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Old August 20th, 2006, 11:08 PM
Shelties3 Shelties3 is offline
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Location: Prince George, BC
Posts: 13
focal seizures/fly-biting

I don't know if this is the right place to be putting this thread, but here goes. Please let me know if I am wrong. Also, sorry if this is a double post.

This past Saturday morning, I woke up to my littlest sheltie, Mila staring wildly around, like she was watching a bug flying around. After a few minutes of laying there watching it, she got up and starting going in circles (sheltie thing) chasing her bug. Problem was that I couldn't see anything. I thought maybe she was seeing dust or something, so I didn't think anything of it.

About half an hour later, I noticed her circling and chasing her "bug" again, and I still couldn't see what she was chasing. I checked both her eyes incase she had a hair or something in them that she might be seeing that was bothering her. Nothing there.

I had to go out, and I mentioned it to my friend who also has a sheltie, and she thought it was odd too. When I got back, I took the dogs out to my mom's in the boonies, and she didn't show any signs of wanting to chase her "bug" and was good for the 2 hours out there, and was good both ways (30 minutes) in the car. When we got home, I was cutting up boiled liver to make cookies, and that was when I got concerned. Normally, she is the biggest food junkie, and will bark like mad at me when she wants what I have. She was too busy chasing her "bug" and biting and barking at it to pay attention that I had good food.

I called the vet, and they told me to bring her in right away. They figure she was having a focal seizure. They want to put her on anti-seizure meds to see if it clears it up. They also want me to video tape it if possible, which I have. I will send it off tomorrow.

She did the "bug" chasing thing a little bit more last night, and very little this morning. We spent 3 hours at a friends house, and she did not do it there at all. She had not done it this morning until after we got home, around noon. Then she did it a few times, and then she had a nap. She had to have a bath tonight, and has only really been chasing her "bug" since.

I did some research on this website, and found a site to check out that focuses on doggie seizures and epilepsy. I found something that sort of sounds like what Mila is doing, but at the same time, it isn't. It is called "fly-biting". Where a dog has a focal seizure (they think) and chases and bites at an invisible fly. My thing is that they say it is most common to happen when the dog is at rest, laying down, being quiet, and very rarely happens when the dog is active.

In Mila's case, it doesn't happen at all when she is being quiet, or calm, or laying down, or resting. She can be playing with a toy, or running around, or playing with Lexi when she will suddenly stop doing what she was doing, and start chasing her "bug". You can call her name, and she will look at you, but unless you call her to you, she will keep chasing and biting at her bug. If you get her attention, and throw a toy or show her a cookie, she almost seems to forget about her bug, and will play, or work for you.

She seems to see her "bug" the most in the upstairs bathroom or hallway, and downstairs in the hallway or rec-room. I am doubting the whole seizure thing because what I was reading today about seizures doesn't really match what she is doing. It is almost like she can always see her "bug" but if she is focused on something else, she doesn't pay attention to it. So as long as I keep her busy, playing with a toy, her other sheltie siblings, or doing some training, she doesn't pay any attention to her "bug". When she is laying quietly, she doesn't show any signs of twitching, or watching something incessantly. I also think she would chase her "bug" for a long while if we didn't distract her. Should I wait her out to see how long she will chase it for?

I have been watching her eyes, and she does seem to blink a lot, and her eyes seem to move a lot, but seeing as how I never really payed this close attention to her eyes, I don't know if her eyes were like that before this "fly-biting" started.

I don't really want to put her in anti-seizure meds unless I absolutely have to. I have seen a few dogs on anti-seizure meds, and they can't work anymore, no more agility, no more obedience. And I was told it is hard on the liver, and if that is the case, it could shorten her life.

If they are seizures (which I am not entirely sure they are) but she isn't hurting herself or anyone else, I don't see why I should have her on meds full time yet. I wonder if maybe she has a floater in her eye, and is chasing that?

The doggie opthamologist doesn't come to town until the middle of September. Do you think it is ok to hold off on the anti-seizure meds until she gets her eyes checked?

If anyone has any suggestions, or ideas, or a vet out there has an idea of what this may be, I am all ears, open to suggestion. I will drug if need be, but I really don't want to since she is so young. But any info is greatly appreciated.

Also, I have her odd behaviour taped from tonight, and I will tape tomorrow again if and when she does it.

Thanks in advance
Tracey
  #2  
Old August 20th, 2006, 11:11 PM
Shelties3 Shelties3 is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Prince George, BC
Posts: 13
duplicate thread

I am sorry, appearantly I duplicated my thread/message. I did not mean to. the second posting has more info than the first, as I thought I had lost it. Very sorry.
Tracey
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