Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Epileptic seizure in a cocker spaniel associated with hypocalcaemia, hypovitaminosis D and a protein-losing enteropathy
  1. Glynn Alan Woods1,
  2. Annelies Willems1,
  3. Emma Hurst1 and
  4. Richard J Mellanby2
  1. 1Hospital for Small Animals, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK
  2. 2College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Glynn Alan Woods; gwoods2{at}


Disturbances in calcium and vitamin D homeostasis can cause neurological disturbances. Protein-losing enteropathies (PLEs) are an important cause of hypocalcaemia in dogs and can be associated with epileptic seizures. Hypocalcaemic epileptic seizures secondary to PLE has only been reported in Yorkshire terriers. This case report describes the presentatioon of an eight -year -old Cocker Spaniel that was referred following an epileptic seizure and diarrhoea. Biochemistry analysis revealed ionised hypocalcaemia, hypoalbuminaemia and severe hypovitaminosis D. Following diagnostic imaging, endoscopy and histological evaluation of intestinal biopsies, the dog was diagnosed with a PLE. Therapy included antibiotics, clopidogrel, hypoallergenic diet and immunosuppressive steroids, which resulted in the resolution of the diarrhoea and improved the hypocalcaemic and hypovitaminosis D abnormalities. Throughout the follow up period no more epileptic seizures were reported. The significance of this case is twofold. Firstly, that hypocalcaemia associated with PLE may cause neurological signs and secondly, that hypovitaminosis D associated with PLE can be improved following standard medical therapy alone.

  • diarrhoea
  • seizures
  • hypocalcaemia
  • protein losing enteropathy
  • hypovitaminosis d
View Full Text

Statistics from


  • Contributors All authors were involved in the management and diagnostic work-up. GAW was the main clinician supervised by AW while on clinical rota during the patient's initial presentation. EH and her vitamin D assays were used to obtain reliable measurements of vitamin D. RJM provided support and advice pertaining to the intricacies of vitamin D pathophysiology and was the supervising clinician to GAW when the patient attended the hospital for follow-up appointments.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Data sharing statement No additional data are available.

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.