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Dog Holds Eyes Wide Open with Slight Eyebrow Twitch

by Carla
(Ohio)

Our 11 year old small female collie/terrier mix has twice this month had an episode of holding her eyes wide open with slight eyebrow twitching. She holds them so wide that you can see the whites above her eyes. It looks like when she's extremely scared but times 10.

It's not a seizure - she's totally alert and mobile. This lasts about a half hour & is very weird looking.

She acts nervous, but that could be in response to me looking deeply into her eyes and freaking out. She seems to be light-sensitive and will go under the bed until she's OK again.

What might this be?

Comments for Dog Holds Eyes Wide Open with Slight Eyebrow Twitch

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Sep 27, 2011
My Online Vet Response for Dog Holds Eyes Wide Open with Slight Eyebrow Twitch
by: Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

Hi Carla,
Without a video to see what your dog is doing--it would be difficult for me to diagnose the problem. What you are describing might be a behavior in response to fear, some dogs do not like to be stared at, since this can be interpreted as an act of dominance.

But also, it needs to be in context with what was happening in the household at the time both of these incidents occurred. It might be a form of 'seizure'. Only not a generalized seizure, (such as a Grand Mal), but a localized or focal seizure. This kind involves only one part of the brain, the part that controls the eyes. I would suggest taking a video of her doing this behavior (If it happens again). Please upload the video to YouTube and post the link to the video below by clicking the "click here to add your own comments" button.

Make sure you note:
1. The time of day
2. What she was doing before the incident occurred
3. Try to determine if she is responsive to you if you talk to her. Ask her to come to you or sit down. Will she obey?

A visit to a holistic veterinarian may be in order--to discuss diet and nutrition and to determine if these incidents occurred after a vaccination. To find a holistic veterinarian in your area click on the link below
find a holistic veterinarian in your area

Take care,
Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

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DISCLAIMER: This educational advice is based on the depth of your question and the picture you submitted. The above should never replace the advice of your local veterinarian, as they have the ability to evaluate your dog in person.

Related Pages:
- Dog Eye Problems,
- Ask a Vet Online Library - Dog Eye Problems Section



Oct 28, 2013
exact same symptom first time forour lab
by: kevalfox@gmail.com

Just as she lay down tonight...7 years old. Never seen this before. She responds but is tail tucked and repeatedly presenting her paw as she does when she wants our attention/response.

Oct 29, 2013
My Online Vet Response for: Dog Holds Eyes Wide Open with Slight Eyebrow Twitch
by: Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

October 28, 2013

Dear kevalfox

Thanks for your question. I'm happy to help, but we only accept new questions from subscribers (the original question above was from a subscriber).
Please click here to sign up and submit your question and photos.

Although, I am not sure how much I can help unless I actually saw a video of what your dog was doing. Since it was only a one time episode, and may never happen again, it is hard to say what caused it or if you even need to do anything about it. If it does happen again, and you are able to record it and submit it as a question, then perhaps we can check it out!

I'll then get back to you right away at the bottom of your newly created web page.
Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

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