What is Epilepsy?

Affecting thousands of dogs each year, Epilepsy can be a lifelong condition that causes fits or seizures that can range from a few seconds of twitching to uncontrollable shaking for much longer.

Researching Epilepsy

Dogs of many different breeds and ages are affected by Epilepsy, with details such as the typical age of onset and how well the dogs respond to medication varying between breeds. Research has shown that some breeds have a higher rate of Epilepsy than others, and we believe that the way in which Epilepsy is inherited is complex in the breeds we have studied to date. It is almost certain that multiple variations within a dog’s DNA, alongside factors from the environment, are responsible for the condition. With so many variables, we’re effectively trying to complete a 2.4 billion piece puzzle!

In order to understand this complex and life-altering disease, we’re looking at DNA from affected and unaffected dogs of particular breeds to find out more about Epilepsy and develop ways to prevent it. We are currently investigating Idiopathic Epilepsy in Italian Spinoni and Border Collies but plan to expand the breeds we study over the coming years.

Epilepsy comes in many forms and is a very distressing condition for both dogs and owners to live with. Our research very much needs the support of dog owners to help us find out what causes some dogs to be at greater risk of developing the disease.

Help our research into Epilepsy

In order to develop new ways to prevent Epilepsy, we need help from owners and breeders of:

  • any dogs diagnosed with Epilepsy
  • any dog, over eight years of age, who has never had a seizure

We cannot beat Epilepsy without your help! Please complete our short questionnaire which you can download here and give us consent to speak with your vet about your pet.

Return the questionnaire to us. We’ll then send you a cheek swab collection kit to gather DNA from your dog which you simply need to send back to us in the post!