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Jane Lefler
Jane Lefler, Breeder,Behaviorist, formerVet Asst
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 18943
Experience:  Former vol Vet Assistant.Breeder 18+ years Dog trainer / behaviorist
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My 4 yr old shi tzu has been staring at the ceiling this has

Customer Question

My 4 yr old shi tzu has been staring at the ceiling this has been recent of 3 months! I am worried would you know of any information on this ?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 1 year ago.

Hi JaCustomer,

My name is ***** ***** I’ve been involved professionally with dogs in the health and behavioral fields for over 18 years. It will be my pleasure to work with you today.

In order to supply you with an informed answer, it is necessary for me to collect some additional information from you. When I receive your response or reply, it will likely take me between 30-45 minutes to type up my reply if I am still online when I receive notice that you replied. I hope you can be patient.

How often is he staring at the ceiling?

Is it most of the time?

Does it look like he may be trying to find something?

Any other abnormal behavior?

Is he whining?

Is it in any particular area of the house?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
No she does this periodically and it seems like odd behavior ! She does not seem to be looking for something just looking up staring at different times! Nothing startling her! The family room where we spend a lot of time in. No whining!
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The stares are not that lengthy but very odd and noticeable and recent behavior
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 1 year ago.

Hi JaCustomer,

Thanks for the additional information. It is helpful There are a few possible causes of this behavior including an eye issue, seizure activity or even mice.

I had a dog that looked at the ceiling for about a month, on and off. We had him checked out, and everything was fine. When we went to put up a ceiling fan, we found a mouse nest in the junction box. The dog could hear and smell the mice in the nest. So this is a possibility. We didn't even know we had mice in the house so it came as a surprise.

Some types of seizure activity can cause abnormal behavior, one such behavior is trying to catch flies that are not there others are repetitive behavior such as circling, so that can not be ruled out either. Often a dog will seem to stare off into space or at a wall or at nothing. You can read about these here:

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

http://www.canine-epilepsy.net/basics/basics_index.html

You can read about all types of seizures here: http://www.canine-epilepsy-guardian-angels.com/site_map.htm

He may have injured his eye and developed an ulceration creating a spot in his vision which is making him think he sees something that isn't there. So he sees the spot and moves his head higher to look for it and of course it moves too. Since he can't ever actually see it, this can lead to stress and other abnormal behavior as well.

Since seizures can be the result of toxin exposure, low blood sugar and organ dysfunction, I'd err on the side of caution and have your dog seen if the behavior continues. If your dog hasn't eaten recently when this behavior starts, you might want to put a drop of karo or pancake syrup on his tongue in case he is hypoglycemic. You can read about that here.

http://www.petplace.com/dogs/hypoglycemia-in-dogs/page1.aspx

I hope this information is helpful to you. If you would like any additional information or have more questions please don’t hesitate to press the reply to expert or continue conversation button so I can address any issues you still have . If you do find this helpful, please take this opportunity to rate my answer.