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Old August 20th, 2006, 11:37 PM
Shelties3 Shelties3 is offline
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Seeing things/Flybiting

I am not sure if this is the right place to be posting this, so please let me know if it isn't.

The other morning I woke up to find my littlest sheltie, Mila (1 year old last week) staring wildly around the room, like she was watching a fly, but I didn't see anything. Then she decided to chase this fly, spinning and biting at it. I thought it was weird, but maybe she could see something I couldn't. Then she did it again, about half an hour later, biting and spinning after this "bug". She was ok for a few hours at my mom's, but when we got home, I was really concerned. I was making Liver Cookies, and she was too preoccupied trying to catch her "bug" to pay any attention to me and the freshly cooked liver, and normally she is the biggest food hound you can find!

I called the vets and they told me to bring her in immediately, as they figured she was having a "focal seizure". They want to put her on anti-seizure meds to see if it helps her.

My concern is that when I read up on focal seizures, and fly-biting, it sort of describes how Mila is acting, but isn't. They say that seizures normally happen when the dog is being calm, or resting. She will be playing with a toy, or Lexi, and then stop, and start chasing her bug again. If she is focused on something, she doesn't seem to see her "bug". She really only seems to see her "bug" in our upstairs bathroom and hallway and our downstairs hallway and rec-room.

If you call her name, or throw a ball, she stops chasing her 'bug" and will look at you or come to you, and will chase a ball or toy, and seemingly forget about her "bug". When we are out of the house, (ie backyard or someone else's house) she seems to have no problems. Also, when she is sleeping, there is no problem. The other issue associated with fly-biting, is licking their front legs and paws. She does not show any signs of this at all.

So, if anyone knows what this could be, or this sounds familiar, or even has some other questions I can ask my vet, it would be greatly appreciated! I really don't want her on anti-seizure meds, cause she seems ok when you can keep her attention, and I want to do obedience and agility with her, and I have seem some of the effects of anti-seizure meds, it isn't pretty! Also, if it is hard on the liver, it could affect her length of life if it works the liver hard.

So, any suggestions would be wonderful! I am sorry this is such a long thread.

Tracey
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  #2  
Old August 21st, 2006, 12:07 AM
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MyBirdIsEvil MyBirdIsEvil is offline
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I don't know much about seizures, but I wonder if instead maybe there is something wrong with her eye or optic nerves causing her to see something that she's trying to chase.
Maybe you could try taking her to an opthamologist and see if they can find a problem with her eye.
As far as I know (someone correct me if I'm wrong), seizures take place at random moments, or something triggers them. Since you can distract her with something else and the so-called seizure stops, that doesn't sound like a seizure to me.
Like I said though, I haven't read extensively about seizures in dogs, I'm just going on the info I have, so hopefully someone that knows more about it will post.
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Old August 21st, 2006, 12:13 AM
Shelties3 Shelties3 is offline
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seizures

We live in a small(ish) city, and we do not have a local doggie opthamologist here. I do have all three of my shelties signed up to see the doggie opthamologist when he comes on Sept. 16/06.

I too thought that maybe she has floaters, and that is what she is chasing. Makes more sense to me.

I just don't want her on meds if she doesn't have to be.
Tracey
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Old August 21st, 2006, 12:50 AM
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MyBirdIsEvil MyBirdIsEvil is offline
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Quote:
We live in a small(ish) city, and we do not have a local doggie opthamologist here.
I understand that, there's no animal specialists of any kind in the small town I live in, just the normal vet.

If it were me I'd just wait for her to see the opthamologist though before giving her any type of medication, since it doesn't seem all that serious at the moment.

It really does seem like some kind of eye condition causing floaters or something. The only other thing I could think of that might cause her to see things would be a brain tumor, but that's MUCH worse than seizures/seizure meds, so that wouldn't help you much.
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Old August 21st, 2006, 12:55 AM
Prin Prin is offline
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Might there be any doggy neurologists where you are?
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Old August 21st, 2006, 01:00 AM
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Here's a website on "fly biting", they have a video if that helps.

http://www.canine-epilepsy.net/flybite/flybite.html

I haven't seen your dog so I dunno, but the video doesn't look like what you're describing.

There's a paragraph on eye problems and floaters too.

Last edited by MyBirdIsEvil; August 21st, 2006 at 01:03 AM.
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Old August 21st, 2006, 01:12 AM
Shelties3 Shelties3 is offline
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That is the webiste I looked at, and it is how I figured out the "fly-biting" thing. But it does not seem to be what she is doing. On that website, it says that most commonly seizures occure when the dog is being quiet, calm, laying down, or just being relaxed, and that isn't the case here.

