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-   -   Strange behaviour in dog - neurological problem - Answered by Dr. Van Lienden (

Bomber February 10th, 2006 09:48 PM

Strange behaviour in dog - neurological problem - Answered by Dr. Van Lienden
Hello all my name is Peter and I am new to this site. My fiancee Jo and I have had Bomber our border collie since he was a pup for 18 months now and all seemed fine up until about 5 months ago. It all started when he went for his walk, when he came back home he came inside like he always does. Inside is a tiled area with a couple of the rooms being carpet, and after being inside for 30 minutes he had all of a sudden became afraid to walk onto the tiles. Ever since then he has not walked onto the tiles or any surface which is similar to smooth tiles. He has never fallen on the tiles from what we have seen and he was walking around on them happily just hours before hand.

Since then we have seen the vet and he could not give an answer without extensive and very expensive testing with a vet neurologist. Some more of his weird attributes as of late are that he attacks the grass. He will be walking in the back yard and will all of a sudden just attack the grass and take a big chunk of grass. He does not always eat the grass just rips it out of the ground.

Today his latest one is when he is sitting down he is biting at mid air & barking for no reason.

Please if anyone has had similar experiences with their dogs or can refer a good website it would be greatly appreciated.


Lucky Rescue February 10th, 2006 10:36 PM

Welcome to the board.

The "snapping at mid air" is call flycatching, and can be a symtom of many things, from epilepsy to mere boredom.

Your dog is very young - what kind of exercise does he get? Do your work your dog on sheep, or does he have some sort of job?

Border collies are serious working dogs and if not worked or given a job (even something like agility or flyball training) can sometimes exhibit some strange behaviors or compulsions.

Of course this could also be a neurological problem. If testing is too expensive then you might try working your dog to see if his behaviors lessen. If they don't then some testing may be needed.

I"m sure others here will have some input as well!

NaNa8 February 10th, 2006 10:49 PM

Sorry to hear about the problems with Bomber. We had problems with our lab Laci and the tests taken at her vet never found anything. They also suggested for her to see a neurologist and considering we were at a lost we made the appt. After testing her, they did find a problem and we are now on a mission to help her however we can. Her problems will include seizures and I found this website to help us when that time comes. BTW.. the neurologist's office has a payment plan called "CreditCare" and this allowed us to make payments of $250.00 monthly for a year, interest free. Upon hearing 1 of your problems, I remembered reading about it on this website. I am not saying that this is what is wrong, but it has to do with FlyBiting. Scroll down to the "Complex focal seizures " and click on the "Flybiting" link. Hope this helps and you find out what is wrong.


Complex focal seizures [URL=""][/URL]

StaceyB February 10th, 2006 11:36 PM

Each behaviour may not be related to the other. I have something for you to check out. This may sound simple but anything is worth a try. Dogs hate to be uneasy with their footing and can get worried or scared if they think they are about to slip or fall. Check the pads of the feet. If they are covered with hair it makes it very hard to keep a grip. Clean out the hair from the pads and see if their is a difference. The hair wouldn't have been their before the adult coat came in.

petdr February 20th, 2006 11:33 AM

This may be the beginnings of serious neuorlogic problems: a young dog that suddenly behaves bizarrely may have liver problems (I am hinting strongly at a portosystemic liver shunt, a congenital problem, but may be also acquired).

Other causes may be various tick borne diseases such as Lymes disease or Rocky Mountain spotted fever. Rabies is a serious infection. Brain tumors can occur in young animals, and environmental problems auch as lead /mercury can also cause these symptoms (many young dogs chew on and swallow a vast collection of strange items). And to round things up nicely, there is always epilepsy as a fall-back diagnosis.

Please seek out veterinary attention for your sake/health and for your pet's. I would suggest at least a basic blood panel and abdominal x-ray film to rule out an infection/liver shunt/foreign body, and a course of doxycycline to address any tick pathogen problems. If you have a rabies vaccination on board, then that is great news. Liver shunts will show low albumin, low BUN on blood work, maybe anemia, and a small liver silhouette on radiograph.

Dr. Van Lienden

Dr. Raymond Van Lienden DVM
The Animal Clinic of Clifton
12702 Chapel Road, Clifton
Virginia, U.S.A. 20124

Hogansma February 21st, 2006 05:02 PM

This may be far fetched but are the tiles shiny? We had a room with carpeting and when I removed the carpeting, there was shiny hardwood under it. My lab was scared to walk on it because of the shine (I think). He probably thought it was water. He would slink around the edges of the room. Maybe try adding a carpet or mats and see if it makes a difference. Just a thought ....

doggy lover February 21st, 2006 05:24 PM

If you want a good book on border collies get the one called Understanding Border Collies by Barbara Sykes. It gives you a good insite into the BC and tells you how to handle some problems ect. I found it great with my BC they are a totaly different type of dog.They can get a little nutty if they are not given enough exercise or something to do. They can become obsesed with doing something over and over again, which could cover the bighting at mid air and barking. Barbara Sykes owns and trains BC's, she also has a book on Understanding and Handling Dog Aggression, which has a nasty faced BC on it. I hope this helps a little, they are great dogs just a little different than most.

doggy lover February 21st, 2006 05:25 PM

Oh I'd love to see some pictures of your dog.

