What is it?
•Idiopathic epilepsy is a disorder than involves recurring seizures without a known cause
•It is a genetic disorder
•Idiopathic Epilepsy is a common cause of seizures in dogs, but not typically cats
What causes it?
•This disorder may be caused by a certain imbalance in brain chemistry
•Nerve cells in the brain are easily and excessively excitable, resulting in seizures
•Apart from the seizures themselves, animals typically display no clinical signs and appear normal
What tests are needed?
•Physical and neurological exams, laboratory tests, and sometimes x-rays may be needed to eliminate any other disorder that may result in seizures
•If the animal is only affected by IE, most laboratory tests results will be normal, but MRI and CT scans may be needed to rule out any other brain conditions
How is it treated?
•It is unlikely that treatment for IE will completely cure your pet
•However, there are many treatments available to shorten the duration of the seizure episodes as well as increase the amount of time between episodes
•There are antiepileptic drugs available from your veterinarian that can be used to successfully treat your pet
What follow up care is needed?
•Keep a diary of the episodes in order to track treatment success
•If the animal has more than one seizure in 24 hours, if the episode lasts more than 5 minutes, or if consciousness is not complete regained after episodes, immediately see your veterinarian