The following are a few pictures and video clips of tail chasing dogs, used with permission of the dogs’ owners. For those who may not have seen a spinning Bull Terrier, these images might give some idea what it looks like but it is hard to convey how devastating this can be with just a few brief clips. Without intervention, some of these dogs will spin and spin, so rapidly they are almost a blur, for minutes or even hours until they stumble and collapse from exhaustion. Both of the dogs below lost their lives to their disorder.
The movie clips are in Windows media format (WMV) and you will need Windows media player or another compatible viewer to watch them.
*These photos and videos are not to be distributed elsewhere except by specific permission of the Bull Terrier Neurological Disorder Resources site owner and the owner of the dog!*
Dog # 1 – Tank
Tank was a white male Bull Terrier who suddenly began tail-chasing at the age of about six months, seemingly triggered by an allergic rash on his back legs and groin. Up until that point his owner reports he had been a happy, well-adjusted dog, given lots of mental stimulation and taken to ‘doggie daycare’ five days a week. All that changed almost overnight and the next four weeks became hell for Tank and his family; he no longer responded to them and chased his tail nearly 24 hours a day, mutilating his tail and genitals and injuring his legs and foot pads from the friction of the nonstop spinning. He didn’t respond to medication, and finally, after he had been spinning for nearly two days straight without sleeping, his family couldn’t stand to watch him suffer any longer and their veterinarian released him from his agony.
Tank’s owners had taken pictures and video of him for their veterinarian before his death, and have graciously allowed this material to be used on this site, in hopes that this will help people understand what spinning is and why research to find the cause is so important.
The first three show Tank spinning in his crate, and the final one shows his owner trying to restrain him from spinning. Note the stiff, rigid legs; his owner report that during this time his body was completely rigid, almost as if he was in the middle of a seizure of some sort.
Click on any of the images above to view a larger version.
spinning_tank.wmv – This is a ten-second video (no sound) of Tank tail chasing. His owner is trying to distract him with a toy and he briefly looks up, then immediately goes back to spinning. Note that, at one point, he bites his own back leg while trying to get his tail.
Dog # 2 – Mojo
Mojo was a neutered male Bull Terrier, fifteen months old at the time of the video clip below. He was already showing signs of tail chasing when he came to his new home at five and half months of age, later progressing to not only serious spinning but also other strange behaviors such as facial tics and air-snapping, and finally, serious seizures in spite of treatment with clomipramine and phenobarbital. His owners released him from his suffering at the age of 21 months.
spinning_mojo.wmv – An eighteen second clip of Mojo tail chasing. The morning these videos were taken (there are three separate clips combined) Mojo had been doing very well for several weeks and had a sudden setback and began tail chasing again, at the time this video was captured.