Treatment Type: Diagnostic Procedures
Rated for: Golden Retriever
By M Teiber DVM
Illinois, United States
Posted Jun. 28, 2018
An MRI is the best way to visualize the brain and surrounding tissues. There are many diseases that can cause seizures in pets, including brain tumors or inflammatory diseases of the tissues that line the brain. A diagnosis of epilepsy is only made if these other diseases are ruled out. If an MRI is normal, a epilepsy most likely the cause of seizures and your pet can usually be managed effectively on anti-convulsant medications.
An MRI is important because without it we may misdiagnose your pet with epilepsy when they really have a more serious underlying disease. However, they need to be done at specialty centers with advanced equipment and done under general anesthesia, so they are not practical for many pet owners. If your pet has seizures and no other obvious symptoms of disease, it is reasonable to make a presumptive diagnosis of epilepsy without an MRI.