It happened without warning. One moment my young male Belgian Tervueren was snuggling against me as I sat on the couch; the next moment he lost control of his hindquarters and fell onto his side, unconscious. His lips writhed back over his teeth; his legs stretched out, then became rigid; and his head twisted up and back as if an unseen hand was trying to raise his chin to an impossible height. It seemed like an eternity, but actually only two minutes passed before his body relaxed and consciousness slowly ebbed back. For an hour afterward he seemed exhausted and disoriented. I was shaken too, never having witnessed such a seizure before. Yet later that day the dog was romping about as if nothing out of the ordinary had occurred.

My dog is lucky. His seizures have been few and far between. We now believe they are caused by hypothyroidism. Other dogs are not so lucky. Seizures can be severe and frequent. They may occur in "clusters" (several in one day), or progress to the life-threatening state of status epilepticus. In extreme cases where seizures cannot be controlled, a veterinarian may advise euthanasia....more

Our goal is to provide information on canine epilepsy and other diseases, including canine hypothyroidism, that cause seizures in dogs. Our canine epilepsy section provides information about canine epilepsy, what happens when your dog has a seizure, possible causes of seizures by age, what tests are used to diagnose canine epilepsy, and information from our Guardian Angels on what they would do differently "if they knew then what they know now." Under medications you will find information a number of medications that are used to control seizures in dogs. Those medications include the more commonly used Phenobarbital and Potassium Bromide as well as newer drugs such as Gabapentin and Felbamate. The section on thyroid contains several articles on canine hypothyroidism and the connection between low thyroid and seizures....more

Epilepsy was recognized in ancient times and was undoubtedly one of the "difficult" diseases Hippocrates referred to. Understanding what causes seizures, how epilepsy is treated and how current research may help decrease the incidence of the disease, will help you deal with the condition in your pet....more

Be an intelligent consumer. Educate yourself about your pet's disease and don't be afraid to ask questions.

Canine Epilepsy is a growing problem amongst many breeds of dog.

There is no test for Primary epilepsy. There is no way of knowing if the epilepsy is inherited.

Canine Epilepsy does not have to mean a death sentence. Many dogs with epilepsy go on to live relatively normal lives.

There is a lot of information available on Canine Epilepsy but you have to look for it. With the best will in the world, vets cannot be experts in every condition and it is vital, if you have a dog that is having seizures, that you become well informed, in order to make the right choices for your dog.You need a good relationship with your vet so that you can talk through any concerns that you may have about the condition and its treatment. more...

Epilepsy is relatively common in dogs, but much less common in cats. Nerve cells in the brain function by transmission of electrical impulses. Epilepsy is a sudden, excessive discharge of electrical energy in groups of brain cells, causing a seizure or convulsion. Why this spontaneous discharge occurs we do not know, but in many cases the condition is hereditary in dogs more....

Epilepsy refers to abnormal electrical activity in the brain resulting in seizures or convulsions. Brain cells called neurons are responsible for transmitting information. They communicate with one another by way of chemically-mediated electrical impulses. When too many neurons discharge their impulses simultaneously a seizure may result. The type of seizure produced depends on the location in the brain where the abnormal electrical activity occurs. There are two types of epilepsy. Primary epilepsy (also called idiopathic, inherited or true epilepsy) is the type for which no real cause can be found. Secondary epilepsy can be attributed to such things as toxins (oftentimes, lead), metabolic disorders (low blood sugar is a common cause), nutritional deficiencies, head injuries, brain tumors, etc. Seizures are also categorized by the type of activity produced. Dogs with primary epilepsy most often exhibit generalized seizure activity called a tonic-clonic seizure. The entire body is involved. The tonic phase is the period in which the dogs falls, assumes a rigid posture, becomes unconscious and stops breathing. This usually lasts 10-30 seconds. Then the clonic phase begins in which the dog's limbs exhibit a paddling motion. During the seizure, the dog may lose control of its bowel or bladder and salivate profusely. A partial seizure will affect only one area of the body. These are usually associated with secondary epilepsy. Status epilepticus is a seizure of abnormally long duration and is a medical emergency as the dog may stop breathing for a longer period of time. Clusters of seizures may also do the same thing. Both result in low blood oxygen and can produce permanent brain damage or death more....