What is it?
• Idiopathic epilepsy is a disorder that 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 in cats.
What causes it?
• This disorder may be caused by a certain imbalance in the brain.
• 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 anti-epileptic drugs available from your veterinarian that can be used to successfully treat your pet.
What follow up care is needed?
• Keep a journal 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 completly regained after episodes, immediately consult with your veterinarian or seek emergency care.