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Case Description—A 10-year-old domestic shorthair cat was evaluated because of presumed seizures.

Clinical Findings—The cat had intermittent mydriasis, hyperthermia, and facial twitching. Findings of MRI and CSF sample analysis were unremarkable, and results of infectious disease testing were negative. Treatment was initiated with phenobarbital, zonisamide, and levetiracetam; however, the presumed seizure activity continued. Results of analysis of continuous electroencephalographic recording indicated the cat had nonconvulsive status epilepticus.

Treatment and Outcome—The cat was treated with phenobarbital IV (6 mg/kg [2.7 mg/lb] q 30 min during a 9-hour period; total dose, 108 mg/kg [49.1 mg/lb]); treatment was stopped when a burst-suppression electroencephalographic pattern was detected. During this high-dose phenobarbital treatment period, an endotracheal tube was placed and the cat was monitored and received fluids, hetastarch, and dopamine IV. Continuous mechanical ventilation was not required. After treatment, the cat developed unclassified cardiomyopathy, azotemia, anemia, and pneumonia. These problems resolved during a 9-month period.

Clinical Relevance—Findings for the cat of this report indicated electroencephalographic evidence of nonconvulsive status epilepticus. Administration of a high total dose of phenobarbital and monitoring of treatment by use of electroencephalography were successful for resolution of the problem, and treatment sequelae resolved.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


Objective—To determine whether neurologic examination findings, results of CSF analysis, or age at the onset of seizures could be used to predict whether results of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) would be normal or abnormal in dogs with seizures.

Design—Retrospective study.

Animals—115 dogs.

Procedure—Information on results of neurologic examination, results of CSF analysis, age at the onset of seizures, and results of MRI was obtained from the medical records.

Results—Results of MRI were abnormal in 61 dogs and normal in 54. Sensitivity and specificity of neurologic examination alone were 77 (47/61) and 91% (49/54), respectively. Sensitivity and specificity of CSF analysis alone were 79 (48/61) and 69% (37/54), respectively. Results of MRI were abnormal for 12 of 28 (43%) dogs with abnormal CSF analysis results and normal neurologic examination results but for only 2 of 35 (6%) dogs with normal CSF analysis and normal neurologic examination results. Similarly, results of MRI were abnormal for 36 of 37 (97%) dogs with abnormal CSF analysis and abnormal neurologic examination results but for only 11 of 15 (73%) dogs with normal CSF analysis results and abnormal neurologic examination results. Age at the onset of seizures (< 6 vs ≥ 6 years old) was not significantly associated with results of MRI.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggest that neurologic examination findings and results of CSF analysis are useful in predicting whether results of MRI will be abnormal in dogs examined because of seizures, but age at the onset of seizures is not. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2002;220:781–784)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association



To determine the prevalence of electrographic seizure (ES) and electrographic status epilepticus (ESE) in dogs and cats that underwent electroencephalography (EEG) because of suspected seizure activity and to characterize the clinical characteristics, risk factors, and in-hospital mortality rates for dogs and cats with ES or ESE.


Retrospective case series.


89 dogs and 15 cats.


Medical records of dogs and cats that underwent EEG at a veterinary neurology service between May 2009 and April 2015 were reviewed. Electrographic seizure was defined as ictal discharges that evolved in frequency, duration, or morphology and lasted at least 10 seconds, and ESE was defined as ES that lasted ≥ 10 minutes. Patient signalment and history, physical and neurologic examination findings, diagnostic test results, and outcome were compared between patients with and without ES or ESE.


Among the 104 patients, ES and ESE were diagnosed in 21 (20%) and 12 (12%), respectively. Seventeen (81%) patients with ES had no or only subtle signs of seizure activity. The in-hospital mortality rate was 48% and 50% for patients with ES and ESE, respectively, compared with 19% for patients without ES or ESE. Risk factors for ES and ESE included young age, overt seizure activity within 8 hours before EEG, and history of cluster seizures.


Results indicated that ES and ESE were fairly common in dogs and cats with suspected seizure activity and affected patients often had only subtle clinical signs. Therefore, EEG is necessary to detect patients with ES and ESE.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association