Dog ate chocolate?

ask a vet

Fly biting seizures.

Species: Dog
Breed: Newfoundlander
Age: 2-5 years
At night with the lights on, Misha snaps at the air as if she's catching flies. There are no flies in the room! I checked her eyes for foreign objects and cleaned out her mouth too in case she was actually trying to spit something out. She does this until I close the lights and then she goes to sleep. What do you think is going on?


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

It is possible that your dog has something called "fly biting seizures". This is a type of seizure that makes the dog look like it is snapping at flies. I found a youtube video to demonstrate. (Just ignore the audio on it though):



Fly biting is a type of epilepsy that only affects the temporal lobe of the brain. Many dogs with this problem can be treated with anti-seizure medication such as phenobarbital.

There is another possibility. I once had a schnauzer patient who looked like he had fly biting seizures but he did not respond to medication. Then, one day after he was groomed, the behavior went away. We think that he kept seeing his eyebrows and thought they were a fly buzzing around his head. Once the eyebrows were trimmed, he was cured! That's not likely the case with a newfie dog though.

Dr. Marie.

---This question was asked in our Ask A Vet For Free section.---


Do you have a pet website? Interested in learning more about SEO for Wix?


Check out our dog age calculator and cat age calculator.

Want to receive pet coupons, vet advice and info on new pet products in your inbox?

* indicates required

We'll only send you great stuff, never spam. Unsubscribe any time.

Disclaimer: Although Dr. Marie is a qualified veterinarian, the information found on this site is not meant to replace the advice of your own veterinarian. AskAVetQuestion.com and Dr. Marie do not accept any responsibility for any loss, damage, injury, death, or disease which may arise from reliance on information contained on this site. Do not use information found on this site for diagnosing or treating your pet. Anything you read here is for information only.

Search for similar questions:

ask a vet

Popular questions...

Dog shaking head. My dog is thought to have ear mites (I thought this only happened to outside dogs??)... (14058 views)

Swollen oozing paw. Hello my dog Jack is 10 1/2 years old and he has a very yucky looking paw. It is... (31663 views)

Did air freshener kill my dog? hi. my dog, simon, a jack russell/poodle, died of kidney failure which was caused... (11205 views)

Vaccinate against parvo? Chester is about 10 weeks he was a stray he now has Parvo but I think recovering at... (5174 views)

Does pet store flea medicine work? My dog just got fleas. I've given her multiple flea baths, flea collar, and flea... (11251 views)

Pain in front leg. She has been limping, crying out to us, and holding up her front right leg. It... (6868 views)

Restraint of dogs. Hi, I am currently filling out a university application for vet science at the... (8090 views)

Limping cat. My cat is limping, she is not putting weight on her left hind leg. She isn't cut or... (20109 views)

Cat not eating much. Hi. My cat as some allergy problems since he is allergic to turkey and corn. For the... (10489 views)

IVDD in Basset Hound? Frank has had a very hard stomach for 2.5 days now and he is not drinking much... (38761 views)

See all questions...

Dr. MarieDr. Marie is a veterinarian who practices in a busy animal hospital in Ottawa, Ontario. She created Ask A Vet Question as a resource for good, accurate veterinary advice online. Dr. Marie treats dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, and rats. She has been a vet since 1999.

Is an online vet visit just as good as a trip to your veterinarian? No! But, many times, asking an online veterinarian a question can help save you money. While Dr. Marie can't officially diagnose your pet or prescribe medications, she can often advise you on whether a vet visit is necessary. You can also ask Dr. Marie for a second opinion on your pet's condition.