She will be playing with a toy one minute, and the next, chasing her "bug". She is doing it right now!

I have video of her chasing her bug, and in it I talk to her, and she stops chasing her bug and focuses on me, and then goes back to chasing her bug!

She is really good outside, and at other places, it just seems to be in the house.
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Old August 21st, 2006, 01:15 AM
Prin Prin is offline
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Did you see this article? http://www.drschoen.com/articles_L1_15.html
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Old August 21st, 2006, 01:28 AM
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The joys of living in a small town when you need a specialist.

I would wait until Sept. when the opthamologist comes and checks her out. Hope it's nothing serious.
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Old August 21st, 2006, 01:53 AM
Prin Prin is offline
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"Mar vista vet" can maybe put your mind at ease about liver failure and the epilepsy drug: http://www.marvistavet.com/html/phenobarbital.html
They say with follow ups, you should catch any upcoming liver issues and you can change meds before the liver becomes troublesome.

They also discuss seizure disorders: http://www.marvistavet.com/html/seizure_disorder.html


Also, from what I've been reading, it could also be hypoparathyroidism... So to me, the first step would be blood tests...
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Old August 21st, 2006, 09:21 AM
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Try to make a list of any medications, diet changes, exposer to any cleaning products, gardening supplies etc.
One of my dogs had focal seizures which resolved after he was taken off HW preventatives, something no one suspected as the cause.
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Old August 21st, 2006, 03:33 PM
Shelties3 Shelties3 is offline
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You said your dog had focal seizures due to HW meds. Is that Heartworm meds? I ask because where I live, it is too cold for heartworm or fleas, but we went on holidays for two weeks this summer, and because we were going somewhere warm, where those two parasites are prevailant, the dogs were all given flea and heartworm pills. They were given 1 pill each a week before we left on holidays, and there was no problems. They were to each get their second (last) dose on the 15th of Aug, but I missed it, and gave it 3 days late, on the 18th. It was the next day I noticed her being weird.

I told the vet this, and she didn't think it had anything to do with it.

My problem with her "focal seizures" or "fly-biting" is that she seems to do it all the time when there isn't something else there for her to focus on. I saw her do it a little this morning, a few minutes, but nothing since I have been home for lunch. And, as I say this, she starts chasing her "bug" beside me!

I think I am just going to wait until we see the opthamologist to figure this out.

But, anymore tips, pointers, ideas or opinions are greatly appreciated still!
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Old August 21st, 2006, 03:43 PM
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Sorry, I should have been clear, HW was heartworm, Sentinel to be exact. My dog wasn't fly biting though, but rather shaking his head side to side for periods of about 1-5 minutes. They were diagnosed as focal seizures by a veterinary neurologist, and became less and less frequent until stopping completely once we stopped giving Sentinel. We had given it in previous years without problems, and I believe the seizures didn't start till the 2nd dose of that year.

You might want to look up possible side effects of the flea and heartworm meds you gave, just incase. The vet I initially saw didn't want to believe it could be the Sentinel at all, but after seeing 3 vets and finding no other cause what so ever, it became pretty clear that it was the meds causing the problem.
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Old August 21st, 2006, 04:17 PM
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Pitgrrl, how long after you stopped giving Sentinel did it take for the focal seizures to stop for your dog?
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Old August 21st, 2006, 04:28 PM
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If I remember correctly they started soon after I gave the monthly dose, started to decrease towards the end of the month, but did not stop entirerly till into the next month, so a bit after the next dose should have been given.
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Old August 21st, 2006, 04:39 PM
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Sorry I don't know how to attach a previous thread here, and don't have time to read up on it right now, but on July 12 there was a thread started here called Buster's head tremors? by meb999 I believe. It is in this pet health forum, and it deals with idiopathic head bobbing. There is a link in that thread that discusses the head bobbing and it lists fly biting as a connected issue. In that link it recommends NOT treating with anti-seizure meds. Anyhow, hope you can find the link and maybe talk to your vet about it as it may be this same thing. Just a notion for you to look at. Sorry I don't have the exact link for you, or any solid advice, but the distraction part sounds the same (ie the symptoms go away when you distract the dog). Good luck!
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Old August 21st, 2006, 04:49 PM
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Good memory Dog Dancer. Here it is:


http://www.pets.ca/forum/showthread....t=head+bobbing
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Old August 21st, 2006, 05:15 PM
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How'd you do that?

