VetGen - The leader in veterinary genetic disease research and genetic disease detection services for purebred animals

Breeds Serviced

  • Australian Labradoodle
  • 6-Dachshunds
  • Doberman Pinscher
  • Labradoodle
  • Labrador Retriever


Narcolepsy is a neurologic condition inherited as an autosomal recessive trait. The disorder in dogs characterized by episodic brief but sudden daytime sleepiness or losses of consciousness, lasting usually several seconds but sometimes as long as last several minutes. An affected dog will have episodes where it collapses suddenly and goes from wakefulness into rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, sometimes accompanied with twitching and whimpering sounds. This can happen during play, eating or other vigorous activity. Episodes can sometimes be interrupted by petting, loud noises or other external stimuli.

The condition is quite rare in Labradors, but when present results in dogs which may exhibit cataplexy when overly excited. Affected animals also tend to sleep significantly more than is normal.