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Loving my Oldies

Was there a topic on “catching flies”?

16 posts in this topic

I have tried searching and scrolling through, but can’t find it - unless I was imagining it.  

 

I didn’t take any notice, but then along came Simba - my latest little foster dog, 9 years old Apricot Toy Poodle.  Sweetest little dog, but sits around “catching flies” like a maniac.  Goes on for ages :(  :(, poor little darling.  I have also noticed that he goes racing around the the back yard looking up and yelping as though there is something there.  At first I thought he might be seeing one of the neighbourhood cats, but after a while, I realised there was nothing there.   

 

I also began to wonder if it is something he does to amuse himself as, reportedly, he was just left in the back yard and occasionally given some kibble.  I have discovered that he plays ball and brings it back and drops at my feet - wonderful since I can hardly walk these days.   :love:  :love:

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Tassie   

Yes I think there was, but as I recall it didn't go anywhere particularly helpful .. though I could be wrong.

 

My young Border Collie girl was an obsessive fly catcher, and also shadow, reflection, light chaser.  Since I have seen OCD Border Collies before, and since there are a lot of bees around my garden, and I don't have fly screens so flies can get in the house, I have been working hard on redirecting her to calmer and less frantic behaviours, and after many months, I'm really happy with the results.   Occasionally a fly will catch her attention, or a dancing light, but for the most part it's only much as a 'normal' dog would do.  

 

With your little guy, it could be OCD behaviour, that maybe was there already,  but you're probably right in thinking it was his only entertainment .. then it becomes addictive if not interrupted.  If you can, I'd definitely be trying the interrupt, redirect .. to anything really .. simple behaviours like sit, drop .. which you can reward heavily .. jackpotting with favourite treats each time he redirects.   Ideally it's worth getting in fast before the OCD behaviour becomes crazy (think tail chasing) and consumes his brain.    Assuming he's otherwise healthy, it might be worth trying one of the tryptophan treats or something similar.   Our holistic vet gave Pippa some sort of calming drops that I could use in the early days.  Not sure whether they had much effect .. and again, not sure whether the calm treats are responsible, or just growing maturity and the behavioural work.   And the work on impulse control generally.

 

 

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Here's a thought..  

 

A client of mine has a beautiful little terrier mix, when she eats beef products (including dairy) she exhibits fly snapping. Obsessively.

 

 

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asal   

to keep my lot busy, I have either a ball hanging about a foot above the ground on a chain (discovered they like chewing on rope)

 

or a figure of eight toy rope also on a chain... ditto hanging so it can swing in the wind..

 

that way they can tug at it to their hearts content... wrestle it from every angle of the compass and never bored

 

replace as demolished.

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6 hours ago, jemappelle said:

Is he a purebred Poodle or could he be a Cav x Poodle?  The reason I ask is that Cavaliers can get 'fly catchers syndrome' and I guess other breeds could too.  A bit of info here:  https://www.cavalierhealth.org/flycatchers.htm

I’m told by the rescuer that he has papers attesting to his being pure bred.  But, thanks for the attachment which I will read.  He sometimes just sits down and snaps away :( 

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Hmmm, I watched the you tube videos, @jemappelle, but what Simba is doing is quite different.  He isn’t looking around like those Cavaliers seem to be and he is much more vigorous - for want of a better word.   When I find how to get to Photos from Flickr :mad  :mad   :mad,  I’ll post a video.  

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RuralPug   

Hmmm. honestly I would be showing that video to your vet. Usually fly-catching involves tossing the head around a lot more and I don't think I have ever seen so much tongue with a fly-catching fit - of course if he is a senior with no teeth left, that might explain the tongue? 

Possibly it is OCD behaviour, but combined with the backyard running ang yelping it might also be a neurological problem or possibly a sore neck? Could you also get some video of the running and yelping while looking up?



 

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LMO ..

 The backyard running - it could be a behaviour born out of lack of stimulation ..
I've seen it in a kelpie, and a JRT .... 

chasing clouds! and shadows, and leaves, and birds ......

that video ... almost looks as if  he was drinking from a running tap >>>>>>

Edited by persephone

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Very strange,  do you think his mouth or teeth are sore?    Or maybe he has acid reflux & feels sick,    I hope you can help him feel better soon :)

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3 hours ago, PANDI-GIRL said:

Very strange,  do you think his mouth or teeth are sore?    Or maybe he has acid reflux & feels sick,    I hope you can help him feel better soon :)

I’ve not seen him gagging at all and I’ve “played” with his mouth to assess reaction and/or any  pain with no indication of sensitivity.  He also fetches the ball and drops it at my feet; although I know obsessive behaviours will ignore pain, I don’t think he has any problems there. 

 

Thank you all for the suggestions; I will be taking him to the vet next week.  

 

He is such a sweet dog, very needy as can be understood :( :( and I imagine the rescuer will be swamped with applications when he goes on the website.  Loves everyone we encounter particularly children as they tend to sit down so he can climb all over them. :heart:  

 

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Yeah, fly catching can be neurological, gastrointestinal, behavioural (canine compulsive disorder) and perhaps other things, so pup needs a full workup at a vet, ideally one knowledgeable about behaviour and illnesses that can have an impact on it.

 

Malcolm has canine compulsive disorder (OCD) but a different form. If it’s that then enrichment – particularly calming enrichment like scenting species appropriate enrichment like calming scent activities and working for food* – is important as it is for all dogs, but it’s not enough. That’s like telling someone with OCD to just go to yoga class, journal and get some adult colouring-in books. :o

 

Mal gets a lot of enrichment and K9 Nosework has been particularly beneficial, but it’s just one component. There’s all the behaviour modification work like determining anxiety triggers and addressing them, training relaxation (genuine relaxation, not sit/stay exercises), training a positive interrupter, rewarding incompatible behaviours, managing his environment, reducing overall anxiety/arousal, and crucially medical treatment in the form of anxiety (anti-obsessional) medication.

 

So you need to get an accurate diagnosis first. But if it is behavioural then this calls for a comprehensive behaviour modification plan and most likely medication, not just enrichment.

 

*an easy one is to scatter small pieces of food over the lawn for him to hunt out. Things like this where he has to use his nose and brain are better for his mental health than long games of fetch.

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On 30/12/2018 at 3:12 PM, Papillon Kisses said:

*an easy one is to scatter small pieces of food over the lawn for him to hunt out. Things like this where he has to use his nose and brain are better for his mental health than long games of fetch.

There is a lot of info on the net about brain games for dogs at the moment.  Because it's so hot outside here, we have been doing some of them and that is keeping my active little dog very happy.  :) 

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