My Dog Is Walking in Circles
Normal dogs don't typically walk in circles, except when they are either preparing to urinate or defecate, or their attention is drawn by a smell or another animal to the extent that they are forced to do so to avoid losing the scent or direct contact. If you discover your dog walking in circles without any such reason for it, be immediately suspicious and try to figure out what the cause is.
What to Look For
Dogs with neurological reasons for circling typically find it difficult to turn in the direction opposite the one they are circling in. Start your investigation by attempting to get your dog to turn away from the direction in which she is circling. Next, conduct a neurological exam. This should include an evaluation of her eyes, ears, spine, and limbs.
What to Do
Now ask yourself these few questions:
When to Get the Vet
A recent head trauma can easily be the cause of a dog's circling behavior. Because these effects may be the beginning of something significantly worse, it is always wise to seek the immediate attention of a veterinary neurologist any time your dog exhibits even the slightest behavioral abnormality following head trauma.
Text © 2007 by Robert D. "Jake" Tedaldi, D.V.M.