English Springer Rage Syndrome, also called Sudden Onset Aggression or Avalanche of Rage Syndrome, is a rare type of behavioral issue that’s known to affect certain breeds of the English Springer Spaniel, and Cocker Spaniel. The Rage Syndrome causes the dog to act out violently, without any type of warning to its owner, making it a very serious problem. This article discusses some of the symptoms and potential treatments for the disease.
Studies have shown this syndrome to be most prevalent in red, golden, and black Cocker Spaniels, with certain lines having more of a propensity for the disease to develop. The term “Springer Rage” comes from a particular line of the English Springer Spaniel. English Springer Spaniels that are bred from show lines are known to be affected.
Veterinarians have actually been able to trace the line back to an English Springer Spaniel that won a show at the Westminster Kennel Club. The dog was later used as a stud, causing the Rage Syndrome to spread through the breed. English Springer Spaniels that are purebred have not been known to develop this problem.
Symptoms include, the dog acting as it normally would one minute, and without warning or provocation, it will aggressively attack another person or animal. A dog may also go into a rigid type of alert mode, and have glazed eyes before an episode happens.
After the event occurs, the dog goes back to their normal personality. It will have no idea what’s taken place, or realize that it’s done anything wrong. The dog may even act friendly toward the person or animal it’s just attacked.
English Springer Rage Syndrome is thought to begin showing up when the dog is around seven and a half months old. It can also show up earlier, around three months, or later, after one or two years. Every dog is different, but it’s thought to show up during one of the five learning stages that are critical for dogs.
Rage syndrome is often confused with other types of aggressive disorders, as well as rabies because some of the symptoms are similar. Generally, only a veterinarian that specializes in neurology, will be able to provide a diagnosis of rage syndrome. There are a number of ways to go about treating rage syndrome, such as antiepileptics.
Unfortunately each case, and breed of dog affected is different, so there is no one thing that will cure, or better manage the disease. In some cases owners and veterinarians are left with no other choice, than to put the affected animal to sleep. This is due to the extremely serious nature of the condition.
English Springer Rage Syndrome is inherited genetically by lines of English Springer Spaniel show dogs. It’s a serious problem, causing a dog to suddenly attack without any potential cause, and very little warning. A vet who specializes in neurology will be able to diagnosis the problem, and help owners develop a treatment program.