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This information is provided by Provet for educational purposes only.

You should seek the advice of your veterinarian if your pet is ill as only he or she can correctly advise on the diagnosis and recommend the treatment that is most appropriate for your pet.

Narcolepsy is a well described condition in the veterinary literature ...but how common is it seen ?

Periods of uncontrollable sleep due to a central nervous system disorder (narcolepsy) have been described to occur in a variety of dog breeds including ;

  • Dachshunds
  • Doberman Pinschers - autosomal recessive inheritance
  • Giant Schnauzers
  • Poodles
  • St Bernards

Often these sleeping periods are associated with exercise, excitement or eating.

The disorder is confirmed by EEG examination with typical signs being evident during REM sleep. The cause is unknown. The condition does not respond to neostigmine ( which helps to differentiate it from Myasthenia Gravis) but it is reported to respond to intravenous imipramine - and the recommended dose is 0.4-0.8 mg/kg body weight .

One complicating factor is that cataplexy (which recurrent loss of voluntary muscle function - but not respiratory function or extraocular muscle function) often occurs with narcolepsy.

This condition appears to be extremely rare. Provet would like to hear from you if you have seen a confirmed case. Please send full clinical details to 

Thank You


Updated October 2013