Status epilepticus

From Dog

Status epilepticus is defined as continual seizures that last for more than 5 minutes.

This condition should be distinguished from cluster seizures, where a number of separate seizures occurs over a period of hours.

In dogs, then may be life-threatening due to consequent hyperthermia.

Breeds such as the German Shepherd and Boxer appear predisposed[1].

Status epilepticus can be observed in idiopathic epilepsy, the most common form of seizures, but has also been reported associated with brain tumors such as oligodendroglioma[2], hepatic encephalopathy associated with portosystemic shunt and with milbemycin toxicity in breeds with known Ivermectin and Multi Drug Sensitivity[3].

Dogs with status epilepticus usually requires general anesthesia to stabilize the patient. Alternatives include sedation with intravenous diazepam, phenobarbitone or levetiracetam[4].

Dog with non-responsive status epilepticus have a poorer prognosis[5].


  1. Monteiro R et al (2012) Canine idiopathic epilepsy: prevalence, risk factors and outcome associated with cluster seizures and status epilepticus. J Small Anim Pract 53(9):526-530
  2. Hasegawa D et al (2012) Long-Term Survival in a Dog with Anaplastic Oligodendroglioma Treated with Radiation Therapy and CCNU. J Vet Med Sci 74(11):1517-1521
  3. Burkhardt W et al (2012) Milbemycinoxime intoxication in a Miniature Australian Shepherd dog. Schweiz Arch Tierheilkd 154(8):345-348
  4. Hardy BT et al (2012) Double-masked, placebo-controlled study of intravenous levetiracetam for the treatment of status epilepticus and acute repetitive seizures in dogs. J Vet Intern Med 26(2):334-340
  5. Arrol L et al (2012) Aetiology and long-term outcome of juvenile epilepsy in 136 dogs. Vet Rec 170(13):335