- Cape student sues, accuses school officials of slamming her to ground multiple times (04/28/16)48
- Neelys Landing man shot, killed by highway patrol trooper after traffic stop (05/01/16)43
- Bob Evans restaurant in Cape Girardeau among chain's 21 closings (04/26/16)9
- Missouri House votes to allow concealed weapons without permits (04/28/16)8
- Police report filed, but no charges in incident at Cape Central (04/29/16)40
- 2016 All-Missourian Boys Basketball (04/29/16)
- Statement: Man says copsí good work drove him to grow his own marijuana (05/01/16)1
- Two hurt in motorcycle wreck on Interstate 55 (04/25/16)1
- Senator introduces bill for I-57 that would connect Sikeston with Little Rock (04/28/16)4
- River Ridge Winery changes hands (05/02/16)
Why does my dog chase its tail?
By Dr. John Koch
Question: My dog has this terrible habit of chasing its tail. Sometimes he will chase it for several minutes. Is there anything I can do to stop this?
Answer: Tail chasing is an example of a syndrome known as canine compulsive disorder. Canine compulsive disorder is an anxiety problem seen in approximately 2 percent of dogs. In dogs, other symptoms might include snapping in the air, excessive licking or sucking on the hair coat, licking the air, monotonous barking or any other quirky repetitive behavior. This condition appears to be similar in many respects to a syndrome seen in humans with the same name.
CCD is present being studied at Purdue University's College of Veterinary Medicine. Researchers at Purdue are using various imaging techniques to compare the problem in dogs with what is already known about the same condition in humans. If the two problems are closely comparable, then medications known to be effective in humans may offer hope in the treatment of canines as well.
At the present time, a medication used in humans and categorized as a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor is also being researched and shows promise of treatment. Until more is known about the condition, we can at least be thankful that, although annoying, CCD is not a serious health threat.
Dr. Koch is a Cape Girardeau area veterinarian.