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Fly-catching syndrome (FCS) is a rare condition typically characterized by episodes during which affected dogs bite or lick the air and jump for no apparent reason. Among veterinary literature, obsessive-compulsive disorders, focal epileptic seizures, and underlying gastrointestinal diseases were considered the most likely triggering causes. Recently, gluten-sensitive dyskinesia has been described in dogs, but it has never been reported to be associated to FCS.


A 6-year-old male French Bulldog.


The dog was presented for a 2-month history of episodes characterized by sudden onset of jumping while trying to catch something in the air without impaired consciousness or autonomic signs. The episodes could be interrupted by the owner and lasted several minutes. The dog suffered from chronic gastrointestinal signs. The neurological examination was within normal limits except for the episodes suggestive of FCS during the consultation. The serological test for anti-gliadin immunoglobulin G (AG IgG) and anti-transglutaminase-2 immunoglobulin A (ATG-2 IgA) antibodies resulted above the reference range (3.092 and 0.929, respectively; normal range < 0.6).


An exclusively gluten-free diet was started. Complete resolution of the episodes was reported during a 3-month follow-up.


To the authors’ knowledge, this is the first report of FCS associated to positive AG IgG and ATG-2 IgA antibodies responsive to a gluten-free diet. The typical manifestation of the episodes and response to diet support the hypothesis that FCS may be associated to gastrointestinal disorders. However, more studies are needed in order to confirm this hypothesis.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association