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Ask Dr Scott Nimmo Your Own Question
Dr Scott Nimmo
Dr Scott Nimmo, Small Animal Veterinarian.
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 20270
Experience:  BVMS, MRCVS. { Glasgow UK }
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what does it mean when a dog starts to star gaze alot.

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what does it mean when a dog starts to star gaze alot.

Hello and welcome.

This is not an information request, but just a short message to introduce myself.

My name is XXXXX XXXXX I am an experienced small animal veterinary surgeon, I will be very pleased to work with you today and will try my best to answer your question to your satisfaction.

Please give me ten minutes or so to think through your particular problem, prepare an answer, and then type things up. I will then get back to you and we can then talk things over.



Hello again Carol and thanks for waiting.

Sorry to hear about Pepper's problem. However I have worked out an answer for you, please read it through and see what you think ...

Star Gazing Syndrome { also called Fly Catchers Syndrome } is nothing I can diagnose over the internet but I am glad to talk you through all I know about this disease. I have both diagnosed and treated it on a number of occasions.

This disease seems to affect small dogs as opposed to large breeds, the breed I have personally seen it in most in is the king charles but I have heard of it in your breed as well. There is a suspicion that this may be an inherited disease but as far as I know this has not been verified. In its classical form these dogs appear to be staring fixedly at objects far in the distance or watching imaginary flies buzzing in front of its face and then trying to bite the flies, they can spend a considerable amount of time engaging in this behaviour. From the literature the possible listed causes are :

1. A compulsive disorder of some kind, this could be treated with behavioural therapy or drugs such as prozac.

2. Some form of petit mal epilepsy, this could be treated with anti-convulsive drugs such as phenobarbitone.

3. Some form of neck / spinal problem, the disease syringomyelia has been implicated in some breeds. This could be treated with anti-inflammatory drugs.

While the above are all the listed causes I know of, from my personal experience this can be a very difficult disease to treat. There is not really any scope for home treatment here so my advice has to be that you should have a vet check Pepper over and if appropriate prescribe some treatment.

I hope I have covered your question fully enough but if you would like further clarification or to talk things over a bit more then I will be on-line for the next hour or so and I will be more than pleased to continue working with you.


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