Seizure classification in dogs from a nonreferral-based population

Michael Podell From the Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210 (Podell, Fenner), and Children's Hospital Research Foundation, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43205 (Powers).

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William R. Fenner From the Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210 (Podell, Fenner), and Children's Hospital Research Foundation, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43205 (Powers).

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Jean D. Powers From the Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210 (Podell, Fenner), and Children's Hospital Research Foundation, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43205 (Powers).

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Summary

On initial evaluation for onset of seizure disorders at nonreferral veterinary practices, 50 previously healthy dogs were enrolled in a study to determine the probability of identifying a specific cause for the seizures. Treatment was not administered prior to entry of dogs in the study. On the basis of antemortem and postmortem test results, 22 dogs (44%) were classified as having primary epileptic seizures (pes; idiopathic or without identifiable cause), 23 (46%) had secondary epileptic seizures (ses; identifiable intracranial cause), and 5 (10%) had reactive epileptic seizures (res; metabolic or transient noxious cause). Forty-one dogs (82%) had 2 or more seizures before evaluation, with 37 (90%) of these dogs classified as having epilepsy on the basis of an underlying chronic brain disorder. For these 41 dogs, 17 (41%) had pes, 20 (49%) had ses, and 4 (10%) had res. Among the 9 dogs (18%) with nonrecurring seizures, 5 had pes, 3 had ses, and 1 had res. Generalized seizures were the most common first-observed seizure type associated with all etiologic classifications in all dogs with recurring and nonrecurring seizures.

Diagnosis of ses was statistically more probable when the dog was less than 1 or more than 7 years old at the first seizure, when the first seizure was a partial seizure, or when the first seizure occurred between midnight and 8 am. A diagnosis of res was statistically more probable only when the interval between the first and second seizure was brief (≤ 4 weeks). A diagnosis of pes was statistically more probable when the dog was between 1 and 5 years of age at the first seizure, when the dog was a large breed (> 15 kg), when the seizure occurred between 8 am and midnight, or when the interval between the first and second seizure was long (> 4 weeks).

Summary

On initial evaluation for onset of seizure disorders at nonreferral veterinary practices, 50 previously healthy dogs were enrolled in a study to determine the probability of identifying a specific cause for the seizures. Treatment was not administered prior to entry of dogs in the study. On the basis of antemortem and postmortem test results, 22 dogs (44%) were classified as having primary epileptic seizures (pes; idiopathic or without identifiable cause), 23 (46%) had secondary epileptic seizures (ses; identifiable intracranial cause), and 5 (10%) had reactive epileptic seizures (res; metabolic or transient noxious cause). Forty-one dogs (82%) had 2 or more seizures before evaluation, with 37 (90%) of these dogs classified as having epilepsy on the basis of an underlying chronic brain disorder. For these 41 dogs, 17 (41%) had pes, 20 (49%) had ses, and 4 (10%) had res. Among the 9 dogs (18%) with nonrecurring seizures, 5 had pes, 3 had ses, and 1 had res. Generalized seizures were the most common first-observed seizure type associated with all etiologic classifications in all dogs with recurring and nonrecurring seizures.

Diagnosis of ses was statistically more probable when the dog was less than 1 or more than 7 years old at the first seizure, when the first seizure was a partial seizure, or when the first seizure occurred between midnight and 8 am. A diagnosis of res was statistically more probable only when the interval between the first and second seizure was brief (≤ 4 weeks). A diagnosis of pes was statistically more probable when the dog was between 1 and 5 years of age at the first seizure, when the dog was a large breed (> 15 kg), when the seizure occurred between 8 am and midnight, or when the interval between the first and second seizure was long (> 4 weeks).

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