For the study, 2,834 seizure incident cases were identified from a population of 455,553 dogs attending VetCompass participating practices in 2013.
The study found that that approximately 1 in 160 dogs under first opinion veterinary care are affected by seizures every year.
Many of those dogs will have underlying epilepsy, defined as dogs with two or more unprovoked seizures at least 24 hours apart. Seizures can be secondary to idiopathic epilepsy, structural epilepsy or epilepsy of unknown cause.
Until now, however, there has been little information on the classifications of seizures, diagnostic approaches, or clinical management of dogs with seizures in the veterinary first opinion population.
The main findings from the research were:
Dr Dan O’Neill, Senior Lecturer in Companion Animals Epidemiology at the RVC, and author of the paper, said: "Watching your dog undergo a seizure can be an incredibly scary moment for any dog owner. It is really important that dogs that seizure are rapidly diagnosed to decide whether they need no further treatment beyond careful monitoring or alternatively require a clinical work-up to define the cause of the seizures.
"There are now some excellent treatments for many seizure-related diseases. This study helps up to understand the current state of play for seizure management in dogs and identifies opportunities for improved care of these affected dogs."
The full paper is freely available from Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine and can be accessed here: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/jvim.15911
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