Dachshunds, Beagles,Bassets, Epilepsy and Lafora

I am involved with helping to raise awareness of lafora disease in mini wire hair dachshunds in the UK, raising money to develop a DNA test, which is now a Kennel Club approved test and a ‘recommended’ test for their Assured Breeder Scheme, supporting owners of affected dogs including advising them on trying to reduce the symptoms.

Lafora is a form of inherited late onset epilepsy known to be present in mini wire dachshunds, beagles and bassett hounds. It is characterised by jerking of the head as if startled by sudden movement, light or noise, and can also cause fitting, blindness, unsteadiness, aggression and dementia. Affected dogs cannot metabolise starch into sugar efficiently, and platelets of complex starch build up in the brain and central nervous system, over time.

That is why we strongly recommend a low starch diet, preferably free from grain. If any veterinary researchers or dog food manufacturers are interested in undertaking furrther research, or developing a specially formulated food, I have the details of owners throughout the UK who would be interested. Contact me if you would like to be involved.