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Thread: Episodic falling syndrome and seizures

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    Default Episodic falling syndrome and seizures

    Can someone explain what the difference is or is EFS a type of seizure? I was watching a video of a cavalier on a FB group and she would run her head and then lay on her side. I think the owner said she has seizures. I googled some videos and to me this seems seizure related. Very sad but I am glad there is now a DNA test available.

    http://youtu.be/LTuKF2DeJ4I
    Anne Proud mother of Elton 5 and Angel Ella

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    The video just makes me cry. I can't imagine how hard it is for owners to see them like this.
    Anne Proud mother of Elton 5 and Angel Ella

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    In EFS the dog is aware and will try to get up which is why the owner will hold the dog. The dog in the video is having an extreme attack of EF. I don't think many are that bad, especially where the disorder is so rarely known. The DNA testing really helped educate breeders and owners about EF, prior to that everyone I talked to about it was unaware. I compare EF to EIC in Labradors. EF is induced by excitement, exercise or extreme stress.
    owned by BratBoy ^see avatar

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    I had a german shepherd who had a seizure disorder and when she had seizures she was truly unaware of her surroundings both during the seizure and for quite a while afterwards. Although she wasn't blind after a seizure, she was what the neurologist called "not-sighted". She would sometimes walk around me in circles always keeping contact, or sometimes go into a corner and just keep her nose pressed there - probably both of those were to orient herself. I think Oz had one episode of EFS when he was 4 months old. His episode looked very similar to the videos - kept falling and couldn't get up. BUT - he was awake and alert the entire time it was happening and was actually trying to make it to his crate for safety I think. I sure rushed him to the vet! But of course by then he was fine. Haven't done the DNA test since I'm not breeding him and he hasn't had any more episodes (he's 6 years old now).
    Bev
    Oliver (blenheim, born 3/2001), Riley (black & tan, born 8/2002,), Madison (ruby, born 9/2003), and Oz (tri-color, born 7/2007)

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    A while back, I talked to Jacques Penderis, one of the main researchers into EFS who helped develop the DNA test, and he noted that extreme cases are rare; most dogs are quite manageable and with many, the seizures stop happening as they get older. I have known of a few that were euthenised including one or two belonging to members of the board here in the pest. Really distressing cases, but most will not be that extreme.

    Having the DNA test is a godsend for diagnosis and -- if used by breeders diligently -- could avoid dogs with this condition ever being born.
    Karlin
    Cavaliers: Jaspar Leo Lily Tansy Libby (foster) Mindy (foster)
    In memory: Lucy
    Cavalier SM Infosite:www.smcavaliers.com

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    The two that I have had with EF have been like the above video. Awful to see and now we take every precaution possible to remove the triggers for them. The first one I had started with EF at four months, this was back in the early 90's and puzzled my vet. The dog never had another one from the age of six years and lived until he was fourteen.
    My present boy is 9yrs and has gone two years since his last seizure. Heat is his main problem but he is a nervy boy and fear of a situation (big dogs and vet visits) have caused attacks with him in the past. Just like the owner in the video I sit quietly with him and soothe him. You can feel the moment the tension releases and I can tell by his eyes when it is over. Whilst it is an awful thing for the dog to have, there don't appear to be any after effects and my boy is a very happy dog and leads a reasonably active life. He loves digging holes and playing ball, I just monitor him more closely when he is doing these activities.
    They both took part in Dr Penderis study and I was thrilled when they announced the DNA test.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ruth View Post
    The two that I have had with EF have been like the above video. Awful to see and now we take every precaution possible to remove the triggers for them. The first one I had started with EF at four months, this was back in the early 90's and puzzled my vet. The dog never had another one from the age of six years and lived until he was fourteen.
    My present boy is 9yrs and has gone two years since his last seizure. Heat is his main problem but he is a nervy boy and fear of a situation (big dogs and vet visits) have caused attacks with him in the past. Just like the owner in the video I sit quietly with him and soothe him. You can feel the moment the tension releases and I can tell by his eyes when it is over. Whilst it is an awful thing for the dog to have, there don't appear to be any after effects and my boy is a very happy dog and leads a reasonably active life. He loves digging holes and playing ball, I just monitor him more closely when he is doing these activities.
    They both took part in Dr Penderis study and I was thrilled when they announced the DNA test.
    We had a rescue years ago with a very severe case , everything triggered it , it was not like a seizure at all , it was as if the dog was being picked up and thrown about by a ghost ( I did take a video but have lost it)
    he had to be homed to a farm where they had a large garden so he didn't have to be walked and not many new exciting things to trigger him off. The previous owners vet had said it was just bad behaviour !

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    The video shows the dog laid with it's owner. When mine have had an attack they can fall about all over the place before I can get to him and hold him. It is horrid to see.

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    Ruth, I am so sorry about your dogs. With DNA tests I hope no other cavalier has to suffer from this.
    owned by BratBoy ^see avatar

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    'With DNA tests I hope no other cavalier has to suffer from this.' If people bother to do them. In the UK the tests for Episodic Falling and for Dry Eye/Curly Coat cost around 48 each (the equivalent of 2 entries at a championship show) and are often on offer at a cut price. Yet a friend searching for a health-checked stud dog for her bitch found that even breeders who heart tested and MRI scanned didn't bother to DNA test. Why ever not??

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