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Old 07-26-2017, 08:20 PM
 
Location: Middle of the ocean
31,395 posts, read 19,811,577 times
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Our 13 year old Border Collie has been snapping at air all day, a very loud tooth clack. No bugs, non-aggressive, not specific to any activity, and not at me or the puppy. He has been deteriorating with hip arthritis and his front paw has been bothering him with the same.

Anyone have any ideas? I read online that it could be neurological. I'm going to take him to the vet if it continues, but does anyone have any experience with this?
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Old 07-26-2017, 09:02 PM
 
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My experience isn't identical, although I do have a friend whose dog does exactly what yours does.

My dog, who has idiopathic seizures and is on medication for them, will lick the air for extended periods of time. She puts her head back and just licks upwards although there's nothing there. The vet said it's a form of Petit Mal seizures, as opposed to the Grand Mal seizures which she has occasionally. He's not concerned about the Petit Mal ones and her Grand Mals are considered to be under control thanks to the meds. She's a ten year old Pekinese mix. Her seizures started at age 9.
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I have a friend whose one-eyed rescue dog does the snapping at air thing. In his case, the vet thinks it's probably a Petit Mal seizure caused by a neurological issue from whatever trauma caused the loss of his eye. He'd been dropped off at a rescue with extensive injuries of unknown cause so who knows. My friend adopted him after he was recovered. He's a 6 year old terrier mix.

I think I'd sleep better at night if I checked in with my vet, if I were in your situation. Your vet may not consider it cause for concern but it would at least be on record should he progress to a Grand Mal.

Hope that helps. I'll be interested to hear if he continues this behavior or what the vet suggests. Good luck!
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Old 07-26-2017, 09:42 PM
 
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I second movinon's advice. My mother adopted a mixed-breed dog who would do air-snapping. Sometimes he'd even walk around the room in very slow motion with his head held high, apparently not seeing/hearing anyone and making sniffing/chewing/snapping motions. The vet diagnosed them as petit mal seizures. Since the episodes lasted for only a few minutes each and occurred only 1-2 times a month at most, he wasnt put on any medication. He lived for at least 8-10 great years after diagnosis.
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Old 07-27-2017, 12:03 AM
 
Location: Middle of the ocean
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Thanks for your input. I'm calling the vet tomorrow to see how soon I can get him in .
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Old 07-29-2017, 08:22 AM
 
Location: Middle of the ocean
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The vet thinks it may be neurological or related to his pain. We switched up the meds for his arthritis to see if that helps.
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Old 07-29-2017, 08:45 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikala43 View Post
The vet thinks it may be neurological or related to his pain. We switched up the meds for his arthritis to see if that helps.

Thanks for the update. Please keep us posted.
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Old 07-30-2017, 04:40 AM
 
Location: Idaho
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You could pay to have his eyes, checked. Dogs get eye floaters just like humans. If you are not over 60 you may not know what I'm talking about, but they are black floating things caused by the vitreous humor of the eye. When I first got them (or started to notice them) I would occasionally swat at them; however over time we humans get used to them.
Dog will snap at them thinking they are flies, etc.

Not saying that is the problem, and most dogs won't snap at them, but some dogs will. Just another idea.
Interesting article from an actual Vet....
Fly-biting
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Old 07-30-2017, 12:19 PM
 
Location: Maine
1,241 posts, read 900,130 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikala43 View Post
Our 13 year old Border Collie has been snapping at air all day, a very loud tooth clack. No bugs, non-aggressive, not specific to any activity, and not at me or the puppy. He has been deteriorating with hip arthritis and his front paw has been bothering him with the same.

Anyone have any ideas? I read online that it could be neurological. I'm going to take him to the vet if it continues, but does anyone have any experience with this?
More than likely it is being caused by "pancreas cramps.. This can occur if given say something a bit on the fatty side, or exercise before or after eating ( anything that heats up/slows down digestion ).
What can help is a simple " Tums", and also- change the dog cookies to " Old Mother Hubbard Char tar " cookies. ( the black ones). These are great for absorbing acid, gas etc.
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