Idiopathic Epilepsy


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Institute for Genetic Disease Control in Animals

A Non Profit Corporation

P.O. Box 222, Davis, CA 95617

Phone and FAX 530/756-6773 :



Idiopathic Epilepsy & Episodic Abnormal Behavior in specific breeds of dogs.

Because of growing concern and interest in the increasing incidence of inherited epilepsy in the

Labrador Retriever, an Epilepsy Research Data base was established at the GDC.

Now, at the request of other breeds, the GDC has agreed to collect data for a Research Database

for breeds that wish to test the ability to screen by Questionnaire for the animals that do not have

these symptoms as secondary to another primary disease. A dog which meets the 5 criteria listed

below may be entered in this database by its owner or breeder.

If and when this data indicates that the disease is inherited, it is appropriate to set up an Open

Registry for Epilepsy for that breed. When sufficient data has been collected, it will be possible

to request risk assessment reports on potential breeding stock. The computer will never replace

the breeder's "eye", experience, and knowledge of the over-all dog, but will be a great aid in

identifying some of those breeding combinations that are more risky for reproducing epilepsy in

their offspring.

In this database, seizures, convulsions & periods of very unusual or abnormal behavior are all

referred to as 'attacks' or 'episodes:

The attacks must be typical of epilepsy, involving the whole body but may start in the face first.

Criteria to qualify (set by Dr. T.A. Holliday, UCD) for entry into the Epilepsy Database are :

1) Episodes must have started between the ages of 3 months to 7 years.

2) Multiple episodes must have occurred and they must have occurred at least a week apart. (A

dog that had several attacks in one day and never again, would not qualify for this database. A

dog that had one or several episodes in one day and then several weeks or even months later had

another attack would qualify for this database).

3. Dogs will not qualify for this database if the episode affects only one side of their body.

4) The dog must have no history of severe heart or lung disease or head trauma.

5) The dog must have no laboratory evidence of low blood sugar, liver failure or severe uremia.


Sign and complete the GDC application form and questionnaire; send with a minimum 4

generation pedigree, and with a check made out to GDC, to one of the persons listed below who

will evaluate the package for completeness before submission to the GDC Database. Please

include copies if there are any laboratory evaluations.

FEES for this Application:

____ $ 14 for first time entry in GDC ____ $ 10 for each diagnosis of dog previously entered in

the GDC.

Contact this person for Labradors: Judy D. Heim 15002 Cambridge Dr.,

Lathrop, CA 95330

Phone: 209/858-5989 FAX 209/858-9409


Contact this person for Irish Setters: S. Gary Brown, DVM, 1618 Washington Blvd.,

Fremont, CA

Phone: 510/657-6343 FAX: 510/657-6855

Contact this person for B M D: Barbara. G. Packard, 12640 La Cresta Drive,

Los Altos Hills, CA 94022-2511

Phone or FAX: 650/941-7848

Evaluation of a dog by experts determines the "phenotype" (condition of the dog)

Normal does not predict a desirable genotype.

The GDC helps to predict the "genotype of the dog"

(ability to transmit a condition to progeny (offspring)

by a study of the phenotypes of relatives.


PO Box 222

Davis, CA 95617

Nonprofit & Tax-exempt

Phone and FAX: 530/7568773


Institute for Genetic Disease Control in Animals For GDC use:

A Non Profit Corporation Ck. No.

P.O. Box 222, Davis, CA 95617 Dog No.

Phone and FAX 530/756-6773 A:

Http:// E:

Application for Research Database Service


Breed Disease

For OWNER/AGENT to fill out and sign:

Owner name____________________________________ Co-owner______________

Street___________________________________ City________________State___ Zip______

Phone_____/_______ Fax_____/_______ e-mail____________________________________

If dog does not already have a GDC # ?, a 4-generation pedigree is enclosed :______

Registered name of dog_______________________________ Call name________________

Birth __________ (AKC, other)______________ Litter reg. no._________________

Sex: M____ (S/N___) F_____ Weight____ Height______No. dogs in litter_______________

Breeder_________________________ Address_____________________________________

Sire's reg. name_____________________________ Birth_________ Reg. no.____________

Owner of sire ____________________ Address________________________________________

Breeder of sire ___________________ Address_________________________________________

Dam's reg. name ______________________________ Birth________ Reg.


Owner of dam_____________________Address _________________________________________

Breeder of dam___________________ Address _________________________________________

Release Statement: I hereby certify that the data submitted is of the dog described on this application.

