International veterinary epilepsy task force consensus report on epilepsy definition, classification and terminology in companion animals

Mette Berendt, Robyn G. Farquhar, Paul J J Mandigers, Akos Pakozdy, Sofie F M Bhatti, Luisa De Risio, Andrea Fischer, Sam Long, Kaspar Matiasek, Karen Muñana, Edward E. Patterson, Jacques Penderis, Simon Platt, Michael Podell, Heidrun Potschka, Martí Batlle Pumarola, Clare Rusbridge, Veronika M. Stein, Andrea Tipold, Holger A. Volk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

228 Scopus citations


Dogs with epilepsy are among the commonest neurological patients in veterinary practice and therefore have historically attracted much attention with regard to definitions, clinical approach and management. A number of classification proposals for canine epilepsy have been published during the years reflecting always in parts the current proposals coming from the human epilepsy organisation the International League Against Epilepsy (ILAE). It has however not been possible to gain agreed consensus, "a common language", for the classification and terminology used between veterinary and human neurologists and neuroscientists, practitioners, neuropharmacologists and neuropathologists. This has led to an unfortunate situation where different veterinary publications and textbook chapters on epilepsy merely reflect individual author preferences with respect to terminology, which can be confusing to the readers and influence the definition and diagnosis of epilepsy in first line practice and research studies. In this document the International Veterinary Epilepsy Task Force (IVETF) discusses current understanding of canine epilepsy and presents our 2015 proposal for terminology and classification of epilepsy and epileptic seizures. We propose a classification system which reflects new thoughts from the human ILAE but also roots in former well accepted terminology. We think that this classification system can be used by all stakeholders.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number182
JournalBMC Veterinary Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Aug 28 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 Berendt et al.


  • Classification
  • Dog
  • Epilepsy
  • Seizures
  • Semiology


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