Parvo and epilepsy

This is the main focus of the research underway by the Canine Epilepsy Research Consortium. Some of your questions may not have clear answers at this time, but ask them anyway!

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Loma I. Clark
Posts: 8
Joined: Sun Mar 19, 2000 1:01 am
Location: Yuma, Az. USA

Parvo and epilepsy

Post by Loma I. Clark » Fri Apr 21, 2000 8:16 am

I have a 4 1/2 year old Irish Setter who had her first seizure at a dog show when she was about 16 months old. She is a finished champion but I had her spayed . When she was 9 weeks old and still at the breeders she came down with parvo and was extremely ill and spent over a week at the Vets. in serious condition. I did not get her until she was 3 months old and never worried about her having parvo. Apparently she had run some very high temps. during the parvo illness , but I do not know what the temps were. I was wondering if there can be a connection with parvo and epilepsy? Has anyone done a study on this or heard of there being a connection? Thank you for any information. Loma I. Clark and Irish!

Ned Patterson DVM
Posts: 209
Joined: Wed Dec 15, 1999 1:01 am
Location: University of Minnesota Veterinary College

Post by Ned Patterson DVM » Wed Apr 26, 2000 2:46 pm


Parvovirus usually affect the intestines, and rarely the heart. Even more rarely it affects the brain causing encephalitis. In my experience most dogs with encephalitis from parvo do not survive.

Most dogs with parvovirus that survive had only the intestinal disease, and their would not be any connection between the intestinal problems and seizures.

Many dogs with parvovirus have fevers of 103 to 105. Most research indicates that it would usually take a rectal temperature of 108 or higher to cause organ damage such as brain or kidney damage. So unless your dogs temperature was persistenlty 108 or higher the fever itself is probably unrelated to seizures later on.

Distemper virus on the other hand commonly infects the brain, and can cause seizures during the infection, or years later after the original infection.

So if a dog did have the rare form of parvovirus that infected the brain also, and survived, the damage from the brain infection could cause seizures later in life. Howver once again this is an extremely rare scenario, and oddswise is very unlikely. So most dogs that survive parvovirus do not have an increased risk for seizures.

In the end your dogs seizures are very unlikely to be related to the parvovirus infection as a puppy.

[This message has been edited by Ned Patterson DVM (edited 04-26-2000).]

[This message has been edited by Ned Patterson DVM (edited 04-26-2000).]

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