A collaboration between miniature wirehaired dachshunds and scientists has advanced research into a rare and deadly form of epilepsy in children and dogs.
Lafora disease is the name given to this particular type of epilepsy. Although it is a rare kind of epilepsy, it is severe. About 50 kids are given this diagnosis each year, which is a rather horrible one to get. It is a chronic illness with no known cure as of yet. The patient’s seizures worsen, and it’s likely that they’ll develop dementia and lose their ability to walk.
So what role do the dachshunds play?
In fact, 27 miniature wirehaired dachshunds participated in this study since they are susceptible to this uncommon illness. Therefore, it makes sense to investigate how the disease develops in these dogs in the hopes of learning something novel that could result in a treatment for Lafora disease.
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How did they find out?
The early symptoms of the disease were found by tracking the disease’s progression in dachshunds. Some of the indications that were seen in the dogs included aggressiveness, panic attacks, muscle contractions, and focal seizures. As a result, pediatric Lafora disease can now be identified much sooner. This ground-breaking study has made significant advancements in the search for a cure for this dreadful illness.
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It’s also wonderful news for dachshunds.
The advantages are multiplied when veterinary and human medical studies are combined. The treatment of young patients with the condition can be improved, but all this study could, and in this case has, been very helpful for animal medicine as well.
These investigations led to the discovery of a canine genetic abnormality that causes Lafora illness. An awareness campaign and testing for Lafora illness in breeding animals have resulted from this. There has been an astounding effect in just five years. Before, there was a 55% chance that a dachshund puppy would be born with Lafora disease. Today, less than 5% of people experience this.
What fantastic news! There will be fewer puppies affected by this terrible disease, causing dog owners less grief.