Hi all. I have a 3 yrs old B&W male basenji. I have noticed that (for the last month) he appears to be catching invisible flies. Does that make sense? He will just set there and try to catch something in the air. Sometimes, he will chase something thats not there. He looks cute and funny doing it BUT im getting concerned.
Has anyone else witnessed it? Is it normal?

I would get him checked out by your vet if there is truly nothing there that he's trying to catch.. I have seen a this behavour in a dog which was eventually diagnosed as a neurological problem.

There is a seizure disorder in dogs that expresses itself in this way. I would take him to a vet.

That being said I have had dogs with epilepsy and seizure disorders are often quite manageable with good vet care 🙂

Yep, it is even called fly catching syndrome.

I have read that certain eye problems can cause this also. You will probably have to go to an opthalmologist for a complete exam.

Does he have any other neurological symptoms?

I would contact the breeder and see if seizures are in the lines.

Here is a vet website with general seizure information including psychomotor seizures which is the kind that causes the flybiting. I do not know this vet.


Have your vet check his eyes, and if he sees anything, he'll probably refer you to a vet opthalmologist. The same thing was happening with Shaye. We took her to the specialist and he found she has astigmatism right in the center of her right eye. When she is just sitting around not doing anything else, she sees that dead spot in the middle of her eye and keeps trying to catch things that are not there as well. We were afraid it was a cataract, but it is not, and should stay the way it is forever - nothing to be done about it, but maybe she will get accustomed to ignoring it after a while. We wondered about the problem being seizures as well, but that was not the problem. Do have it checked out thoroughly.

Do let us know what you found out from the vets.

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