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  • Author or Editor: Miyoko Saito x
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Objective—To identify risk factors for episodes of status epilepticus (SE) in dogs with idiopathic epilepsy and determine how SE affects long-term outcome and survival time.

Design—Retrospective study.

Animals—32 dogs with idiopathic epilepsy.

Procedure—Information on signalment, seizure onset, initiation of treatment, anticonvulsants administered, number of episodes of SE, overall seizure control, and long-term outcome was obtained from medical records and through telephone interviews. Differences between dogs that did and did not have episodes of SE were evaluated statistically.

Results—19 (59%) dogs had 1 or more episodes of SE. Body weight was the only variable significantly different between dogs that did and did not have episodes of SE. Thirteen dogs (9 that did not have episodes of SE and 4 that did) were still alive at the time of the study and were ≥ 10 years old. Six of the 19 (32%) dogs that had episodes of SE died of causes directly attributed to the seizure disorder. Mean life spans of dogs that did and did not have episodes of SE were 8.3 and 11.3 years, respectively. Survival time was significantly different between groups.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggest that a substantial percentage of dogs with idiopathic epilepsy will have episodes of SE. Dogs with greater body weights were more likely to have episodes of SE, and early appropriate seizure treatment did not appear to decrease the risk that dogs would have episodes. Most dogs with idiopathic epilepsy had an expected life span, but survival time was shorter for dogs that had episodes of SE. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2001;219:618–623)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


Objective—To evaluate safety and efficacy of vagal nerve stimulation in dogs with refractory epilepsy.

Design—Placebo-controlled, double-masked, crossover study.

Animals—10 dogs with poorly controlled seizures.

Procedure—A programmable pacemaker-like device designed to deliver intermittent stimulation to the left cervical trunk of the vagus was surgically implanted in each dog. Dogs were assigned randomly to two 13- week test periods, 1 with nerve stimulation and 1 without nerve stimulation. Owners recorded data on seizure frequency, duration, and intensity, as well as adverse effects.

Results—No significant difference in seizure frequency, duration, or severity was detected between overall 13-week treatment and control periods. During the final 4 weeks of the treatment period, a significant decrease in mean seizure frequency (34.4%) was detected, compared with the control period. Complications included transient bradycardia, asystole, and apnea during intraoperative device testing, and seroma formation, subcutaneous migration of the generator, and transient Horner's syndrome during the 14-day period between surgery and suture removal. No adverse effects of stimulation were detected, and most owners were satisfied with the treatment.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Vagal nerve stimulation is a potentially safe approach to seizure control that appears to be efficacious in certain dogs and should be considered a possible treatment option when antiepileptic medications are ineffective. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2002;221:977–983)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association