Epilepsy & Seizures
SEIZURES DON’T JUST HAPPEN TO HUMANS
Pets, including dogs, can also suffer from seizures. They occur when there is ‘explosive’ electrical activity in the brain and are often described as an uncoordinated firing of the neurons. Why neurons do not function normally is not understood, but probably certain substances called neurotransmitters are not in the proper chemical balance, so the nerves do not behave in the normal coordinated fashion.
Epilepsy is a disorder of recurring bouts of uncoordinated firing of the neurons within the brain. These episodes are called seizures and occasionally are referred to as convulsions or "fits."
TYPES OF EPILEPSY IN DOGS
Epilepsy can be broadly categorized into two types: primary (or idiopathic) and secondary (or symptomatic).
Primary epilepsy: also known as idiopathic (unknown cause), genetic, inherited, or true epilepsy. Most dogs that are diagnosed with epilepsy have primary epilepsy, where no underlying cause for the seizures is found. These dogs will be healthy and completely normal in all other respects.
Breeds most prone to idiopathic epilepsy include the:
• Belgian Tervuren
• Golden & Labrador Retriever
• Shetland Sheepdog
• German Shepherds
• English Springer Spaniel
• Irish Setter
Secondary epilepsy refers to seizures for which a cause can be determined, and there are many.
TYPES OF EPILEPSY SEIZURES IN DOGS
Based on the type of behaviour and brain activity, seizures are divided into two broad categories: generalized
and focal (also called partial or local).
Some dogs have more than one type of seizure, and not all seizures involve convulsions. Most epileptic fits usually happen quite suddenly without warning, last a short time (often only a few seconds or minutes) and stop by themselves.
The following types of seizures describe what happens during the attack.
LEARN MORE ABOUT A TREATMENT FOR DOGS WITH PRIMARY EPILEPSY