November 19, 2018

Flycatchers Syndrome in Cavalier King Charles Spaniel


Flycatchers syndrome is a rare disease occurring in only canines. The dog with the disease will have episodes of biting and clawing at the air around them like if they had flies flying around their head. This occurs more frequently in Cavalier King Charles Spaniels than in other dog breeds The study was conducted on 7 different dogs that presented flycatching behavior. Their hypothesis that they wanted to test was that fly catching syndrome was the result of pain which was caused by underlying conditions, specifically the result of gastrointestinal disorders. Each dog was tested thoroughly within their blood, their tissue and other types of evaluations including behavioral. Each dog was filmed for 2 hours after ingestion of a certain test meal. The purpose of this was to see if a certain type of food caused this behavior. Although there is not a certain type of food that causes flycatchers syndrome, there is evidence that in Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, flycatchers syndrome is often caused by a gastrointestinal disorder. In addition, in all cases of Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, a simple dietary change restricting red meat often cured the flycatcher's syndrome. However, in other dogs, it is theorized that this condition is caused by a multitude of disorders. Although this experiment had no conclusive results, it is likely that the cause of flycatchers syndrome is due to pain in the neck. 



Summary by Matt Halper


Frank, D., Bélanger, M. C., Bécuwe-Bonnet, V., & Parent, J. (2012). Prospective medical evaluation of 7 dogs presented with fly biting. The Canadian veterinary journal = La revue veterinaire canadienne53(12), 1279-84.