Hi Rainbow, How did you attach that? I remember the thread because my lab does the head bobbing thing, and hers first showed after a flea treatment thing (don't remember which kind, the one you put on their neck) about five years ago. It's so sporadic that I don't really worry about it and we don't get the fly biting thing but I did remember it being listed in there. It put my mind at ease as my vet never did give me a conclusive answer either.
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Old August 21st, 2006, 05:42 PM
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Dog Dancer, I went to the top of the first post and clicked on "search this thread" then typed in head bobbing. It showed several posts including the one you were talking about.
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Old August 22nd, 2006, 10:32 AM
Shelties3 Shelties3 is offline
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Ok, well, thanks all for your tips and support. Now, I think things may have escalated.

Yesterday, I came home to vomit and diahrea everywhere, by which I mean every piece of carpet, had something on it. She was fine when I left back to work from lunch at 1pm, but by 5:15, the house looked like a bomb went off. I know for sure it was her vomit, as they had had some cookies at lunch, and she stole most of the other dog's cookies, and there were the same number of cookies in the vomit as she had gotten. As for the diahrea, I can't say for sure whose it was, as they all had clean bums, and had just had a bath the night before.

I did phone my vet, they said no food, water only for 24 hours, and to watch her carefully, and I am to talk to my vet today (she was off yesterday). I gave her a couple (10) kibble at dinner when I fed the other two dogs, and within 5 minutes, she threw it up. So no food for Mila. But other than the throwing up her food, she is happy, playful, running and playing, she even had the 'zoomies' in the back yard, playing with the other two dogs!

We have a friend who is a pharmacist, and he said in humans, seeing things and vomit and diahrea is the signs of a brain tumor. I had thought of that, but you don't like to think of the worst.

But, we talk to Mila's vet today, and see what we will be doing next. MRI? Who Knows! Wish us luck!
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Old August 22nd, 2006, 10:44 AM
~michelle~ ~michelle~ is offline
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you should document everytime you see one of these "seizures". this is vital in the diagnoses and treatment of seizures. also focal seizures usually have an "aura" (at least they do in humans) thats a feeling that can usually mean a seizure is coming. make sure in your documentation to put down what happened before the seizure, does your dogs behaviour change??? this is just so you can prepare yourself for poss seizure. just be aware sometimes a focal seizure can escalate in to a more severe form of seizure. I really hope your girl ends up being ok.

Last edited by ~michelle~; August 22nd, 2006 at 10:46 AM.
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Old August 22nd, 2006, 12:57 PM
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Oh, I'm so sorry to hear about Mila. I sure hope it's not a brain tumour. :sad: Please keep us updated and we'll keep our fingers are crossed.
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Old August 22nd, 2006, 01:14 PM
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Aw, that sounds terrible. I hope it's not a tumor either. Could she have eaten something toxic?
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Old May 6th, 2009, 09:44 PM
sumerlady sumerlady is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shelties3 View Post
That is the webiste I looked at, and it is how I figured out the "fly-biting" thing. But it does not seem to be what she is doing. On that website, it says that most commonly seizures occure when the dog is being quiet, calm, laying down, or just being relaxed, and that isn't the case here.

She will be playing with a toy one minute, and the next, chasing her "bug". She is doing it right now!

I have video of her chasing her bug, and in it I talk to her, and she stops chasing her bug and focuses on me, and then goes back to chasing her bug!

She is really good outside, and at other places, it just seems to be in the house.
hi, we have a silkie yorkie mix that we just got about 2 months ago and she is now 6 months old. I am not sure what her home life was before but I am beginning to think she was stressed. She goes in circles a lot and it is hard to distract her. Then tonight she start running around biting the air. We actually thought there was a fly in the house. Then we thought she was seeing things. So I googled it and found this site and this info on fly biting. Also, from the time we have had her she has shaken her head sometimes. I took her to the vet the first week I got her and finished up her puppy shots and started her on sentinal. He also said he heard a small heart murmer but that she might grow out of it but would keep an eye on it. I am beginning to think this is something else. I gave her a 1/4 of the sedate med that we have from the vet that we gave our other dog for storms and that calmed her down. Should I be concerned?
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Old May 6th, 2009, 10:11 PM
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Hi, sumerlady. Welcome to the board.

I would certainly be concerned. Have you talked to the vet about it? If you can videotape the behavior, it might give your vet something more to go on. I would at least discuss switching your dog off the Sentinel to some other med.

Unfortunately, this is an old thread and the original poster is no longer active on the board, so we don't know how everything resolved in her case. But if you don't get many replies here, try opening your own thread--you might get more advice
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Old May 7th, 2009, 11:25 AM
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You might want to ask your vet about doggie OCD, which is an anxiety-based disorder...circling and air-biting are pretty common symptoms, and it really needs to be nipped in the bud as quickly as possible...

also,
  1. never
give your pet any drug that has not been prescribed by a vet, you could do more harm than good.
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