Attacks of Sleep and Weakness in Dogs

Narcolepsy and cataplexy are disorders of the nervous system in the dog. Narcolepsy occurs when an animal suffers from excessive daytime sleepiness, weakness, or brief losses of consciousness. The episodes are brief and go away by themselves. Cataplexy is characterised by sudden muscle paralysis without loss of consciousness, remains alert, and can follow movement with its eyes throughout the episode.

The episodes of cataplexy also are spontaneous, brief, and reversible. These disorders are relatively common in dogs. The causes are hereditary in Labrador retrievers, poodles, dachshunds, and Doberman pinschers, possible immune system involvement, nerve disorder or Idiopathic (unknown) and pituitary macrotumor (brain).

For diagnosis the veterinary will perform a physical exam, including a blood chemical profile, a complete blood count, a urinalysis, and an electrolyte panel to rule out any underlying diseases. Brain MRI should be strongly considered in sporadic cases of narcolepsy‐cataplexy because sometimes brain tumours could be the reason.

These attacks can be unpleasant but they are not life-threatening. If the episodes are frequent, there may be medications your veterinarian can prescribe to help control the frequency or duration of the attacks.

Neurology and neurosurgery department of Hospital Veterinario Marina Baixa.

In Costablanca Norte:
Anicura Marina Baixa Hospital Veterinario
www.veterinariamarinabaixa.com 

In Costablanca Sur:
Centro Veterinario de Diagnóstico por Imagen de Levante
www.resonanciaveterinaria.es

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