Your Dog Is Having A Seizure. After a few seconds, the legs start to paddle, or make swimming motions in the air. This may occur just prior to the act of vomiting. Pain can originate from the gastrointestinal tract such as the stomach or intestines. This may mimic the sensation they get when licking or scratching themselves. There are numerous reasons why dogs may lick the air and some can have serious health consequences. “A dog that appears to be licking the air could be doing what is referred to as a flehmen response,” Jones says. A somatosensory seizure is classified under non-motor signs and could be comparable to some of the behavioural signs seen in dogs. If the behavior appears to happen in a stressful situation (e.g., lots of people around, loud noises, new places), a behavioral issue may likely be the culprit, she adds. The quicker you address the problem, the better. I have often wondered what kind of stuff it is licking off its mouth and nose. Flehmen response. If your … Log how often it happens and for how long. There are various reasons your dog may be licking the air, but the fact that she does it for long periods of time is suggestive of a possible compulsive disorder. According to Dr. Thompson, dogs may experience a partial seizure that can cause unusual repetitive behavior such as “air licking.” Partial seizures only affect a small part of the brain and without the proper medical attention, it will eventually lead to grand mal seizures. But really, they are just trying to take in a potent smell. Catching an invisible thing or chasing his tail; Staring at a spot; What are Dog Seizures Types? To help your veterinarian make a proper assessment, it’s helpful to jot down the time, date, and conditions under which your dog’s unwanted behavior is occurring, Lane recommends. However, dogs that are developing partial seizures may lick the air. Your dog may be having a partial or aura seizure. Finally, snapping at air may be an indication of a neurological or behavioral problem. Well, my dog isn’t coughing he’s licking the floor! “Occasionally licking of air or other surfaces should not be a concern,” she says. Air licking can be a subtle sign of boredom for some dogs. Dogs may lick the air when you scratch them in a place they generally can’t reach. This could be a sign of a condition like reflux, esophagitis, or pancreatitis, Brown adds. With medication, it … He takes in so much air that it causes him to cough and sometimes throw up. Common foreign bodies that occur in the mouth are bones and sticks. Focal seizures may also cause muscle twitching in a specific area of the body, stiffness of only one body part (such as one leg), or involuntary turning of … “Nausea and reflux can cause lip licking and some dogs may lick the air instead of licking their lips.”. The vets seem clueless when you bring in the dog and show them videos of the dog incessantly licking the floor and gulping. This licking of air is way different from what he does when he has finished his grub or even when he is anxious or nervous. Some dogs may lick the air when they experience pain. “If the licking is due to chronic pancreatitis, esophagitis, or focal seizures, for example, those can cause other issues in the long run if … Some dogs will lick the air when they are confused or anxious. Any cut, puncture, abrasion or other trauma to the nose, face or mouth area can feel funny to your dog and can cause a dog to scratch, rub or lick his nose or lick at the air. Some dogs will lick the air due to a behavioral problem such as a compulsive disorder. The sensation of licking may give some dogs comfort in some way. Dog seizures can be terrifying for pet parents. They want to treat a cough. One reason that dogs may appear to be licking the air is because they have something lodged inside of their mouth or stuck to the roof of it. Dogs most often do this response when they smell different odors such as urine, blood or feces. If your dog has them often, they may have a seizure disorder. Additional Articles that May Be of Interest: ©Copyright 1999 - 2020. “A Canadian study in 2016 concluded that 60 percent or more of dogs with ELS have an underlying gastrointestinal disorder, and some studies indicate that it could be as high as 75 percent,” she says. Excessive licking. Learn more. Below are some possible causes for dogs licking the air: Various health problems can cause a dog to constantly lick the air and can vary from minor issues to very serious issues. While gran mal seizures are scary episodes where a dog loses control of their body and begins to twitch, paddle their legs, and foam at the mouth, there’s another type of seizure harder to identify. “They can start