Saturday 16 October 2010

Update on Frodo the Faller

Yesterday’s excitement proved a little too much for Frodo – or maybe it was nothing at all to do with it – but last night he had three fits. They were all mercifully short but disturbed him. He always paces for about ten minutes after he recovers consciousness and seems quite tired today.

We weren’t going to take him out but have decided that fresh air and sniffs will do him good – and the Labradors – and us, of course. Naturally, the sniffs we will enjoy will not be in quite the same league as the ones the dogs appreciate. 

Dogs have an extraordinary sense of smell. They can identify smells one thousand to ten thousand times more accurately than we poor humans. The smell analysis percentage of a dog’s brain is 40 times larger than that of a human’s.

The following table, from ‘Understanding a Dog's Sense of Smell’ by Stanley Coren, PhD and Sarah Hodgson, emphasises the paucity of the human sense of smell compared to that of different breeds of dogs. (The heading seems to suggest that there are different breeds of people, too – and there are some who would not refute that!)

Table: Scent-Detecting Cells in People and Dog Breeds
Number of Scent Receptors
5 million
125 million
Fox Terrier
147 million
225 million
German Shepherd
225 million
300 million


Given these facts it is even more amazing to discover that the canine sense of taste is less well developed than the human’s. The main taste sensations are the same – sweetness, sourness and saltiness – but as dogs wolf down their food without first carefully smelling it as cats do it would seem that the smellier the food is the more eagerly dogs will consume it. This explains why dogs will eat anything they regard as having an attractive aroma – rotting carcases, mouldy food, anti-freeze will all be ingested with gusto.

 I hope Frodo won’t have any more falling down practices in this cluster - we will be watching him closely for the next two or three days. 


  1. Poor Frodo !
    I am rather happy that our sense of smell is less developped than the one of a dog ! Even with my limited nose sometimes I smell too much !
    There are also human beings who wolf down their food. I saw this in Egypt and probably will see it again with Russian tourists. A dog is nothing against them !
    Tomorrow at this time I am at the beach at the Red Sea !

  2. Sorry Frodo is having a bad time again.It must be such a worry for you and Barry.
    Jack jumped from a stool and landed badly yesterday.We are used to the Jack Russell habit of jacking one back corner up and appearing to be 'firing on only three cylinders', but this was his right front shoulder/wrist.He dashed around like a lunatic when he thought he heard someone near the door during the evening.Still limping occasionally, so we are on 'dog watch' too.
    Hope Frodo is over his latest episode.
    Hugs and best wishes, Sylvia x

  3. Bon voyage, Gattina. I look forward to the photos :-)
    Sylvia, I hope Jack recovers soon. If he's dashing about it may just be a wrench that will cure itself. Poor little boy!

  4. We're sorry that Frodo is having a bad time of things lately. We hope things improve soon.

  5. Poor Frodo. That must be extremely unpleasant for him, but the walk with all his family sounds like a wonderful cure for what ails him.
    Hugs to Frodo,
    Kay, Alberta

  6. egusalis would be a good spell word!

  7. Oh Frodo,
    We are so very sorry you had fits again. And we certainly hope they don't come back.
    U had such a lovely time earlier and you were looking so handsome in your made our day.
    Please do get well soon,
    Love n Hugs n licks,
    Ginger n Buddy n Mummy too

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  9. Hope Frodo has recovered - poor boy. Really interesting about dog's sense of smell and taste. My cats always treat anything I give them as suspicious, as if I'm trying to poison them. Of course anything they steal is a different matter. I saw Charlie eating moss in the garden a few days ago...

  10. Thank you everyone. Frodo had a peaceful night last night though I woke up every time he turned round in his bed!

  11. I'm so sorry! My granddog suffers from epileptic seizures. I'm wondering if that's what Frodo has. That is awfully scary... for Frodo and you.

  12. Kay, yes - Frodo has had idiopathic epilepsy for almost six years. He is not as badly affected as some but it is scary for him and we don't like seeing him in the throes of a seizure. The anti-epileptic drugs keep it under control most of the time. Is your granddog on medication?

  13. So sorry Frodo is having seizures. One of my cats had some and it turned out to be Feline Hyperesthesia Syndrome and it is under control now. Hope he feels better.

  14. We had a cat that used to have seizures. One day our neighbor went up to him to pet him and he fell over in a seizure. The poor man thought he had killed our cat! But the cat would recover in less than a minute and then go on his way as though nothing had happened. Poor Frodo. Give him special ear scratches from me -- or something that doesn't excite him too much.

  15. Kerri, thank you - we think so, too.
    Carolina Mountains - glad to hear your cat's seizures are under control.
    ChrisJ - your poor neighbour! Will do as you ask:-) Everything excites Frodo - he's very highly-strung!

  16. It must be frightening to see Frodo having fits. Poor boy.
    Interesting info on dogs' sense of smell.


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