One of the most serious genetically inherited illnesses affecting Italian Greyhounds is Inherited Epilepsy, or Idiopathic Epilepsy which results in a dog having seizures, usually developing in an affected Italian Greyhound between the ages of 3½ – 6 years old. A seizure can take many forms but once the seizure starts the dog is unconscious – they cannot hear or respond to you- and most dogs become stiff, fall onto their side and make running movements with their legs. Sometimes they will cry out and may lose control of their bowels or bladder. Most seizures last between 1 and 3 minutes.
Inherited Epilepsy is caused by an abnormality in the brain that leads to repeated seizures but science has not yet identified the gene abnormality that causes this distressing illness and as a result, it is not possible to test for the illness, nor is there a known cure.
Working with the Animal Health Trust
The UK Italian Greyhound Rescue Charity has been supporting the Animal Health Trust to build-up a DNA database of pure bred Italian Greyhounds in the UK that are affected by seizures as part of a programme of research which aims at identifying the genes responsible for Inherited Epilepsy in our breed.
If the AHT is successful and can identify the genes responsible, it could put us in a position to protect our beautiful breed from this distressing condition in generations to come.
If your Italian Greyhound is affected by seizures
We need your help – more specifically, we need your dog’s DNA! Simply fill in the DNA test request form on the Italian Greyhound Rescue Charity website:
Do the test (it’s an easy swab of the cheek with a cotton wool stick) and send it to the AHT. It costs just the price of a stamp.
For full details see the IG Rescue website: https://italiangreyhoundrescuecharity.org.uk/about-us/research-into-epilepsy/