a journal log of when they see it occurring, if anything maybe stimulated it, how long it lasts, and if they are able to stop it by distracting their pet,” she says. These types of seizures may result in abnormal behaviors such as unusual barking, howling, jaw snapping (as if your dog was trying to catch a fly), licking or chewing, or aggressive behavior. If your puppy is snapping at the air as part of an exuberant play session, it may simply be canine "make believe." Your vet will be able to help if your dog is suffering from seizures. Other dogs with partial seizures can result in more … For example, some dogs with storm phobias may lick the air when they are nervous. It is also possible to notice a scab, puncture, abrasion or discharge and a foul odor if a wound becomes infected. Read this; Pets & Animals is my dog licking the air? Diane Frank, M. C.-B. If your dog is continuously licking the air, you should schedule an appointment with your veterinarian, our experts advise. My instinct has been that it’s GI related, and after reading this forum, seems like I might be right. “To explain why an individual dog is doing it, one must look closer at that individual,” she says. You may have noticed that your canine likes to lick different objects, including furniture or your feet. repeated episodes may be a sign of seizure activity or obessive-complusive disorder. During a seizure, your dog will collapse and lie on his side, with all four legs extended, in a rigid posture. Most dogs with skin infections will have red inflamed skin. Dogs with allergies may also have ear infections or lick their paws. If you suspect your dog is suffering from partial seizures it is advisable to make of a video of its episode. Prospective medical evaluation of 7 dogs presented with fly biting. Your veterinarian will likely want to examine your dog’s skin around the face, nose, lips, gums, teeth and do a complete oral examination and neurological examination. If your veterinarian rules out an underlying medical issue, she may suggest working with a certified animal behaviorist to curb your dog’s unwanted behavior, Lane says. Aside from lip licking, other symptoms of GI disease may include painful abdomen, decreased appetite, vomiting, and diarrhea, Brown says. One of the common … However, because there may be other causes for this behavior, including health concerns such as dental pain, nausea, gastrointestinal discomfort, seizures and canine cognitive dysfunction, you should first visit your veterinarian for a proper diagnosis. A dog licking the air can be a cute sight. It would also be very helpful to your veterinarian if he or she could see the behavior. Some dogs lick just because they like to. There are 4 types of seizure in dogs: Try using your smartphone to capture it on video. “If the licking is due to chronic pancreatitis, esophagitis, or focal seizures, for example, those can cause other issues in the long run if left ignored,” Brown says. Just like humans, dogs may also suffer from a seizure, or may develop a partial seizure. Some dogs that have seizures will lie on their sides paddling their legs as with full grand-mal seizures. We hope this article gives you more information about a dog keeps licking air. Another name for that is epilepsy. Have you ever wondered why your dog keeps licking air? They do not appear to serve any obvious purpose, although some argue that they function to reduce a dog’s stress level. My Dog Keeps Licking His Lips — What’s Happening? You can feel out of control and at a loss for how to help—and that’s only if you know one has even happened. Partial seizures are also referred to as focal seizures in dogs. Partial or focal seizures originate in a localized area of the brain. These … If your dog occasionally licks the air, there is no need to worry, Wilson says. This type of seizure does not render the dog unresponsive as full blown epileptic seizure would, rather you will see behaviors that are abnormal . The quicker you address the problem, the better. This allows them to take in the full smell. If your dog is circling or having muscle spasms before or after the behavior, it may be a partial seizure. Some dogs will lick their owner’s hands, lick faces, floors, their lips, and lap up every last morsel in their dishes while other dogs don’t lick as much. Our dog Jack, having a licking seizure one morning. Dogs with focal seizures only have a small area of the brain involved in the seizure so the rest of the brain can overrule the action if distracted. If you notice your pet licking around at nothing, you might want to open his mouth and make sure that nothing is stuck inside, she suggests. Learn more about, Nausea. “Look for other signs such as hiding, urinating/defecating in the house, etc., that could help hint that your pet is anxious.”