A two-year-old male chihuahua suffered attacks of muscle weakness and immobility, although it had no family history of paroxysmal attacks. No neurological or blood biochemical abnormalities were recorded when it was first examined. The attacks were typically elicited by stimulation, such as feeding, and a case of sporadic narcolepsy-cataplexy was therefore suspected. Treatment orally three times a day with 1 mg/kg imipramine, was effective in reducing the attacks. The concentration of hypocretin-1/orexin A in the dog's cerebrospinal fluid was less than 80 pg/ml (22.5 pmol/litre), compared with normal canine levels of 250 to 350 pg/ml (70.0 to 98.3 pmol/litre), supporting a diagnosis of hypocretin-deficient narcolepsy.
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