Epilepsy is the most common neurological disease in dogs. During an epileptic seizure there is synchronized transmission of signals in many neurons in the brain. Seizures may lead to further damage to the brain, increasing the frequency of seizures and life-shortening affected individual. External symptoms of seizures are spasms and twitching of whole body. Epileptic seizures are divided into three basic types:
- Primary generalized - attack comes on suddenly and affects the whole body, the dog immediately falls to the ground
- Focal - spasms or twitching seen only in the parts of the body, for example in the face, dogs usually fall off, seizure can be very inconspicuous
- Primary focal, secondarily generalized - begins as a focal seizure, after a while moves on the whole body
Veterinary medicine recognizes several types of epilepsy:
- Symptomatic epilepsy
- Reactive epilepsy
- Idiopathic epilepsy
Epilepsy is very difficult to control for affected border collie, many of them responds poorly to therapy (therapy has little or no effect).
Epilepsy is usually inherited in nature, which is why responsible breeders will eliminate all known carriers from their program. Dogs known to be epileptic or to have been the parent of a dog with epilepsy should no longer be used for breeding.