Dogs with idiopathic epilepsy - food study

Border collie dogStudy title: Study of idiopathic epilepsy clinical cases on Purina Pro Plan veterinary diet NC for dogs
Current Status: Active and enrolling
Principal Investigator: Ned Patterson, DVM, PhD, DACVIM (SAIM)
Contact: Dr. Patterson, patte037@umn.edu, 612-626-8387
Andrea Chehadeh, Sr. Research Technician, aleckert@umn.edu, 612-625-3157


Study Purpose:

Epilepsy is a significant seizure disorder affecting all dog breeds. We wish to discover if biomarkers can be found in dogs to help predict the likelihood to develop seizures, to help breeding decisions, and to help guide therapy to what drugs, diets or other therapies are likely to work in an individual dog.

Eligible dogs 

  • Diagnosed with idiopathic epilepsy with clinical signs
  • Treated and stabilized for a minimum of 1 year with at least 1 anti-epileptic drug (AED) (chronic treatment with phenobarbital, zonisamide, levetiracetam and/or potassium bromide, or intermittent treatment with benzodiazepines)
  • Aged 12 months or more if small breed, 18 months or more if large breed dog
  • No older than 12 years
  • Weight 2.5 – 50 kg (6-110 lbs)

Ineligible if:

  • another cause of epilepsy that can be identified
  • more than 1 epileptic seizure per day
  • chronic or acute kidney, liver, and/or cardiac insufficiency
  • medical history of any acute disease or surgery in the previous month prior to study
  • planned major surgery during the study period
  • pregnant or lactating females, or any dogs intended for breeding

Study summary:

Food study (four month study) plus blood, urine and cheek swab samples.
Dogs will be seen in the clinic on Day 0 for lab samples (including fasting night before) and owner will begin a seizure diary. At Day 28, dogs will be given the NeuroCare diet at home. Further recheck visits on Day 56, 84 and 112. At the final visit, dogs will have lab sampling again (including fasting night before).

Cost of the study:

The study covers the costs of the procedures above, and will provide the food.

To learn more or to enroll, please contact Andrea Chehadeh or Dr. Patterson (above).