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Risk factors for cluster seizures in canine idiopathic epilepsy

Packer, R M A; Shihab, N K; Torres, B B J; Volk, H A


R M A Packer

N K Shihab

B B J Torres

H A Volk


Cluster seizures (CS), two or more seizures within a 24-hour period, are reported in 38–77% of dogs with idiopathic epilepsy (IE). Negative outcomes associated with CS include a reduced likelihood of achieving seizure freedom, decreased survival time and increased likelihood of euthanasia. Previous studies have found factors including breed, sex and neuter status are associated with CS in dogs with IE; however, only one UK study in a multi-breed study of CS in IE patients exists to the author's knowledge, and thus further data is required to confirm these results. Data from 384 dogs treated at a multi-breed canine specific epilepsy clinic were retrospectively collected from electronic patient records. 384 dogs were included in the study, of which nearly half had a history of CS (49.1%). Dogs with a history of CS had a younger age at onset than those without (p = 0.033). In a multivariate model, three variables predicted risk of CS: a history of status epilepticus (p = 0.047), age at seizure onset (p = 0.066) and breed (German Shepherd Dog) (p < 0.001). Dogs with a history of status epilepticus and dogs with an older age at seizure onset were less likely to be affected by cluster seizures. German Shepherd Dogs (71% experiencing CS) were significantly more likely to suffer from CS compared to Labrador Retrievers (25%) (p < 0.001). There was no association between sex, neuter status, body size and CS. Further studies into the pathophysiology and genetics of CS are required to further understand this phenomenon.


Packer, R. M. A., Shihab, N. K., Torres, B. B. J., & Volk, H. A. (2016). Risk factors for cluster seizures in canine idiopathic epilepsy. Research in Veterinary Science, 105, 136-138.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Feb 5, 2016
Publication Date Feb 6, 2016
Deposit Date Feb 9, 2016
Publicly Available Date Feb 9, 2016
Print ISSN 0034-5288
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 105
Pages 136-138
Public URL


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