Update: Apparent symptoms of neglect in Barley

It’s difficult for me to write with 100% accuracy about her progress as I am at university 80 miles away from home so am relying on interpretations from emails/photographs and updates via the phone from my mom (who is being incredibly helpful, so big thanks is due!).

But Barley’s most recent progress seems quite promising. My mom said she’d noticed Barley’s ‘fussy eating’ (as she calls it) about 2/3 weeks ago after what was likely to have been another stroke since her first major stroke just over a month ago, which left her with a strong left side weakness which she is now recovering from. The photo’s she has sent today indicate that if she is showing  signs of neglect or another similar neurological condition that these  symptoms are beginning to subside. However, I still think that they way in which she is eating is still very interesting, see the below photos for an illustration.

There seems to be a definite right side preference for the food bowl, (image one) and she clears a whole half almost down a straight line bisection before she moves across to the second ‘half’ of the bowl on her left hand side (image 3). The fourth picture seems to indicate she has changed position slightly, as in the previous photos she is standing right in front of the bowl and in this image she seems to be at it’s side. Again I’ll stress that I do not know precisely how she is eating, I keep trying to get my mom to work out video on her photo so we can have a more accurate step by step portrayal of this.

The fact that she’s managing now to eat her entire bowl without promting is a nice postive sign, I suppose as cool as it is that she’s showing these signs of a neglect I do really want her to get better and make a good recovery. I’m not all about ‘the science’.

I’ll end with this image of Barley being looked after by our new Puppy called Moya (who’s in training to be a dog for the disabled for my mom who has a degenerative spinal condition. I love Moya, she is awesome even if she ate my teddy bear last time I went home!)

Thanks to all of you who’ve seen the post about Barley and have shared it around. If anyone has any suggestions as to how I might better test for neglect signs other than with her food bowl please don’t hesitate to put them forward! I’m also not sure how long neglect can last in a dog when it hasn’t been induced medically for scientific research purposes. So I’d be most grateful for any info from those with veterinary science backgrounds or experience with such things as well. All other information about this condition that anyone may have would be really great to see too!



Filed under neuropsychology, Pets, Sciencey

3 responses to “Update: Apparent symptoms of neglect in Barley

  1. Pingback: Neurological shorts | Code for Life

  2. Missytracey@yahoo.com

    Hello. I found your site because I am worried that something is wrong with my one and a half year old Maltipoo Tilly. She began the odd behavior of only eating half her food, only it is only the LEFT side that she eats. I thought maybe she is showing signs of OCD. But then I came across this idea of neglect and it’s very troubling to me. She also recently (in the past 3.5 months) she has been doing this funny Jump/hop where she doesn’t use her back RIGHT leg/foot. I had x-rays taken because it looks like a limp, but nothing about her bones is off. She doesn’t act injured or hurt. She runs and jumps and plays as if nothing were bothering her at all, yet she has this funny behavior with her back right leg when she walks. I’m worried that it’s neglect of her limb. I never witnessed her having an injury or trauma unless something happened when I wasn’t around. If you could help me at all with this I could greatly appreciate it. Thank you.

    -Concerned doggy mommy

    • Hi, sorry to hear of your concerns. I’m afraid I’m not an expert in this just an owner of a dog myself. Unilateral neglect is incredibly rare in dogs, and happens following a stroke so the older the dog the more probable. It’s hardly ever been reported or successful induced in laboratory setting so it would be unlikely I think. I would suggest going back to the vet and telling them about all your dog’s symptoms including the eating and maybe suggest to them that it might be neurological. Hope that helps and I hope your dog gets well soon!

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