Gwarkzon March 9th, 2006 11:58 PM

Catching Flies.
Thank you so much for the info about the "Catching Flies" behavior. Our Australian Shepherd has lived a charmed life so we think that he may have epilipsy. My spouse is going to take him to a neurologist.

Have you found that this "catching flies" thing is prevalent in Australian Shepherds?

What kind of treatment is involved. Is it manageable.

Thanks again for the info you provided!


Aussiefreakz March 31st, 2008 06:38 AM

Re: Catching flies
Epilepsy is a problem in the breed for Australian Shepherds. I have included the following links to some good informative websites for the breed.

[url][/url] - Australian Shepherd Club of America
[url][/url] - Australian Shepherd Health and Genetics Institute

Both sites should be able to provide you with more information on epilepsy as well as contacts to experts in the area. I hope you find it helpful

Good luck and God bless!
Steph - Aussiefreakz

Paulbb April 7th, 2008 04:25 PM

Can dogs infact SEE something ??????
My dog recently started this Flybiting and just like most owners I was worried he had a problem. I searched tlhe net like most and found alsorts of reason for it most of which where very worrying.

Anyway 1 day he was sitting in a small shaft of sun light coming through the part opened curtains and I noticed he started this Flybiting BUT it was then I noticed something. Has anyone ever noticed the very very small specks of dust floating about in the air which only show up as they catch the sunlight in shafts of light?

Well as I was watching him I noticed he was following these specks of dust and trying to catch them. I thought no it can't be that so I got my wife in to watch him WITHOUT telling her what I thought or noticed. Then she noticed it too he was without doubt he was trying to catch these specks of dust.

The question is how does he see them without any sunlight because I can't see a thing no matter how hard I try but his actions are totally the same.

So is this really what these dogs are really doing? Well I for one I'm convinced it is. I tried to video it but theirs no chance an camera will pick up these little specks so the only way for anyone to see this is to try it for yourself.


Henry December 13th, 2008 09:58 PM

My dogs being weird
Tonight at about 8:30 my dog had to go out i let him out and since its about 23 degrees farenhite outside i was going to him inside in like 3 minutes (he has an electric fence) after he would not go inside after about 10 minutes of trying to get him inside i called my step dad he came home 20 minutes later and got him inside. he then started to claw at the door and would try to get outside whenever he could. i tried to give him water but he would not drink it i then watched some t.v. and told my step dad to go back outabout an hour later his behavyour still had not changed he was shaking and would not responed to his name he was heavyly panting and shaking and he has diarea. i called my mom and stedad agin they came home and are whole family is very comfused we need some answers please help he is also an 11 month chocolate lab he is now sleeping we have also given him pepto bismo. please help

hazelrunpack December 13th, 2008 10:14 PM

Henry, is sounds like he's gotten into something that has caused intestinal distress. With luck it's just an irritation. How frequent is the diarrhea? If he's not drinking, diarrhea can result in dangerous dehydration, so you'll want to try to get him to take water when he's awake. Ice chips sometimes appeal to dogs who aren't interested in drinking.

I'd not feed him tomorrow. After 24 hours, you can try to feed him bland food--boiled chicken (no bones) or boiled hamburger and rice or noodles, then after a day or so, switch him slowly back to his usual food.

If he doesn't improve tomorrow, he'll need to see a vet on Monday.

If he begins to vomit or shows worsening symptoms tomorrow, get him to an e-vet asap.

Good luck with your dog. :goodvibes:

Also, if you want more people to see your question, post a new thread in the health forum with a descriptive title. This thread is so old that many people won't see your question here! :o

Welcome to the board, Henry.

Tundra_Queen December 13th, 2008 11:13 PM

[QUOTE=Henry;712766]stedad agin they came home and are whole family is very comfused we need some answers please help he is also an 11 month chocolate lab he is now sleeping we have also given him pepto bismo. please help[/QUOTE]

I don't think u should give him pepto bismo! If I remember correctly that is dangerous to give to dogs.

Diamondsmum December 13th, 2008 11:25 PM

Welcome to the forum Did you give him the pepto In pill or Liquid?

How much did you give him Henry?

TQ..Pepto is ok for dogs [URL=""]Here[/URL] But Can be fatal to cats

Henry December 15th, 2008 09:15 PM

My dog is feeling much better we have figured out what happend that night at about 8:00 the fire alarm in my house went off and made a beeping sound when he gets shocked by the electric fence or months before whn he had and electric coller it made a beeping noise just like the one that night

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