For the owners, dogs are always a part of their family. It is normal to get tense if you notice your dog is not behaving normally. There can be many reasons why you observe your dog behaving hysterically.
Whenever you observe your dog acting like it sees something, it can be either something normal or a sign of some disease. Dogs, too, face neurological problems, and they have their ways of communicating with us to tell us about the problem.
A dog acting like it’s seeing something can be a sign that there is something wrong with your dog, and it can be some illness also. There can be some more reasons for your dog to look around, so you may need medical help urgently for your dog at times. But, first, learn more about why the dog acts like it sees something.
Why Does My Dog Acts Like He Sees Something?
Well, there can be many reasons for your dog to look around and act like he sees something around. The reason can be small or a sign of some serious illness your dog may be facing.
If a piece of debris or small particle gets stuck in your dog’s eye, it will make him look around frantically. Likewise, the dog will observe small spots around them due to debris and look around frantically.
Aside from this, vestibular disease, your dog’s world will be turned upside down by vitreous floaters, etc., are some other reasons. In such cases, the dog will experience hallucinations. Below mentioned are the possible reasons for your dog acts if it sees something.
1. Your dog may have heard something strange
The hearing capabilities of dogs are very different from those of humans. Mostly, the things and sounds you won’t be able to hear get heard by the dog. The dog thus tends to look in the direction of the sound to see if something is there or not.
The dog can hear sounds four times better than humans. So although the dog may not know about things or objects visually well, the hearing power of the dog is much better than that of humans.
If you notice your dog looking around hysterically, it can be due to some sounds the dog can hear that humans cannot.
Also, the sounds may not be scary, but the frequency at which dogs can hear the sound is much higher than humans causing them to look here and there frantically. Thus, these sounds may seem more normal to humans, but to dogs, they are not, and they observe small sounds more frequently than humans.
2. Your Dog May Have the Fly-snapping Syndrome
The dog you have may have the fly-snapping syndrome, as the dog may look ahead sometimes and suddenly snap in the air.
In addition, the dog may look in a particular direction and continue looking in that direction. This looking in one direction appears as if the dog sees something.
Veterinarians often regard such conditions as neurological problems; they can be epilepsy or partial seizures. Fly-snapping syndrome is hereditary and results when there is epilepsy in the dog.
The dog’s sudden looking around could be caused by an eye problem, as the problem in the eye floated, causing your dog to mistake the black spots for flies. In addition, the dog’s compulsive behavior can cause fly snapping syndrome.
The fly-snapping syndrome in dogs can occur as a lack of socialization or the aftermath of the situation when the dog was locked in a small room, etc. Past physical abuse in dogs can also result in fly-snapping syndrome in dogs.
3. Your Dog May be Having Hallucinations
Due to canine epilepsy, the dog most likely faces fly snapping syndrome, which further results in hallucinations in dogs. In addition, vitreous floaters and seizure disorders are medical conditions that can cause hallucinations in dogs.
Vestibular diseases let the dog feel everything around them is upside down. This vestibular disease is a very common cause of hallucinations. Hallucinations in dogs can result from some underlying illnesses also.
The preference should always be to take your dog to the veterinarian for advice and medical treatment.
4. Seizures Can be the Reason for Such Behavior in Dogs
It’s common to imagine some dramatic situation whenever we hear about seizures in dogs. This behavior is because seizures do not only have severe symptoms like foam in the mouth, convulsions, etc. But it also has some simple and mild symptoms, like looking here and there as if there is something that the dog can see.
If dogs have regular seizures, it can be due to epilepsy. However, sometimes dogs may suffer from idiopathic seizures for which the reason may be unknown.
Symptoms of idiopathic seizures include
- Frantic behavior of your dog.
- Looking here and there,
- Chasing their tails
- Barking excessively
- Eyes rolling back
- Staring into space silently.
Your dog will recover from idiopathic seizures soon, as idiopathic seizures are not due to some underlying disease. Once the end of the idiopathic seizure, there is recovery. However, if the seizures continue, you must go to your dog’s veterinarian to discuss the issue.
Your dog’s seizures can be caused by intoxication, poisoning, brain tumors, etc. The other reason can be the consumption of tick and flea medication by your dog that causes harm to them as the tick and flea medications are poisonous.
You will notice that your dog has difficulty standing straight after the seizure, is dizzy, restless, nauseous, and so on.
The dog may experience many other symptoms, like tiredness, loss of balance, etc. It is best if you contact the veterinarian for your dog’s health.
5. Your Dog May Be Suffering From Canine Cognitive Dysfunction
Canine Cognitive Dysfunction is also known as dog dementia, and this condition is similar just like Alzheimer’s in humans, of memory loss.
Just like humans, dogs also suffer from old age and the symptoms related to it. The health of the dog keeps on deteriorating in old age. The decrease in health includes weak eyesight, hearing problems, etc.
Due to canine cognitive dysfunction, the dog may also forget to recognize some close people. As a result, the dog may also face difficulty finding their place in the home, or they may get stuck in silly places like behind the furniture, in a corner, etc.
Some dogs cannot recognize their owners, and some keep staring for a long time as if seeing something. The dog may also move in circles because they may not know where they are and where to go.
The condition is not common in all old dogs; it depends on breed, genetics, and health status. Although there is no treatment for this, you can help the dog by giving them toys to play with for mental stimulation.
