Epilepsy in dogs

Epilepsy is defined as a brain disorder characterized by spontaneously occurring and recurring seizures. These seizures are a result of abnormal electrical discharges in the brain. Seizures vary widely in their manifestations, from brief staring spells through full-body convulsions known as tonic-clonic seizures.

Epilepsy is the most common neurological condition in dogs. Just as in human epilepsy, there are different causes of dog epilepsy. The diagnostic criteria are similar to those for humans, and the first line treatment are oral drugs.

The prevalence of dog epilepsy varies widely by breed, but is sometimes reported to be in the range between 1-5% of all dogs (Charalambous 2014). But prevalence is highly breed-dependent.

For example, certain breeds like the Belgian Shepherd and the Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen have epilepsy prevalence rates approaching 10% (Weissl 2012).

It is estimated that about 30% of canine epilepsy patients are inadequately controlled with current standard of care (Volk 2014). For these dogs, there is very little help to be found, and they are Panion’s first and primary target.
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