The other day my mother forwarded me the link to the newest canine viral video, Bizkit the Sleep Walking Dog. The video had already been featured on the Yahoo! home page, so I knew it was getting millions of hits. My nephew purportedly watched the video a dozen times, laughing riotously all the while. I decided to see what the fuss was about.
My initial reaction to the video was to think that Bizkit needs to see a neurologist. Undoubtedly, sleep walking occurs in normal dogs. But Bizkit’s efforts are extreme. And it is not common for dogs to wake up snarling and then run headlong into a wall. Bizkit could hurt himself or someone else, I thought. What if, next time this happens, Bizkit is lying next to the stairs and falls down them? To me, the events in the video looked more like a seizure than like normal sleep walking.
I doubted my own assessment of the situation until I reviewed the sequel to the video, Bizkit the Sleep Walking Barking Dog. This video features the same star in the same room, from a different angle. Bizkit again goes through a violent episode of running in his sleep.
What happens next in the video is not normal. Bizkit awakes, raises his hackles, barks, and stares into space for over a minute. This behavior is typical of dogs recovering from a seizure or similar neurological event.
Bizkit’s owners didn’t ask for my advice, but here it is: I would strongly recommend that Bizkit see the vet for a full neurological evaluation. Bizkit’s behaviors could be harmless, but they also could be symptoms of a serious problem.