Here's What You Need To Know About Dogs And Epilepsy

Here's What You Need To Know About Dogs And Epilepsy

Did you know that approximately 1 in 111 dogs is affected in some way by epilepsy? Epilepsy refers to recurrent seizures that are experienced as a result of a brain function disturbance. You may also know seizures as “fits” or “convulsions”.

Most dogs who experience epilepsy will go through their first seizure when they were between the ages of one and three years old. The most common form experienced by dogs in idiopathic epilepsy, meaning a type of epilepsy with an unknown cause. Though any dog can develop epilepsy, certain breeds appear to be predisposed to them, such as:

  • Australian Shepherd
  • Belgian Shepherd
  • Burmese Mountain Dog
  • Border Collie
  • Border Terrier
  • Boxer
  • English Springer Spaniel
  • Irish Wolfhound
  • Labrador Retriever
  • Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen
  • Standard Poodle
  • Vizsla

Idiopathic epilepsy causes a brain that looks normal to have cells that can become hyperexcitable easily. When the cells become hyperexcited, an electrical discharge rushes through them, leading to a seizure. Most seizures only last for a few minutes, with the post-seizure confusion or aggression that dogs experience lasting for up to several hours.

The process of diagnosing idiopathic epilepsy involves ruling out all other potential causes of seizures, as seizures can occur due to many different conditions. Most vets will ask for medical history, conduct multiple examinations, take blood work, and ask you to record videos of seizures and note their frequency and time of onset.

Feature Image Source: Pixabay

Back to blog