Canine Epileptoid Cramping Syndrome (CECS), also known as Spike's Disease, is a hereditary canine disease with similarities to canine epilepsy, and is often associated with Border Terriers. CECS is a recently recognized problem which is theorised as being a metabolic, neurological or muscle disorder, but the cause has not yet been identified.
In 1996, Joke Miedema, a Dutch Border Terrier owner, acquired a puppy named Roughmoor Blue Spike (known as Spike). About a year later, the dog began exhibiting strange symptoms, starting with apparent absentness and occasional staggering. In 2000, Spike began exhibiting more severe symptoms including cramping and epileptic-
In 1997, German veterinarian and Border Terrier breeder Diana Plange began receiving calls from people who owned dogs bred by Plange, reporting epileptic-
By the end of 2001, Spike was having 2–3 epileptoid episodes per week. Owners of cramping dogs began to connect via Internet groups, including a support group started by Miedema; the condition came to be known as "Spike's Disease. In the spring of 2003, Diana Plange gave the condition the descriptive name Canine Epileptoid Cramping Syndrome.
Breed lines of suspected carriers began to be documented; the first identifiable sufferer was dated to 1974
As of 2008, the mode of inheritance has not been determined.
cramping (often followed by exaggerated stretching)
unusually slow or methodical walking
borborygmus and/or intestinal cramping
Dogs typically remain alert and responsive during episodes that can last from a few seconds to several minutes. In some dogs, one or two episodes are seen followed by long-
There is currently no known cure for CECS, but some owners have had success with drug and diet therapies.
Diazepam and Clorazepate Dipotassium have been used successfully to alleviate cramping in some cases, but have also failed to help in other cases. Scopolamine (Buscopan) rectal suppositories or injections and Gaviscon have been used to alleviate intestinal symptoms.
Some owners have had varying levels of success with dietary changes. In most cases, a gluten-
Research is currently being conducted to discover the genetic basis of CECS; to develop a diagnostic test or tests; and to find cures or treatments. Studies are underway at the University of Utrecht, and at the University of Missouri’s Canine Epilepsy Network.