Idiopathic epilepsy, also referred to as primary epilepsy, is a common cause of epileptic seizure activity in dogs , and the most common chronic neurological condition in this species [2–4]. The term refers to recurrent epileptic seizures with no underlying cause other than a strongly suspected or confirmed genetic or familial basis. A genetic component for idiopathic epilepsy has been identified in several canine breeds (
); however, the molecular basis of the condition remains unknown [5–21]. In the absence of a genetic test, the diagnosis is currently based on the dog’s age at epileptic seizure onset (between 6 months and 6 years); normal interictal behaviour, physical examination, and neurological examination; and exclusion of metabolic, toxic, or structural cerebral disorders by means of diagnostic investigations (e.g. haematology and serum biochemistry, magnetic resonance imaging [MRI] of the brain, and cerebrospinal fluid [CSF] analysis) [2,4].