Paroxysmal Dyskinesia Suspected as Canine Epileptoid Cramping Syndrome in a Young Yorkshire Terrier Dog

Please note: The following is a summary of a research article, referenced at the end of this page, by Hyung-Jin Park, Dong-Kyu Seo, Kun-Ho Song, and Kyoung-Won Seo.


The article describes the process leading up to a diagnosis for Yorkshire terrier that experienced “episodic partial seizure-like cramping of the limbs” (Park, Seo DK, Song, Seo KW, 2014). The intact female, aged 9 months, is the first Yorkshire terrier diagnosed with CECS or “canine epileptoid cramping syndrome” (Park et al., 2014).

According to the authors, “muscle cramps are briefly prolonged, involuntary, forceful and painful muscle contractions lasting from seconds to minutes that may be accompanied by palpable knotting of muscle with abnormal bending of the affected joint” (Park et al., 2014). The patient had experienced episodes with increasingly greater frequency, but shorter durations for six months before the study (Park et al., 2014). The dog, whose muscles during episodes were hypertonic (ie. contracted), remained conscious through the cramping in the lumbar and limb regions (Park et al., 2014). The patient was also screened for neurological diseases, but none were found (Park et al., 2014). Between episodes, the dog behaved normally (Park et al., 2014).

With the possibility that CECS might be the cause of the subject’s symptoms, low-protein Science Diet k/d (Hill’s Pet Nutrition, Topeka, KS, U.S.A.) was given as trial therapy (Park et al., 2014). Diet therapy mitigated the effects of CECS, although the exact way in which it did so is unknown (Park et al., 2014).

Given that dogs are unable to voice how they feel, it can be difficult to diagnose them with cramping syndrome. However, the paper concludes that partial seizure manifests in recognizable ways similar to those of muscle hypertonicity syndromes (Park et al., 2014). Furthermore, in future cases in which a dog experiences partial seizures, diet therapy could be the first step in treatment (Park et al., 2014). Finally, we can now confirm that Yorkshire terriers can have CECS (Park et al., 2014).


Reviewed by: Sofia Hsu, 10/29/18



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Park HJ, Seo DK, Song KH, Seo KW. Paroxysmal dyskinesia suspected as canine epileptoid cramping syndrome in a young Yorkshire terrier dog. J Vet Med Sci. 2014;76(8):1129-32.