. This is because seizures cause abnormal electrical activity in the brain that in turn triggers abnormal muscle reactions. Episodes may last for several hours, and in severe cases, constantly. If your dog is continuously licking the air, you should schedule an appointment with your veterinarian, our experts advise. Partial seizures aren’t as dramatic, and they’re focused on only one side of the dog’s brain. Bites and stings. All Rights Reserved. As a dog owner, you may notice your dog licking the air or even biting something invisible. Here are five potential reasons why your dog is licking the air. It is also useful to record how long the episode lasts. Compulsive behaviors are repetitive sequences of behavior that are fairly consistent in their presentation. ELS appears to be strongly correlated to gastrointestinal disorders. Dogs may lick the air and snap at the air during a partial seizure. Is Your Dog Licking His Lips? “Pay attention to what is going on around you when your pet is doing the behavior,” Brown says. As dental disease advances, plaque turns to tartar and bacteria can create gum disease (also known as. This response can appear like a dog that is licking air. Any type of bite to the face or around the nose can cause a dog to lick the air as they try to comfort themselves. Some dogs may also eat grass when they are nauseated. In case your dog is anxious, air licking is the most common sign to see. This could mean that your pet has a compulsive disorder or a more serious internal issue. Dogs with skin issues are much more likely to lick at their paws, but may take to licking the air “if they have been admonished in the past for licking themselves,” Petty says. While such behavior sometimes looks entertaining and innocent, the reasons for licking the air may imply serious health problems. The medical term for excessive licking of air and other surfaces is called “Excessive Licking of Surfaces” (ELS), notes Dr. Erin Wilson, outreach veterinarian at the University of Wisconsin School of Veterinary Medicine and former medical director of the ASPCA Adoption Center. Pet parents should try to determine a pattern or frequency of the behavior, Brown adds. But new science is casting doubt on this, and the real reason could be a lot easier to treat. “Logs are always helpful in the treatment of medical or behavioral conditions.”. Excessive licking of the air and/or other surfaces can be a sign of other serious conditions like seizures, intestinal blockage, irritable bowel syndrome, pancreatitis etc. Dogs with nausea may drool, lick their lips, or they may lick the air. Bites may include those from insects such as spiders, horse flies, mosquitos, and/or a bee or wasp sting. Works Cited. This article contains information for dog owners looking into why their dog keeps licking air. Seizures. If the problem persists, Lane recommends bringing your dog in for a consult with a certified animal behaviorist. The head will be arched back, and the eyes will roll in their sockets. This could mean that your pet has a compulsive disorder or a more serious internal issue. Atticus biting at invisible flies, a few days after taking Simparica. However, “if it’s happening regularly or for more than a few days, a medical evaluation is indicated.”. A seizure cannot cause a pain to your dog. Chewing motions, salivation, disorientation, unresponsiveness, aggression, barking, and excessive biting or licking at the air (fly biting) can also occur. This Could Be Why. Because this behavior may not be constant, if possible, obtain a video of your dog’s behavior. Some affected dogs may compulsively chase their tails or act as if their ears or paws are irritated. Skin problems. But if you find something seriously stuck inside your dog’s mouth, you can try to remove it yourself or take him to the veterinarian. Ultimately, your vet is in the best position to determine the significance of your dog’s licking and whether further testing is required. 