Juvenile Myoclonic Epilepsy

Brain and Spinal Cord

Juvenile Myoclonic Epilepsy is a neurologic disorder characterized by the distinct movement that affected dogs make. Myoclonic jerks are uncontrolled muscle movements that can occur frequently. Dogs often appear startled with this disorder.

  • Signs and symptoms

    Seizures often involve the front half of the body, and seem to occur most commonly when the dog is relaxed or about to fall asleep. Affected dogs will appear normal between episodes.

    Signs can develop at 6 weeks to 18 months of age.

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  • Diagnosis

    Epilepsy is a diagnosis of exclusion. Seizures can arise secondary to many different disease processes. Before diagnosing your dog with epilepsy, evaluation of any existing inflammation or infection of the brain, a brain tumor, other organ dysfunction, vascular abnormalities such as liver shunts or microvascular dysplasia, and lysosomal storage diseases must be performed

  • Treatment

    There is no treatment for this disorder. Certain medications may be prescribed to control symptoms.

  • What to do if your dog is at risk


    • Some dogs with epilepsy appear triggered by certain events. If a pattern for the seizure behavior becomes apparent, avoiding that pattern in the future is ideal.

  • Genetic Information

    This mutation was first described in the Rhodesian Ridgeback.

    This disease is inherited in an autosomal recessive manner, meaning that affected dogs must have two copies of the mutation to show clinical signs.

    Gene names:

    DIRAS1 ‐ chr

    Inheritance type:


  • Breeds affected

    This health condition affects the following breeds

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