What is it about?

The aims of this research were to estimate the prevalence of canine epilepsy and to investigate risk factors among dogs attending primary veterinary practices in the UK. This analysis used data from the VetCOMPASS project. Five hundred and thirty-nine cases were identified giving a prevalence of 0.62%. Males were over 50% as likely to have epilepsy compared with females. Of purebred dogs, the border terrier had almost three times, and the German shepherd dog had almost double the odds of epilepsy compared with crossbred dogs. In addition, the West Highland white terrier had reduced odds of epilepsy compared with crossbred dogs. No association was found with neuter status, colour or weight.

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Why is it important?

The current study highlights the clinical importance of epilepsy as a canine disorder in the UK. Increased awareness of sex and breed predispositions may assist clinicians with diagnosis. Further research is merited to evaluate the specific breed associations identified.


This was my very first publication. I thoroughly enjoyed working with all the co-authors, getting to know the data, performing the analyses, and then writing up the manuscript. Very proud so see this first publication so well received. It has also been presented at one national conference.

Dr. Lianne Kearsley-Fleet
University of Manchester

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Prevalence and risk factors for canine epilepsy of unknown origin in the UK, Veterinary Record, January 2013, BMJ,
DOI: 10.1136/vr.101133.
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