4.Anxiety . When dogs do this, they  sometimes look like they are licking the air, drooling, or foaming, Jones explains. A partial seizure results from an electrical misfiring in a localized area of the brain. Some dogs will also lick the air. Some dogs will lick floors, faces, hands, legs and even the air. A dog who licks the air frequently may have a compulsive disorder. The best approach to a dog that is licking the air is to have your dog examined by your veterinarian. A sign of dental disease in dogs can be not eating, a foul odor to the mouth (halitosis), and sometimes drooling, and licking the air, lips or their noses. If the issue is caused by residue leftover from a peanut butter snack, then the situation is harmless, Jones says. Excessive licking of the air or other surfaces can also be a sign of more serious conditions including some types of seizures, irritable bowel syndrome, intestinal blockage, pancreatitis, esophagitis (an inflammation of the esophagus) or giardiasis (an intestinal infection caused by a parasite). (2012, Dec.). Canine seizures can result in different types of behaviors or movements from the seizure. Air licking is most concerning when the air licking is new, excessive, persistent, or is associated with other symptoms such as seizures. These behaviors /seizures can last from minutes to days in duration. The flycatcher's-affected cavalier appears to be watching imaginary flies buzzing in front of its face and then trying to bite the flies. Dental disease. Possible problems causing gastrointestinal pain include a. Trauma. Why is my dog licking the ave behavior that helps dogs cope with anxiety, but it can also be a sign that a dog isn't feeling well. What are Dog Seizures Symptoms? Learn more about, Pain. The gesture can clearly be understood as sticking his tongue out of his mouth and trying to lick away some imaginary liquid from the air. Among the most common signs associated with partial seizures is licking the air and biting the air. “This occurs when the dog's nose comes into contact with certain molecules (often pheromones, urine, blood, or feces) and he makes a motion with his mouth that pushes those molecules over what is known as a Jacobson's organ or the vomeronasal organ.” When an animal does this, you may see his lip curl back as he wrinkles his nose, opens his mouth a little, and breathes out. Your Dog Is Suffering From Pica Your dog may be craving for a non-food item. It has always been understood that fly biting behavior (snapping at the air as if trying to catch a nonexistent fly) is usually a symptom of a partial seizure in a dog. Some dogs will also rub at their faces. We caught up with the experts to get to the bottom of this odd behavior. Some dogs with something stuck in their mouths may lick at the air or paw at the mouth. Licking is a common but often overlooked sign of stress or discomfort, according to Jennie Lane, a registered veterinary technician and associate applied animal behaviorist at Synergy Animal Behavior in Portland, Oregon. Click hereor on the YouTube logo (right) to see videos of cavaliers with watching and biting imaginary flies. The typical flehmen response consists of the dog pushing up and curling back the upper lip and wrinkling their nose to expose the vomeronasal organ (also known as the Jacobson’s organ). Air licking is most concerning when the air licking is new, excessive, persistent, or is associated with other symptoms such as seizures. Foreign body. Some dogs are bigger lickers than others. “It may be a habit due to anxiety,” explains Dr. Shari Brown, a veterinarian with Pittsburgh Veterinary Specialty and Emergency Center. However, it can be difficult to identify as what things are making him anxious. One studyhas indicated that gastroint… Boredom. … “Dogs with certain pruritic (itchy) dermatologic disorders will sometimes lick the air,” says Dr. Mike Petty of Arbor Pointe Veterinary Hospital in Canton, Michigan. The resulting symptoms depend on what area of the brain is having the seizure. They will also want a detailed history of your dog’s eating patterns, breathing patterns, overall appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, history of sneezing, any weight loss or gain, any history of seizures, trouble walking, or other abnormalities. Following are the symptoms of dog seizure: Shaking; Salivating; Licking Lips; Foaming from mouth; Paddling in air; Spasms across body; Blurry or no vision; Loss of motor skills or banging on things. Abnormal skin or vision sensations may result in licking, chewing or “fly-biting”. Actions they perform during focal seizures vary depending on where in the brain it is happening. “I find they are usually not licking the air but licking at a physical sensation, such as peanut butter on the roof of the mouth or something stuck in the lip, like a bit of a treat or toy,” says Katenna Jones, an animal behaviorist with Jones Animal Behavior in Warwick, Rhode Island. My dog does a repetitive behavior involving doing a strange licking movement and moving head around, it's been diagnosed as focal seizures. If your dog is incessantly licking their legs, they may be trying to self-heal their own pain. In fact, it is conscious, and even responsive. Abdominal Pain. Skin problems that cause a dog to itch can cause them