Episode 427 – Brain Fever and Epilepsy in Dogs

Brain-Feverish Detective Ollie

In  the Sherlock Homes mystery, “The Naval Treaty” an overly sensitive, highly intelligent diplomat describes what happens after an extremely confidential treaty in his care disappeared and his attempts to locate it fail:

The doctor most kindly took charge of me, and it was well he did so, because I had another fit in the station, and before we reached home I was practically a raving maniac…And here I have lain, Mr. Holmes, for over nine weeks, unconscious and raving with brain fever.

Today most medical practitioners dismiss the brelief that certain situations could trigger seizures as evidence of Victorian medical ignorance. However,  an article in the Journal of the American Veterinary Association entitled “Features of stimulus-specific seizures in dogs with reflex epilepsy: 43 cases (2000-2014)” suggests that Holmes and his creator, physician Arthur Conan Doyle, knew what they were taking about. At least when it comes to dogs.

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