I am aware that the data will be public information if and when this Research Data indicates that the collected information is

appro-priate with the necessary criteria to establish an Open Registry. All data will be maintained for the purpose of

improving the breed and lowering the risk of genetic disease, as well as for research purposes.

I authorize the GDC to release evaluations within the guidelines developed by the GDC.

Signature of owner or authorized agent:_____________________________ Date:___________


DOG IDENTIFIED BY: DNA______ Tattoo:______ Microchip:_________ Owner's statement:_______

DATE SAMPLE TAKEN:________; x-ray__,EEG__, questionnaire__,biopsy__,blood__,other?___

Clinical Status:______________________________________________________________________

Clinic/Hospital NAME:_____________________________________ Phone_________FAX__________


Please print VETERINARIAN NAME on this line:___________________________________________

Signature of Veterinarian who took sample ___________________________________Date______

See Epilepsy card insert for instruction and fee. 3.99


NORMAL______________ AFFECTED_______________ SUSPICIOUS______________________


Signature of Designated Expert_________________________________ Date__________

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Questionnaire Regarding: Seizures, Convulsions or Episodes of Abnormal Behavior

In this questionnaire, seizures, convulsions and periods of very unusual or abnormal behavior are all

referred to as 'attacks' or ‘episodes'. (Attach a separate sheet, if necessary.)


1. List age____ and approximate dates of all previous episodes. For those occurring a long time ago it is

sufficient to say, for example, "1980, attack every 6 months":

2. Describe any unusual events that took place during the birth of your dog:

3. From birth until the first episode, describe any illness(es) your dog had or what types of signs it


4. Describe any injuries your dog had from birth until the first episode?

5. Have attacks occurred in your dog's dam_________ sire_________? ; littermates?_______,

half-sibs by the same sire?_____ or by the same dam ? _____


6. Under what circumstances did the first episode occur (time of day, while sleeping, before or after

eating, etc.) : ______

7. Do you see signs hours or days before an attack that indicate one is going to occur?_____

If so, what are these signs and how long before an attack do you see them? _____

8. In the last few minutes before an attack, do you see any of the following?

Hair standing up on dog's back __; restlessness__, running about ___; barking or crying__ ;

fever__ ; salivation (drooling)__ ; trying to hide or seeking dark places ___.

9. In the last few minutes before an attack, do you see any movements of eyelids, lips, legs? ___

Do the movements occur on one side of the head or body before the other side__ or do they occur on

both sides at the same time ___; any jerking or twitching of the head ___? jerking or twitching of the

face (right ___left ___) body trembling or shaking (right side ___ left ___?) describe other signs?

______________Have you observed any of these signs, WHEN A SEIZURE DID NOT FOLLOW?___

10. Does your dog have periods when:

it bites at imaginary things such as flies, insects on its body, things on the ground or things running by

it ___; it has episodes of' mouthing or lip smacking", trying to eject something from its mouth, or to be

tasting or smelling something unusual?___; it seems to be having hallucinations of some other

kind?___; it attempts to bite a familiar person or animal without apparent reason? ___.

11. Describe your dog's episodes briefly, if they do not fit into any of the above questions:

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12. Time of day the attacks occur: nights only___; days only___; both ___; only when awake___;

only when asleep___; both ___; only when resting/dozing___; only when moving about___; both___.

13. If more than one attack occurs in a day, does the first attack occur most often at night ___;

during the day___; no difference___?

14. Describe if certain events or activities seem to bring on the attack (such as excitement, fright,

automobile travel, noises, gashing lights, other)?:

15. How long do the episodes last as a rule?_____. Length of the outright attack stage is _____.

Length of the total episode from preliminary signs until return to normal is_____.

16. How offen did your dog react before treatment was initiated to control attacks? regularly___;

irregularly___; how many times a day? once a day ___; several days every week ___; several times a

month ___; once a month ___; less often than once a month ___.

17. During the course of the disease (without treatment__ with treatment ___ ),

have the episodes become less frequent ___; more frequent ___; less severe ___; more severe ___.


18. Has this dog been treated for prevention of attacks?___.

First treatment started (date) _________; age___.

19. List drug(s) this dog has had: dosage/mg?: given every ? hrs.: approximate dates:




20. Describe the effect of the medication on the attacks:

21. Describe if side effects were observed i.e., aggressiveness, excessive sleepiness, thirst, appetite or