Idiopathic epilepsy

a vizsla in a field surrounded by mist

The onset of seizures in dogs with epilepsy is typically from one to five years of age. The late onset means that often a dog has already been bred before it is known to be affected.

In some individuals, seizures are well controlled with anticonvulsant medications, but a significant number of dogs have “refractory” seizures needing high doses of medications to achieve control. The severity of seizures may be such that the owner elects to have the dog euthanized.

Study goals

Genetic tests for epilepsy would allow breeders to screen potential breeding animals for this common, frustrating, and potentially devastating disorder prior to making breeding decisions. We are currently banking DNA from affected dogs (Australian shepherds and Vizslas) for potential use in genetic marker studies to develop screening tests for predicting epilepsy in these breeds. This approach to identifying the regions of the canine genome containing the defective genes could ultimately lead to the prediction of candidate genes that can be characterized to define the precise defect responsible.

Breeds we are recruiting

  • Australian Shepherds
  • Vizslas

Submission forms

Contact us

Canine Genetics Lab
University of Minnesota
1988 Fitch Ave
AS/VM 295
St. Paul, MN 55108

[email protected]