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Dr. Peter
Dr. Peter, Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 32490
Experience:  16 years of internal medicine, surgery, and preventive care.
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Why has my cockapoo started staring up into the air. Hes 18

Customer Question

Why has my cockapoo started staring up into the air. He's 18 months old and started about a month ago doing this and he's staring more and more often. He does it everywhere not just at home. Thanks.
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Dr. Peter replied 4 years ago.
Hello, I am Dr. Peter a licensed Veterinarian. I am happy to answer your question today. I need to ask you a few questions first to be well informed and give you the best advice. There may be a slight delay between your follow ups and my replies as I type out a thorough reply for you.

1- How often is this happening?
2- Any eye discharge, redness, etc.?
3- Any other symptoms besides staring up into the air?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

He is doing it several times a day and it seems as each day passes he's doing it more and more.

He has started with some discharge from his eyes, within the last week. I have been bathing them with salt water to keep them clear. I put that down to all the running in the long grass. He doesn't have any other symptoms at all and is happy, energetic and eating as usual.



Expert:  Dr. Peter replied 4 years ago.
Julie, what you are describing is a condition called "Star Gazing" and this can be the result of seizures, inflammation in the anterior chamber of the eye where the dog is seeing the debris and less likely a compulsive disorder.
If the star gazing is related to seizures he may need to go on medication (phenobarbital) to control the episodes. I would also recommend a grain free diet like Taste of Wild or California Natural; we are learning that ingredients like gluten (protein in wheat, rye and barley), corn, soy, and casein (protein in milk) can play a role in seizure activity in dogs. Table food and treats should also be free of the above ingredients.
I would recommend a hands on examination with family veterinarian to rule out inflammation in the anterior chamber of the eye, blood work as initial screening test and a trial with phenobarbital.

Hope the above helps, if you have additional questions I will be glad to answer them.

Dr. Peter