Industry NewsVeterinary

Owners warned of epilepsy danger in pets

Willows Veterinary Centre is using National Epilepsy Week to highlight the danger the disease may pose to pets. 

The Solihull clinic warned owners that epilepsy can be a “relatively common problem” amongst dogs and cats, with “distressing” effects for both pet and owners. 

In its efforts to raise awareness of the disease, the clinic now published “warning signs” for owners to be aware of. 

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This includes the loss of voluntary control in pets, often seen with convulsions, irregular attacks which start and finish suddenly and have a repetitive pattern.

Willows said it has a number of “state-of-the art” facilities enabling it to perform epilepsy-related investigations, however. 

This includes an on-site high field 1.5T MRI scanner which is being further upgraded this year to a Siemens Magnetom Sola 1.5T magnet offering industry leading image quality. 

The clinic has also acquired a wireless EEG (electro-encephalography), which helps to confirm seizure activity in the brain. In addition, it offers 24-hour monitoring and treatment in its ICU facilities for critical patients providing emergency seizure management.

Sebastien Behr, head of neurology at Willows, said: “As in humans, epilepsy in pets is a chronic condition which causes repeated seizures and is the most common chronic long-term neurological disorder in dogs.

“Symptoms can include collapsing, sudden jerking movements, stiffening, muscle twitching, loss of consciousness, drooling, chomping, tongue chewing, or foaming at the mouth.”

He added: “It can be scary for owners to witness such symptoms in their pets however, as in the human world, epilepsy in pets can be effectively managed with the correct diagnosis and treatment.

“Our world class specialist-led team of six neurologists have a wealth of experience and expertise and offer a dedicated epilepsy clinic. With the correct investigations and treatment, epilepsy can be treated very successfully and animals can enjoy an excellent quality of life.”

Willows offers specialist services in anaesthesia and analgesia, cardiology, clinical nutrition, dermatology, diagnostic imaging, emergency and critical care, internal medicine, neurology, oncology, ophthalmology, orthopaedics, soft tissue surgery and spinal surgery.

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