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...

Black spot on side of hamster. My hamster is about 2 years old and has always had a black spot on the right side of... (61012 views)

Do I have rabies? Hiii m rakesh..i was bitten by a dog when i was 18 years old. I dnt know that dog... (11284 views)

Pale stool and orange urine. Last Saturday night, my dog's stool started looking strange. Pale and very soft,... (8938 views)

Lumps on mammary glands. Fraya is a rescue we have had for a month. We are not sure of her age, but we think... (28660 views)

lump on ear In the last couple weeks a bump on the tip of my dogs ear has shown up. We have been... (11269 views)

Testosterone injection for cryptorchidism. I have a Mini French Poodle and he is about 1 year old and he only has one testicle... (9059 views)

Dog looks thin. I have a 9 1/2 year old Yorkshire Terrier. Recently she has begun to get thin. I... (19162 views)

Give half pill of Iverhart? I purchased Iverhart Plus heartworm pills for dogs up to 25 pounds. Since my two... (11894 views)

Dog bleeding from anus. My dog is slightly bleeding from her anus, but it isn't noticeable until she sits... (32438 views)

In heat and shaking her head. My dog has been vomiting and had diarrhea for the last 2-3 days. She has been in... (6579 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.