Recently this YouTube Video has been getting a lot of media attention (over 5 million views). Local news stations are picking up this video, and broadcasting it in hopes of getting a laugh out of viewers. Nationally, Anderson Cooper even discussed this video. To the untrained eye this clip might be humorous, but I find no humor in such a video. This dog is clearly experiencing something that is not normal, and appears to be having a seizure. Yet, whoever owns and/or cares for the dog finds humor in filming the seizure, and posting it to the internet rather than seeking veterinary care for the dog. Many dog owners, including one of my roommates, have dogs that experience seizures. These owners will tell you watching a dog seize while the dog is awake or sleeping are both terrifying experiences.
There are many health risks associated with seizures, and they can be a life threatening disorder. When a dog is having a seizure the owner must do everything possible to protect the dog. Some owners report their dogs will “come out” of the seizure if they repeatedly call the dog’s name loudly, other owners find stroking the dog helps and others rely on various medications prescribed by their DVM can ease the frequency and strength of seizures. Having an owner beside the dog, comforting it, as it comes out of a seizure can ease the disorientation the dog experiences post seizure.
In this video, the owner (or whoever filmed it) does nothing to protect the dog as the dog not only seizes, but also runs head on into a presumably hard wall. The seizure alone can cause trauma to the dog, but blunt force trauma to the animal’s head is an added concern. The person filming the dog is not their to help the dog or support it as it finds itself confused and stressed, but instead stands back with a camera in hand to capture it on film not once, not twice, but three different times. I am strongly opposed to the posting of this video, because it is exploiting an animal that needs medical care. I have posted under this YouTube video, but my comments urging the owner to research seizures in dogs, and take their dog and these videos to their veterinarian for medical help were deleted. Members of the Golden Retriever Forum I belong to have also had their concerned posts deleted—leading me to believe this owner cares more about getting views on their video than they do about treating their dog. I would normally assume the owner was simply uninformed, uneducated, or ignorant to seizure disorders in dogs and truly believed the dog to be “sleep walking,” but because numerous comments urging the owner to seek medical help were deleted I cannot help but reach the conclusion this is not the case. If these videos were filmed by an owner who truly believed there was nothing wrong with the dog, I hope the now deleted comments will encourage this owner to take the dog and the videos to their veterinarian. These videos could prove very useful in diagnosing the dog’s problem.
If you are as appalled by these videos as I am please write to Anderson Cooper and other media outlets and tell them there is nothing funny about a dog having a seizure. Urge them to stop airing these videos of possible animal neglect in such a humorous way. The media and the rich and famous must stop providing the public with incorrect or misleading information and footage of animals, because viewers often take this information as truth, and view these people as roll models.