Seizure Disorders in Goats and Sheep

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7 Scopus citations


Background: Goats and sheep are more likely to be presented for examination for seizures than are cattle, possibly as a consequence of their relatively smaller body size. Currently, no reports describing seizure disorders in goats and sheep are available. Objectives: To describe clinical features and treatment outcomes of sheep and goats presented for seizures. Animals: A total of 59 goats and 21 sheep presented for seizures. Methods: Retrospective study. Medical records from 1994 to 2014 at the Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital, University of California, Davis, were reviewed. Descriptive statistics were used to summarize data. Logistic regression was performed to determine whether variables were associated with mortality. Results: The majority of seizures in goats and sheep had structural or metabolic causes. Polioencephalomalacia (PEM) secondary to ruminal lactic acidosis or PEM of undetermined cause was the most frequently diagnosed cause of seizures in goats and sheep. The proportions of mortality in goats and sheep were 49.2 and 42.9%, respectively. Age increased the odds mortality (odds ratio [OR], 1.51; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.07, 2.14) in goats. Goats with structural or metabolic causes of seizures had higher odds for mortality (OR, 37.48; 95% CI, 1.12, 99.10) than those with unknown causes. Age and etiological diagnosis were not significant (P >.05) predictors of mortality in affected sheep. Conclusions and Clinical Relevance: Seizure disorders in goats and sheep are associated with high mortality, despite treatment. Current treatment in goats and sheep with seizures warrants further investigation to determine whether treatments are beneficial or detrimental to survival.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1752-1757
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Veterinary Internal Medicine
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1 2016


  • Caprine
  • Forebrain
  • Neuron
  • Ovine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • veterinary(all)


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