History of epilepsy in pedigree - Page 1

Pedigree Database


by Michaux on 17 January 2017 - 23:01

My GSD was adopted from a rescue organization after her family became homeless. Her 5 sisters were also adopted from the same organization. Here is the news story about these wonderful girls - http://fox43.com/2014/11/20/forest-ranger-helps-homeless-veteran-caring-for-litter-of-puppies/.

They were all adopted by very loving families.

About 1 year after the adoptions, we got to meet her first human father and he gave us the girls' pedigree information - both canine parents had been registered via the American Canine Association.

Fortunately, we kept in touch with all the other adopted family because now 3 of the girls have idiopathic epilepsy (including my dog Michaux).

Can anyone help me to determine if epilepsy is in this line? I am new to canine pedigree so any suggestions would be appreciated. We just want to learn if there is anything we can do to help our girls.

Based upon the ACA pedigree, their paternal grandparents are
Glickich Captain (1004775466AXA)
Ar-Len Kay Sunshine (1004949136AXA).

Their maternal grandparents are

Perry King Shep (PA-ABA-0909319-001)
Perry Princess (PA-ABA-1284803-001)


by Sunsilver on 17 January 2017 - 23:01

What breed registry are the maternal grandparents from?

There IS a very strong genetic component to epilepsy, unfortunately.


by bubbabooboo on 18 January 2017 - 05:01

Seizures and epilepsy are not the same thing. Anything that injures the brain can cause epilepsy. ... a genetic link is not the major contributor. A litter of puppies could be set up for epilepsy due to some puppies being in the birth canal too long or having an infection pre or post natal. A whack on the head can cause epilepsy. Vaccines can cause epilepsy. I would avoid using dogs with seizures in a breeding program but a dog that has seizures may or may not have inherited epilepsy or seizures and some dogs can have many or few seizures based on what triggers their seizures. Genetics based on simple inheritance is not a major cause of epilepsy ... any inherited traits that might contribute to seizures depend on multiple alleles and are not easily bred out. In many cases disruption of environmental triggers such as diet or stressors can seemingly reduce or eleminate seizures.  Many pesticides used for flea, tick and heartworm control can cause seizures in dogs and many of these products share a common neurological poison mode of action which means that many of these products will cause seizures even with different brand names and manufacturers.  Other environmental toxins the dogs may be exposed to including pesticides applied to control house, lawn, and garden pesticides should be investigated.


by bubbabooboo on 18 January 2017 - 06:01

In your dog I would bet vaccine reaction is far more likely than a genetic cause.  Vaccine reactions due to combination prenatal vaccines given to stressed. sick and or malnourished pregnant females can damage developing puppies.  Likewise post natal vaccinations can damage all or some of the puppies in a litter causing a host of health problems including endocrine. kidney and seizure related maladies.  I had a two year old die a long and agonizing death due to kidney problems caused by a vaccine reaction.  The veterinarians lie and deny that vaccines can destroy your dog's chances for a healthy life.  A lot of people including doctors and veterinarians follow the strategy used by the cigarette makers in blaming everything on genetics when in fact environment and choices are the primary causes of most diseases.  Most epilepsy is ideopathic  ie cause unknown.



by Hundmutter on 18 January 2017 - 06:01

Yeah, all well & good Bubba, but 3 sibling puppies shouts that there is a common cause (which probably rules out getting stuck on the way out) and sure the dam could have been exposed to some chemical that affected most or all of her pups ... but there's a very fair chance this IS going to be due to the ancestors. The genes aren't easily bred out, no - but they are sure as hell easily bred IN by careless line-breeding while trying to establish other phenotypical traits (like coats and colours, for the pet market).

OP there are quite a lot of old threds in the PDb memory-banks, do a Search for them. I hope somebody better versed in American bloodlines will be able to help with your question, but I dunno what the chances are of turning up a lot of info, given we are apparently talking ACA registrations rather than (the more usual) AKC ones.
Whatever you can blame it on, the damage is already done. A lot of epileptic dogs (whatever the original reason for their seizures) do okay on lifetime medication; but its not a pretty disease and it usually does shorten the lifespan. Commiserations to you and the other owners.

PS Important thing now is not to breed it on !


by Sunsilver on 18 January 2017 - 08:01

Two of the threads on here are about English dogs with epilepsy, and it can be traced back to German lines, of course. 



Malcolm Willis, the geneticist talks of there being a 'threshold' for epilepsy - a certain number of genes have to be present for it to be expressed (cause the dog to have fits.) This is why there is a strong link between epilepsy and excessive linebreeding (inbreeding).  THis was VERY much the case with the dogs in the 2 threads I've linked to.

The only reference I've been able to find so far to American dogs is that supposedly Woodacres Dakota and Stuttgart's Sundance Kid were carriers.


by Michaux on 18 January 2017 - 09:01

Hundmutter - fortunately all the girls adopted from the rescue organization have been spayed. The scary thing is that last week 3 of the girls had seizures.


by Michaux on 18 January 2017 - 09:01

Thanks for the information Sunsilver. We just want to do everything we can to help our girls because we love them so much.


by Jenni78 on 18 January 2017 - 13:01

I had a dog years ago that had seizures after his first round of shots. He was having cluster seizures multiple times weekly. That's when I started doing all my health research and all my current dogs have benefited enormously. To give you hope, I was able to get mine down to a seizure approximately once per year, on zero medication. I did it by increasing the seizure threshold by eliminating (as much as possible!) his exposure to chemicals. I fed a homemade diet, skipped vaccines (a medical waiver is not that hard to get for an epileptic dog if the titers are high enough), didn't give him any heartworm or flea/tick preventives, and gave him purified water.

I'm not saying your dog's cause is the same, but you might still have some luck with what I mentioned in terms of care. Chemicals stress the body and lower the seizure threshold. There are supplements that are helpful for seizures, too. It's been a long time for me, so I don't want to give outdated info (this was back in 2000) but if you search for epilepsy care protocols, I'm sure you can find some good ones.


by Sunsilver on 18 January 2017 - 17:01

My mom had a springer spaniel that suffered from epilepsy. His was very well-controlled by medication, so I'd certainly give that a try. Despite the risks associated with the medication, he lived to be 13.

The maternal grandparent of your dog aren't on the database, and the paternal ancestors are mostly pets with no titles, so determining if epilepsy is in the dog's lineage really isn't possible. I'd talk to my vet, and check out any internet links you can find on canine epilepsy to see what might work to control the seizures. And certainly Jenni's suggestions are well worth a try!

As has been said above, epilepsy has multiple causes and triggers, other than genetic, though it certainly looks like it's genetic in this case, with 3 siblings all having fits.

For those of you into dog pedigrees, the threads linked to above identify this dog as the source for epilepsy in the British Alsatian dogs: Avon Prince of Alumvale, born 1954:


I can't help but look at the 2 V-rated German dogs in his pedigree, and wonder which one carried the genes, or maybe even suffered from epilepsy, but no one talked about it... Thinking


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