The Kennel Club Breed Health Coordinator has announced that new research into Idiopathic  Epilepsy is going to start in the new year.
“If your smooth haired Vizsla has Epilepsy and you are interested in being part of this exciting research to try and find the Gene/Genes responsible and hopefully then to eventually develop a DNA test – please contact me at so we can collate the info on those who are interested in helping the breed by taking part. Not everyone may be suitable, but only the research scientists can make that judgement.
Thank you in advance of your help.”
Sue Millson
KC Breed Health Co-Ordinator
Smooth Haired Vizslas

Idiopathic epilepsy (IE) is a common cause of seizures in dogs and the term is reserved for patients with chronic, recurring seizures, which have no detectable underlying abnormality and are often presumed to be genetic in origin. Other forms of epilepsy exist. Symptomatic epilepsy where seizures result from an intracranial structural lesion (e.g. inflammation, infection, brain tumour or congenital intracranial malformations such as hydrocephalus) and Cryptogenic epilepsy where seizures are thought to be symptomatic but there is no etiology (cause or origin) has been found.

Being relatively common in dogs it is obviously of great concern to breeders and owners of affected breeds. Age of onset, type of seizure and pattern can vary between breeds and at the Animal Health Trust (AHT) there is a collaborative study between veterinary neurologists and the AHT Canine Genetics team to investigate the genetics of IE. The study is looking into 12 affected breeds, one of which is the Hungarian Vizsla.

This study requires DNA samples from both affected and non-affected dogs. So whatever age your dog is, if he or she has been diagnosed with IE please take part. The study also requires DNA from dogs over the age of 8 years, which have never had a seizure to take part.

It is easy to participate;

For those affected with IE:

  • Complete a short questionnaire which you can download from the AHT website or print off from HERE. Consent to contact your vet will need to be given.
  • Return the completed form to or post to: Chris Jenkins, Canine Genetics Research Group, Animal Health Trust, Lanwades Park, Kentford, Newmarket, CB8 7UU.
  • A cheek swab kit will then be sent for you to collect your dog’s DNA, it is very easy to do but follow the instructions carefully.

For unaffected dogs over 8 years old:
Please contact and a cheek swab collection kit will be sent to you.