Definition of Epilepsy
Epilepsy refers to a constellation of signs caused by abnormal electrical activity in the brain. The hallmarks of epilepsy are recurrent seizure episodes, which may or may not be associated with an identifiable brain defect. What over-stimulates the brain and triggers seizures is poorly understood. Many cases of epilepsy have a genetic component. Certainly brain tumors, head injuries and endocrine disorders can cause seizures, as can chemical imbalances. During a seizure, most dogs lose their balance, collapse, lose consciousness, stiffen, chomp or chew, froth from the mouth, urinate, defecate, vocalize and paddle the air with their feet. They may act dazed and disoriented shortly before and up to a day after having a seizure. The episodes usually last less than 2 minutes but can be longer. While most seizures aren’t life-threatening, they greatly disturb owners and tend to worsen over time if not treated. Fortunately, most cases of epilepsy can be controlled.