Irish Wolfhound Club of America, Inc.

Nervous System

Seizures, also referred to as epilepsy, can be a primary disease or a result of some other disorder (e.g., a brain tumor). Primary epilepsy is believed to be genetic in the Irish Wolfhound, and studies are ongoing to try and identify the genes responsible.  

A seizure-like disorder for which the genes have been identified is called Irish Wolfhound Startle Disease. It appears in very young puppies (5-7 days old). Sadly there is no treatment for this disease. There is a genetic test available for Startle Disease which breeders can use to avoid breeding carriers to each other.

Myasthenia Gravis has been seen in a few Irish Wolfhounds and is a relatively common neuromuscular disease of dogs. Initial symptoms associated with myasthenia gravis are general weakness after exertion and regurgitation, which happens when the smooth muscle of the esophagus is unable to function well enough to move swallowed food into the stomach.

This page was last updated 03/03/2017.