Absence seizures are a type of generalized onset seizure associated in humans with brief activity interruptions, unresponsiveness and staring. Absence seizures are infrequently reported in veterinary patients, visually indistinguishable from focal seizures, and so may be grouped as non-generalized tonic clonic seizures (non-GTCS). The objective of this retrospective study was to provide a preliminary understanding of the frequency of non-GTCS in dogs and estimate its prevalence by evaluating the distribution of seizure types presented to a referral hospital over 4 years (May 2017-April 2021), as determined from the medical record history and electroencephalography (EEG) diagnostic testing where available. A total of 528 cases were included via a medical record search for dogs with epilepsy and/or seizures presented to the neurology or emergency services. Cases were categorized into seizure types based on reported clinical signs. Each year, 53-63 % of seizure cases were described as generalized tonic clonic seizures (GTCS), 9-15 % GTCS with additional events and 29-35 % suspected non-GTCS. EEG confirmed absence seizures in 12 of 44 EEGs, 5 cases having a history of GTCS and seven without prior GTCS. This preliminary study suggests that non-GTCS may be relatively common as one third of seizure cases in the referral population presented with non-GTCS clinical signs. Prospective studies using EEG are merited to definitively determine the prevalence of these different seizure types in dogs. Acknowledging the impact of these seizures will improve awareness, aiding veterinarians in their recognition, diagnosis and potential treatment options.
Copyright © 2023. Published by Elsevier Ltd.