General information on Narcolepsy
Narcolepsy is an uncommon disorder. A dog with narcolepsy will randomly fall asleep for periods of time when they are just sitting there, playing, or even eating. No organs or normal bodily functions are affected when an episode occurs. The episodes of narcolepsy may occur a few or many times a week and may last for just a few seconds or for half an hour. Loud noises or merely just petting your dog may sometimes help them snap out of the episode. In between experiencing these symptoms, typically the dog will appear and feel completely normal. Narcolepsy will sometimes also present itself with cataplexy. When narcolepsy presents only by itself, it can be hard to diagnose. The signs usually present themselves when the dog is still six months of age or younger and may be inherited in certain breeds of dogs.
Symptoms of Narcolepsy
Some of the symptoms of narcolepsy may be sleepiness all day long with generalized lethargy. Another sign is when a dog may experience a period in which they collapse and fall asleep during activity.
Treatments for Narcolepsy
There are some medications available through your veterinarian that can help to prevent a dog from having another episode. Whether the dog is on medication or not, certain activities should be avoided such as hunting, swimming, and walking your dog off a leash during certain activities. A dog that has inherited the disorder typically will improve with age.
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