Narcolepsy | Narcolepsy in Dogs | Canine Narcolepsy Information
PetWave | Dog & Cat Information

Dog Narcolepsy

Definition of Narcolepsy

Dogs are infamous for their napping habits. However, sometimes they develop abnormal daytime sleepiness, which is called narcolepsy. Narcolepsy is caused by some disorder of the mechanisms that control sleep – especially the state of deep sleep, also known as rapid eye movements or REM. It probably is genetic in origin. The sleep-wake cycle is disrupted in dogs with narcolepsy, causing tiredness, lethargy, abrupt daytime sleep during normal waking hours and temporary muscle paralysis, collapse or unconsciousness. Most affected dogs recover spontaneously and have no detectable ongoing medical abnormalities, although occasionally some sort of underlying brain disease is found. In most cases, narcolepsy is not life-threatening, nor is it painful. Dogs with this condition don’t even appear to know that they have it, and they typically live a full, normal, high-quality life.

Causes and Prevention of Narcolepsy in Dogs

Narcolepsy in dogs is thought to have a genetic component. The signs noticed by most owners are the sudden loss of muscle tone and control, called cataplexy. Most affected dogs have no medically detectable central nervous system abnormalities, although rarely some sort of underlying brain disease is found. An inherited form of the disease has been identified in a family of Doberman Pinschers. The gene thought to be responsible for their hereditary disorder involves an

Symptoms of Narcolepsy in Dogs

Dogs are infamous for their frequent napping habits. While naps are quite normal for domestic dogs, sometimes excessive daytime sleepiness is caused by a medical condition called narcolepsy. Narcolepsy is a syndrome in which the sleep-wake cycle is disrupted, causing tiredness, lethargy and brief periods of muscle paralysis or unconsciousness.Dogs suffering from narcolepsy periodically (and abruptly) fall into a state of deep sleep during normal waking hours. They often become partially or completely immobilized, and

Diagnosing Narcolepsy in Dogs

There is no one simple test that can be performed to rule out or confirm a diagnosis of narcolepsy in companion dogs. The veterinarian must rule out a number of other disorders, including primary organic brain disease and other conditions that can cause sleepiness, spasms or seizures such as epilepsy, myasthenia gravis, diabetes and assorted metabolic abnormalities. An initial general database is almost always obtained when a dog comes to the veterinary clinic with a

Treatment and Prognosis of Narcolepsy in Dogs

Treatment is generally only considered if a dog has repeated attacks that interfere with its safety or lifestyle. Narcoleptic episodes themselves do not harm a dog’s health. However, they can occur at inopportune times. Narcoleptic dogs that cannot be regularly supervised may be placed on management therapies.The current medical protocol for dogs with narcolepsy is oral administration of tricyclic antidepressants. These drugs block cellular uptake of certain neurotransmitters, including norepinephrine, and are quite effective at

Source: PetWave


Skin Tumors in Dogs

Skin Tumors in Dogs: Learn about Skin Tumors, including how they can affect your dog,...

Dog Pressure Sores (Calluses; Hygromas)

Pressure Sores in Dogs: Learn about Pressure Sores, including how they can affect your dog,...

Cherry Eye in Dogs (Prolapsed Nictitans Gland)

Cherry Eye in Dogs: Get in-depth information on canine cherry eye, including its causes, symptoms,...

Heartworm Disease in Dogs

Heartworm Disease in Dogs: Learn about Heartworm Disease, including how it can affect your dog,...

Bloat (Gastric Dilatation and Volvulus) in Dogs

Bloat in Dogs: Learn about Gastric Dilatation and Volvulus (GDV), including how it affects your...


Dog Health Dog Health
Learn about the most common diseases affecting dogs
Puppy Training Getting a Puppy
A new puppy in the house can cause quite a whirlwind of excitement
Dog Breeds List of Dog Breeds
Comprehensive list of dog breeds with specific breed information

Find a Dog Breed?

With so many dog breeds to choose from, sometime it's easier to seach based on certain characterisitcs.

Caring for your Dog?

There is more to caring for your dog than just feeding it. Find out all you need to know to make sure your pet stays healthy.

Training your Dog?

A dog's behavior plays a key role in making a great pet. Training your dog makes a happier dog, and you will be happier too.

Ask a vet?

Have a question?
Ask a Vet Online NowSM

Ask a Vet

About Us | Review Board | Badges | Tell a Friend | Bookmark this Page | Submit Feedback | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy
Dog Breeds | Cat Breeds | Dog Health | Cat Health | Dog Training | Cat Training | Dog Care | Cat Care | Dog Adoption | Cat Food & Diet

Advertise on - A Pet360 Media Network Partner

Become a Fan of on Facebook Become a Fan on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter Email Friend about Tell your friends about PetWave

© 2015 PetWave Corporation. All rights reserved
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a veterinarian. PetWave disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
For more information view our Terms of Service.