Approach to New Onset Seizures in Senior Dogs and Cats

Seizures are a common clinical sign in many diseases of the brain. In broad terms, the etiology of a seizure falls into three general groups: idiopathic (sometimes referred to as ‘primary epilepsy’), reactive (in response to a metabolic disturbance or toxin), and structural (cause by cerebral pathology). In any patient presenting for recent onset seizure activity, there is one critical question that should be answered during initial evaluation: “Are there any signs of reactive or…

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Canine Epilepsy: Current Ideas and Therapies

Epilepsy is the most common neurologic condition within the domesticated dog. Epilepsy in itself is a complex disease and by this very nature can make one patient easy to treat while the next drug-resistant. Epilepsy itself is defined as the enduring predisposition of having epileptic seizures. An epileptic seizure is defined as a transient occurrence of signs and/or symptoms due to abnormal excessive or synchronous neuronal activity in the brain. Common clinical signs of epileptic…

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IDEXX Diagnostic Challenge: Beagle with Neurological Signs

Take the IDEXX challenge and diagnose this dog’s neurological problems History and signalment: A six-year-old female spayed Beagle mix presented to the MedVet Columbus neurology service with a 2-month history of left sided vestibular signs with a rapid progression over about 5 days to a non-ambulatory state and nystagmus. The clinical signs had early on showed improvement with corticosteroids. Imaging studies by the neurologist revealed a brain mass via MRI. The mass was located on…

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Guide to the Diagnosis and Treatment of Vestibular Dysfunction in Dogs and Cats

Guide to the Diagnosis and Treatment of Vestibular Dysfunction in Dogs and Cats Disorders of the vestibular system are commonly encountered in domestic species of dogs and cats.  Proper diagnosis is key to successful treatment, with most forms of vestibular disease being treatable.   Diagnosis can be aided by the history obtained from the client, as well as careful examination of the vestibular system. Diagnostic testing may further support and/or confirm a diagnosis, leading to definitive…

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Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) of the Feline Brain

Magnetic Resonance Imaging: Feline Brain Diagnosis of epilepsy in canine and feline patients involves careful history taking, accurate physical and neurologic examinations, and appropriate diagnostic testing, including advanced imaging and cerebrospinal fluid analysis.  Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is the gold standard for imaging brain tissue. Unfortunately, this diagnostic procedure is an expensive test and does come with the risks inherent to anesthetic procedures.  As clinicians, we have to be able to explain to clients the…

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