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Idiopathic Epilepsy in Dogs

By: Dr. John McDonnell

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Veterinary care should include diagnostic tests and subsequent treatment recommendations.

Diagnosis In-depth

Your veterinarian will take a detailed history regarding the seizure episodes including any information about the seizure, the breeding or litter history, toxin exposure and their previous health record.

Your veterinarian will perform a complete physical and neurological examination.

By definition, idiopathic epilepsy is a seizure disorder with no known cause, although it is important for your veterinarian to determine your pet's general health and make sure there is no underlying disease that may be causing the seizures. Recommended blood tests may include:

  • A complete blood count (CBC or hemogram) to check blood counts

  • Serum biochemistry tests to evaluate blood glucose, electrolyte and protein concentrations

  • Bile acid determinations to evaluate liver function

  • Urinalysis to assess kidney function

  • Fecal examination to check for parasites

    Based upon the presentation, age, breed, seizure episode and results of the above tests a diagnosis of idiopathic epilepsy may be made and treatment may be recommended.

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