Canine Epileptoid Cramping Syndrome









the following is a listing of known CECS symptoms and other information describing this disorder:


Presenting symptoms vary and could include any or all of the following symptoms:






Exaggerated stretching


Unusually slow and/or methodical posturing or walking




Abdominal and lumbar muscle contractions


Falling over, struggling to rise but unable to do so.


Some are presented with borborygmus (loud intestinal noises) and apparent intestinal pain.


Dogs are cognizant, responsive to stimuli.

Average age onset:


There is no limitation on the age of a dog first becoming symptomatic with CECS. However, 2-6 years seems to be the average.

Frequency of episodes:


Could range from once or twice during the animalís lifetime to several times per week.


In some dogs, it is progressive in frequency and duration.

 Duration of episodes:


Duration of episodes can vary from seconds to thirty minutes or longer. The dog may seem to recover and then within an hour have another episode. Always consult with your veterinarian since some episodes may require veterinary intervention.

This is a statement made by an attending veterinarian that describes a dog experiencing a muscle cramp episode:

"The first time I witnessed an episode was August 21, 1997.  My notes are as follows:  Spasms when sitting or walking. Flexes his pelvis when sitting, obviously painful.  Stands up and curves to his left side.  Muscles stand up in ridges. Spasms occur over and over.  He remained alert and responsive throughout the episode and did not lose voluntary muscle control.Ē

Additional Information regarding CECS:

CECS can manifest itself in many different ways depending on the severity of the episode or seizure. Therefore, it is difficult to depict all the different variations of the symptoms that this disease can cause. This problem has been confused with epilepsy and it would be helpful to video tape episodes for your veterinarian.

Often during the early stages of CECS an affected dog may have severe trembling,  become dizzy and/or stagger. Some owners have described the dogs as looking as if they were intoxicated. 

The first few episodes the animal may only show signs of staggering, trembling and dizziness. As the episodes continue, they will eventually exhibit signs of cramping.  Some dogs may have rear end and back leg cramping and be unable to stand due to the severity of the cramping.

Other dogs will experience cramping in the head and neck, either standing and accompanied by exaggerated stretching, or become prostrate while the cramping may be exhibited in any part of the dog body.

There are dogs who have severe intestinal cramping, (often misdiagnosed as IBS), which may also include cramping in the flank areas and many have extremely loud intestinal noises that are very apparent to anyone observing the dog.  Any or all of these symptoms may appear with each affected dog. Each dog is unique in the presentation of this disorder.

The average age of onset for this disorder is 2-6 years. However there is no age limitation on CECS. (2-6 years is just the average).

The frequency of CECS episodes can range from once or twice during the animalís lifetime to several times per week. In some dogs, it is progressive in frequency and duration.

Duration of episodes varies from seconds to several minutes in duration. Condition may continue to progress and need veterinary intervention to stop the episode.

CECS/SD Specific Survey:

A CECS/SD specific survey form has just been created. If you have a dog suffering from CECS/SD or one you suspect might have this disorder, please take the time to fill out the online survey form.


Advice and suggestions found on this site are not meant to replace professional veterinary care. Please consult your veterinarian before changing your dogs medications or diet .





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