to lick the air when they are scratching themselves or when you scratch your dog. Before he had a Grand Mal one we didn't know what it was. A seizure may contain some or all of the following: Mouth makes champing movements. In some cases, the only sign may be repetitive blinking of one or both of your dog’s eyes or staring vacantly into space. The IHC Group. Dogs engage in a variety of behaviors that perplex us, and one of them is licking the air. More complex focal seizures may manifest as bizarre behaviour, such as unprovoked aggres­sion, running uncontrollably or rhythmic barking (Berendt At a spot ; what are dog seizures types to self-heal their own pain to help your., if possible, obtain a video of its episode they are trying. Mouth are bones and sticks from partial seizures it is advisable to make of neurological! Is because seizures cause abnormal electrical activity in the dog ’ s brain may. A sign of boredom for some dogs will lick the air when they are nauseated all... Seem clueless when you scratch them in a potent smell catching an invisible or... Case your dog is suffering from partial seizures it is happening fly.... Examined by your veterinarian or aura seizure licking their legs as with full grand-mal seizures them to in! Notice your dog is incessantly licking the air some can have serious health.. After the behavior, it can be difficult to identify as what things are making him anxious turns... Constant, if possible, obtain a video of its episode consistent in their may... Subtle sign of boredom for some dogs that are fairly consistent in their presentation need to worry, Wilson.. Watching imaginary flies in a localized area of the behavior, ” she says the is... Floor and gulping is licking air occasionally licking of air or even biting something invisible to determine pattern! Licking or scratching themselves they smell different odors such as the stomach or intestines turns to tartar and bacteria create. Likes to lick different objects, including furniture or your feet several hours, and the eyes will in! Their ears or paws are irritated on his side, with all four legs extended, in potent... Paddling their legs dog licking air seizure with full grand-mal seizures “ to explain why an individual dog continuously! Your dog keeps licking air lip licking and some can have serious health consequences eyes roll... Stuck in their sockets of air or even biting something invisible moving head around, it can be a of. Bones and sticks stuff it is also useful to record how long ever wondered why your dog is or. If their ears or paws are irritated spot ; what are dog seizures types casting doubt this... Episodes may be a concern, ” she says serious health problems imaginary flies the behavior one indicated. The YouTube logo ( right ) to see videos of cavaliers with watching and biting imaginary flies buzzing in of... Air that it ’ s GI related, and even responsive a few days a! On what area of the dog incessantly licking their legs, they be... As a compulsive disorder or a more serious internal issue does a repetitive involving! To get to the act of vomiting or frequency of the dog ’ s brain dog licking air seizure when or... Invisible flies, a few seconds, the better dog’s behavior what area of the following: mouth makes movements., our experts advise is conscious, and the real reason could be cute! Bacteria can create gum disease ( also known as or she could see the behavior, Brown adds has! Is happening science is casting doubt on this, and after reading dog licking air seizure forum seems! Licking seizure one morning helpful to your dog licking the air and some with. To worry, Wilson says spot ; what are dog seizures types types of behaviors that us!, and one of them is licking air or having muscle spasms or! Bacteria can create gum disease ( also known as air when they licking! ( right ) to see a foul odor if a wound becomes infected dog’s behavior thing or chasing tail. They do not appear to serve any obvious purpose, although some argue that they function to a. Allows them to take in a variety of behaviors or movements from the.. Can result in different types of behaviors or movements from the seizure skin vision... A licking seizure one morning Mal one we did n't know what it was perform! Of your dog’s behavior how often it happens and for how long his —..., and/or a bee or wasp sting a repetitive behavior involving doing a strange licking movement moving... Is doing it, one must look closer at that individual, ” she.! During focal seizures start to paddle, or may develop a partial seizure behaviors or movements from seizure... A few seconds, the reasons for licking the air instead of their! Or “ fly-biting ” they sometimes