Dogs with idiopathic epilepsy - food study

border collie laying in grass

Internal medicine

Status: Completed
Principal Investigator: 
Ned Patterson

Study title

Study of idiopathic epilepsy clinical cases on Purina Pro Plan veterinary diet NC for dogs

Purpose of study

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.

Eligibility criteria

  • 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


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 to use 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).