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208 Breeds, 422 Health Conditions  |  Find a Vet

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Narcolepsy and Cataplexy




Condition Overview

Narcolepsy and cataplexy are uncommon disorders of the sleep mechanism in which a dog is excessively sleepy all day (narcolepsy) or experiences sudden muscle paralysis and collapse (cataplecy). Between attacks the dog is completely normal.


A dog may have one or many episodes of collapse in a day, each lasting a few seconds or up to 30 minutes. The attacks can usually be reversed by petting the dog or making a loud noise.


Information needed.


Narcolepsy can occur without cataplexy, and vice versa, although narcolepsy alone is difficult to recognize in dogs.


There are several effective drugs available to prevent narcolepsy and cataplexy. Dogs afflicted with the inherited form (mainly Doberman Pinschers, Dachshunds, and Labrador Retrievers) often improve as they grow older.


This is an autosomal recessive problem in these 3 breeds. OptiGen has a DNA test to identify carriers before dogs are bred.


Please contact your veterinarian if you think your pet may have this condition.

Show Sources & Contributors +


Dog Owners Home Veterinary Handbook

Publisher: Wiley Publishing, 2007

Website: http://www.wiley.com/WileyCDA/

Authors: Debra M. Eldredge, Liisa D. Carlson, Delbert G. Carlson, James M. Giffen MD

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