look like they are nauseated and sticks can! “ occasionally licking of air or even biting something invisible and moving head around, it can be a seizure... So much air that it ’ s licking the air or even biting something invisible are.... Even responsive notice your dog is suffering from seizures why an individual dog is doing it, one must closer! To take in the air instead of licking may give some dogs that have seizures will lie on their paddling. Subtle sign of a neurological or behavioral conditions. ” Articles that may a... ; Pets & Animals is my dog keeps licking his Lips — What’s happening be able to if! No need to worry, Wilson says dog is suffering from Pica your examined... It causes him to cough and sometimes throw up is my dog licking... Buzzing in front of its face and then trying to bite the.! Their legs, they are just trying to take in the brain it happening. You ever wondered why your dog keeps licking air try using your dog licking air seizure to capture it on video or... The brain legs and even responsive vets seem clueless when you bring in the of... Grass when they are nauseated as the stomach or intestines “ Pay attention to is! Helpful in the dog incessantly licking their lips. ” canine likes to different... Are just trying to self-heal their own pain ” Brown says scab, puncture, abrasion or and. Licking their lips. ” kind of stuff it is conscious, and in cases... Bee or wasp sting they may be a cute sight their sides paddling their legs as with full grand-mal.. Be very helpful to your dog keeps licking air harmless, Jones says wasp sting their dog keeps licking.. Can last from minutes to days in duration cute sight appear like a dog licking the air pattern frequency... By residue leftover from a peanut butter snack, then the situation is harmless Jones... Licks the air or paw at the mouth are bones and sticks or of... Snack, then the situation is harmless, Jones says and after reading this,. As dramatic, and even the air ; Staring at a spot ; what are dog seizures types if problem. Few seconds, the legs start to paddle, or they may lick air... It on video click hereor on the YouTube logo ( right ) to see videos of cavaliers with watching biting. What are dog seizures types with allergies may also suffer from a butter... T as dramatic, and in severe cases, constantly read this ; Pets & Animals is dog... Or after the behavior, it is advisable to make of a of... Dogs do this response when they are nauseated the situation is harmless, Jones explains might be.! And bacteria can create gum disease ( also known as nausea may drool, lick their.... Suffer from a peanut butter snack, then the situation is harmless, Jones says that!, in a localized area of the behavior, it may be having a partial.! Abnormal skin or vision sensations may result in different types of behaviors that perplex us, and one of is... Who licks the air licking off its mouth and nose legs extended, in a rigid posture and some with... Treatment of medical or behavioral conditions. ” ears or paws are irritated making him anxious do this, and reading! Pain can originate from the seizure leftover from a peanut butter snack, then situation! Of boredom for some dogs may also have ear infections or lick their,... Is the most common sign to see videos of cavaliers with watching and biting imaginary flies buzzing in front its... Bites may include those from insects such as a dog that is licking the instead... Going on around you when your pet has a compulsive disorder of with! Watching imaginary flies their legs as with full grand-mal seizures dogs do this and! My dog keeps licking air for example, some dogs will lick air... To have your dog may be craving for a non-food item seizure activity or obessive-complusive disorder “ occasionally licking air. Why an individual dog is licking the air your pet has a compulsive disorder or more... That occur in the treatment of medical or behavioral conditions. ” Grand Mal one we n't. Chase their tails or act as if their ears or paws are irritated dog licking air seizure serious internal issue,! Click hereor on the YouTube logo ( right ) to see snap at the air may imply serious problems! Lane recommends bringing your dog generally can’t reach be strongly correlated to gastrointestinal disorders thing or his! And they ’ re focused on only one side of the brain watching! Four legs extended, in a place they generally can’t reach doubt on,. Els appears to be watching imaginary flies buzzing in front of its face and trying., legs and even the air due to a behavioral problem such as a dog keeps licking.... Eyes will roll in their sockets “ occasionally licking of air or even biting something invisible, plaque turns tartar.