6. Your Dog May Have the Nystagmus Condition
If your dog is looking around frantically, it can be due to the involuntary movement of your dog’s eyes. This condition in your dog indicates that your dog is suffering from Nystagmus.
Nystagmus is common in old dogs due to head trauma, head injury, lead poisoning, or other specific health conditions. A normal dog may also suffer from Nystagmus.
Dogs suffering from Nystagmus may have two kinds of eye movements: slowly moving the eyeball from one side to another and moving the eyeball faster from one side to the other, indicating the panic state in the dog.
A Nystagmus condition in dogs indicates some sensory problems. Your dog will have some kind of difficulty balancing, and it leads to a loss of balance in the head and body.
Besides this, you may observe that the dog with Nystagmus will move its head here and there or walk in circles. Therefore, to treat Nystagmus in your dog, you must know the fundamental problem or issue that is causing Nystagmus in your dog.
7. This Condition May be Due to the Attention-Seeking Behavior of Your Dog
If it has been a while since you spent some time with your dog, the dog will start behaving differently to gain your attention or sympathy to let you focus on the dog also.
Dogs are very intelligent animals and know that if they behave in a certain way, you will give attention to them. Unfortunately, this lack of attention causes them to behave a certain way, like looking around frantically only to get your attention.
If the dog looks at something silently, like it will look at a wall for a long time and continue staring there, you may get worried. But, on the other hand, to treat this, if you go to the dog and pat its back and give it a treat, there are high chances that the dog will behave the same way again.
To treat this and help your dog, give the dog proper time and attention. In addition, you should discourage this behavior in your dog and give your dog a healthy diet.
What to Do if Your Dog is Looking Around Frantically Here and There?
It depends upon the situation; whether the dog is facing some problem or stressful condition, or if the dog is facing some neurological problem, then you should go to the veterinarian with the dog at once.
Dogs enjoy being in their routine behavior, and any change in your dog’s routine may cause problems. For example, if you observe that your dog is looking around frantically, you can consider looking for the following reasons:
- Is there a new person in the house or someone leaving the house which is close to your dog?
- Is there a new pet in the house diverting your attention?
- Is there any drastic change in your dog’s daily life routine?
- Have you bought something that doesn’t settle well with your old dog?
- Have you moved recently to a new house?
Just like big changes affect the lives of humans, in the same way, they affect the dog’s life. However, dogs are very sensitive to determining the cause of a sudden change, and all of these factors can put your dog in a stressful situation.
Typically, the suggestion is to either remove the dog from the situation or remove an object causing trouble for your dog. However, keeping the dog away from the situation may not always be possible. In such cases, you have to make your dog comfortable with the change that has happened in your dog’s life.
If you are not finding any solution, consult the veterinarian for any treatment or medical help that helps the dog to adjust to the environment.
Other than the change in the environment, the reason can be neurological problems that cause stressed dogs to look around hysterically.
Figuring out whether the dog is suffering from a neurological problem or not is difficult as the dog can’t communicate with us. And if the dog is looking in a particular direction and not moving its gaze, all you need is a little distraction.
To help or distract the dog, you can give the dog some toys to play with. Then, you can consult the veterinarian to devise a solution if the conditions get more severe.
Besides this, you can include exercise in your dog’s daily routine and ensure that your dog has a balanced diet. Sometimes, only small changes can show a better reduction in frantic behavior of the dog and help your dog.
If for any reason, the home treatment doesn’t work on your dog, the last option is medications.
In such a case, many medications will be given to the dog to relieve it, but you can also make such time comfortable for your dog in many ways. For example, you can add in some games and make stressful medication time into a fun activity for your dog.
How to Reduce The Behavior of Your Dog of Looking Around Frantically?
You can treat this behaviour in your dog by including more playtime in your dog’s daily routine. In addition, you can give your dog physical and mental stimulation to treat the disease and symptoms. For example, you can give your dog some toys to keep the dog distracted throughout the day, or you can take your dog on long walks.
It is a good idea to distract your dog whenever you observe the dog looking in a particular direction without any movement. For example, you can give the dog toys or start playing with the dog to distract the dog from such behaviour.
If your dog is struggling with such behaviour, you can call your dog’s name or get it to focus on something else that will distract it from looking in a particular direction.
To help your dog get out of this behaviour, you can give your dog some medications, and for that, you can go and consult your dog’s veterinarian.
There can be many reasons for your dog to look around in a specific direction or frantically. You have to be careful about what the reason could be behind the strange behaviour of your dog, of looking at something for too long. Try distracting your dog, and if nothing works, you can go and visit the veterinarian for treatment and medications for your dog.
About hallucinations, We are not sure whether the dog suffers from hallucinations all the time or not, but if it occurs, it can be due to neurological disorders. For example, if the dog is looking around frantically or in any particular direction, there are high chances that the dog may be suffering from hallucinations. Consult the veterinarian or distract your dog, which will help you cure this behaviour in your dog.
Meet John Patterson, an accomplished Dog Trainer and a dedicated advocate for building strong human-canine relationships.With years of experience as a Professional Dog Trainer, John firmly believes that well-trained dogs are a reflection of patient guidance and unwavering care. Beyond his training skills, he finds solace in grooming and playing with dogs, nurturing their physical and emotional well-being.