Due to the nature of idiopathic epilepsy in dogs, it is not recommended to breed from dogs with the condition.

Reproduction and risk of inheritance

There are a number of predisposing factors for epilepsy (see What Breeds of Dog are Affected?), and not only are certain breeds more likely to develop epilepsy (breed predisposition) but some family lines too (familial predisposition). There is evidence of a genetic origin in some dog breeds, however the details of this are not fully understood at this time. To prevent passing on the genes for epilepsy, it is recommended to neuter pets with epilepsy.


Pregnancy in a bitch with epilepsy is tricky to manage and should be avoided.

Many epilepsy medications can cross the placenta and may have adverse effects on the puppies. The puppies may also develop epilepsy due to the genetic basis of the disease. In addition, epileptic seizures in pregnant bitches can have severe risks for the unborn pups with lasting effects, including premature death, with risks to the mother too.

Therefore, if your dog falls pregnant, it is recommended to seek guidance from your veterinary surgeon.

Epilepsy medications are excreted in small amounts in breast milk and nursing pups should be monitored carefully for undesired effects. Weaning early or hand-rearing may be an option. If newborns exhibit any problems, it is recommended to seek guidance from your veterinary surgeon

Managing pregnancy in a dog with epilepsy is therefore risky for both the mother and puppies, which is why neutering a pet with epilepsy is strongly recommended.