Health Issues


Seizures in dogs can be caused by a variety of factors. A common cause of seizures in all varieties of Poodles (as well as 25 or 30 other breeds) is "idiopathic epilepsy." Idiopathic epilepsy generally is inherited, and it can result in either mild or severe seizures. Sometimes, seizures involve episodes of unusual behavior, such as running frantically as if being chased, staggering, or hiding in the bathroom. Although seizures can be frightening to watch, the long-term prognosis for dogs with idiopathic epilepsy generally is very good. Importantly, however, many other factors can cause seizures in dogs besides idiopathic epilepsy. Causes include a variety of metabolic disorders (such as liver disorders), infectious diseases that affect the brain (such as distemper), tumors, exposure to poisons, severe head injuries, and more. The prognosis for seizures due to these other disorders varies depending on the particular disorder and how early it is diagnosed. Thus, when a dog begins to have seizures, it is very important for the dog to receive a thorough diagnostic work-up to determine the cause.

This website on canine epilepsy covers a wide variety of topics written by both lay persons and epilepsy experts. This is an excellent site, however, as with any website, you should check with a knowledgeable professional before applying any of the information to your own dog. You also are welcome to contact Barbara Licht, Ph.D. (who is heading a research project on the genetic basis of idiopathic epilepsy in Poodles) to obtain information on the diagnostic testing that is recommended, treatments, or to learn about her current research.