By Kristiana Hall and Aliki Kraterou
He’s going, going…gone!
This adorable pooch loves his trips to the park – but a bizarre neurological condition means than when he gets too excited he PASSES OUT.
Peter, the one-year-old Cocker Spaniel, suffers from the odd condition that his owners have dubbed ‘fainting goat syndrome’ after the viral videos of goats who randomly freeze and pass out.
Vets have no idea why Peter falls over every time he sees some birds, or ducks or when he’s scared – but they assure owners Emma Clayton, 26, and Oliver Broomhead, 30, that Peter is perfectly happy and healthy.
Emma, a pharmacy assistant and mum-of-one, from Sheffield, adopted the puppy in March despite knowing his unusual condition.
She said: “When he gets excited or scared, sometimes for no reason at all, he just freezes up and tipples over.
“As far as we know he is not in any pain- he is conscious when it happens, his eyes are open , he can follow me with his eyes, he just can’t move his body.
“Sometimes it’s just a few seconds, like drop and roll and get straight up again.
“It depends on how overwhelmed he is I guess- sometimes his body will freeze for almost 30 seconds.
“It wasn’t until the first time we got him home that it happened – seeing it in person for the first time was pretty scary, I kind of panicked.
“I was also worried what people might have been thinking seeing him falling over, ‘what’s wrong with that dog, what are they doing to him?’
“Sometimes when they are bad it can be stressful but we are all used to it now- but it’s never fun when it happens in the middle of the road.
“We just give him some rubs, if he’s far we just call ‘Come on Peter!’
“He’s not diagnosed yet- the vet believes is neurological .
“We have been passed over to a specialist but because it’s so rare no one has ever seen it before so they’re not sure of the best way to go forward.
“There’s been mention it could be cataplexy or narcolepsy or the fainting goat syndrome.
“Other than this he is a happy and healthy dog- it’s not an urgent condition that needs fixing immediately, he could live his entire life like this and be perfectly fine, it’s not like this will kill him or cause him any harm. “
It doesn’t seem that Peter is suffering during his seizures or that there are specific triggers for them – they last from a few seconds to a full minute and can happen any day.
There are a few things that trigger his ‘episodes’ such as the change of texture on the ground, from grass to gravel, chasing birds, the rain, jumping off rocks or heights, and stairs.
Emma added: “People’s reaction is mixed- some people are horrified, I think they believe he is having a seizure, being in imminent danger but a lot of people just laugh because we do to.
“We are so used to it now, we think it’s slightly comical so when they see us react they know it’s ok- we do have to explain it quite a lot but once we do everyone just wants to love him. “
Emma and Oliver were fully aware of Peter’s condition when they adopted him from a family that couldn’t keep him anymore.
Emma added: “We were aware that it happened, we adopted him from a family who were perfectly honest with us about his condition.
“But I fell in love with him straight away. “