as a menace. Since the early 1970s, such excitable and mean behavior has been identified in some dogs as hyperkinesis.
In The Veterinarian’s Encyclopedia of Animal Behavior, Bonnie V. Beaver describes hyperkinesis as a “a hyper behavior that is treatable with stimulants.” Unfortunately a lack of accurate information from dog owners exists regarding this condition. Interesting, this condition has recently been given a new label, “attention deficit disorder.” While ADD, as it is termed, may describe certain aspects of the readily observable behavior of a hyperkinetic dog, it lacks the physiologic symptoms which can be described and measured.
Signs associated with hyperkinesis in dogs are usually displayed when the dog is under stress caused by close confinement or social isolation. Symptoms would include rapid heart rate and respiration, excessive salivation, a high metabolic rate, and reduced urine output. Part of the problem in accurately identifying the hyperkinetic syndrom is that there is no easily discernable cause. Dogs labelled hyperkinetic often do not exhibit the same behavior patterns or physical symptoms.
Some of the basic symptoms of this syndrome include:
- inability of the dog to sit still
- the dog cannot become accustomed to every-day routine situations
- the dog cannot seem to learn anything
- constant salivating
- the dog always seems very excited and nervous
- the dog may bite with no apparent reason
- dog may have a pattern of viciously attacking other dogs without hesitation or provocation
I want to make it clear that the hyperkinetic syndrome is an extreme condition. If you are worrying whether or not your dog is hyperkinetic, remember that it won’t be just a “little bit” hyperkinetic. A dod that is a little over active is not hyperkinetic. A hyperkinetic dog will have marked and extreme symtoms. Researchers who have investigated this generally come away likening the condition to ADD in children. Unfortunately, there does not appear to be a clear solution to the problem or “one size fits all” remedy.
[tags]hyperkinetic dogs,hyperkinetic dog syndrome,a hyperkinetic dog,add in dogs[/tags]
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