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Rescue Dogs and Behavioral Problems


Rescue and “re-homed” dogs make up a large percentage of companion animals living with us in recent years. Pet stores, often serving as middlemen for puppy mills, have all but disappeared from the retail scene. Dogs of all ages are exhibited at fairs, pet supply stores and farmers’ markets, as well as through the efforts of grass roots organizations to bring people and pets together. The goal is to have “no-kill” shelters and to find the perfect match for each animal.

While this goal is achieved more often than not, many dogs develop behavioral problems while they pass through the system. Dogs with strong, “bossy” personalities will most often be the ones returning to the shelter due to aggression and unruly behavior, both towards people and other animals. These animals often fail to exhibit signs of illness, pain, or underlying medical conditions that are recognized by allopathic veterinary medicine. Many times they are released repeatedly, only to be brought back with a “bad report”, from a family that really wants a dog!

Traditional Chinese veterinary medicine (TCVM) can often help these pets and families come to a satisfactory solution. Most of these pets resist acupuncture and are, therefore, subsequently treated with herbal formulas. Inspection and obtaining a good history will often lead to treatment for Liver Qi Stagnation or Liver Fires causing the behavioral changes. An animal with a Wood personality (The General) is most often affected and the stress of confinement, surgery to neuter/spay, and the introduction into a new environment causes these changes in the movement of Qi through the liver. Once the appropriate herbal formulation is started and time is allowed for the changes to appear (usually 2-4 weeks), most of these problem pets become happy members of the household.

If you know of a pet or a family trying to work through this scenario, the alternative to behavior-modifying drugs is TCVM and herbal medicine. If you would like more information, please contact Wimberley Complementary Pet Care, PLLC located in Austin, TX.