Canine epilepsy

Canine Epilepsy is a growing problem amongst many breeds of dogs, including St.

 Bernards.Canine Epilepsy does not have to mean a death sentence. Many dogs

with epilepsy go on to live relatively normal lives.

Epilepsy is a symptom of an underlying neurological dysfunction occurring

within the brain. Toxic substances, metabolic or electrolyte abnormalities

or imbalances cause an uncoordinated firing of the neurons located within

the section of the brain known as the cerebrum. These episodes of uncoordinated

 firing manifest themselves in the form of convulsions or seizures in which the

dog may experience mild tremors to severe thrashing movements.

Epilepsy may occur secondary to many diseases such as distemper, brain

tumors, liver or heart failure, diabetes, or as a result of exposure to toxic

 substances or trauma. However, “true” epilepsy as that which occurs in

hereditary syndromes within certain breeds. As such, from a clinical standpoint,

in cases of true epilepsy, only the symptoms can be treated.

 Furthermore, true epilepsy does not usually present itself, until the dog is

around 2 years or older.

Epilepsy has been found to occur in related individuals. Therefore the

assumption is made that it is a genetically inherited disease!. Currently,

there is no method for screening potential carriers of the disorder, however,

breeders seeking to produce physically sound puppies should not breed dogs

known to be afflicted with true epilepsy.

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