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The Epil-K9 Foundation, Inc.


Where Your Donations are going in 2007

Our 2006 calendar project was a great success.  We raised over $10,000 for research this year.  We also have $4,000 in our AKC Donor Advised Fund so our total available money for donation to support canine epilepsy research and cover our operating expenses is over $14,000. All three research programs are at North Carolina State UniversityCollege of Veterinary Medicine

Phenobarbital Study

Contact person:
Erin Kennerly at

Dogs are still needed for this research for details see the website

Epilepsy is a reasonably common disease that has a significant impact on quality of life for dogs and owners alike.  The majority of dogs respond well to treatment with phenobarbital and/or potassium bromide, but according to the breed, somewhere between 10 and 20 percent of dogs do not respond to phenobarbital. If we knew the genetic basis for this refractoriness, we might be able to help veterinarians adjust the dosage or select an alternative prescription for each individual patient, and it is also possible that selective breeding may be used to reduce the incidence of refractoriness in just a few generations.  It is likely that the genetic basis of drug response is much simpler and easier to study than the factors that cause the disease in the first place.  We have developed a way to study almost 30 genes that may be involved and will test whether preliminary indicators of involvement for a handful of these genes holds up in a large sample of 300 dogs.

This study is also being funded by the AKC, our funds will be matched dollar for dollar.

Lorazepam Study

Contact person:
 Dr Chris Mariani

About 5% of all dogs have epilepsy.  Many of the dogs affected have cluster seizures or a tendency to go into status epilepticus.  Clusters are defined as multiple seizures in a 24 hour period and status epilepticus is defined as one seizure lasting longer than 5 minutes or multiple seizures that happen so close together that recovery is not obtained between seizures.  This causes much stress for the dog and owner alike and frequently requires a trip to the hospital to stop seizures which is a financial burden on many owners.

Currently diazepam is used at home to treat cluster seizures and as a first line treatment for status epilepticus.  The frustration with diazepam is that it’s duration of effectiveness is so short.  Lorazepam given intra-nasally has a much longer duration of effectiveness and is the medication of choice in humans with these conditions.  The goal is to evaluate the effectiveness of lorazepam given intra-nasally for cluster seizures and status epilepticus. Dogs are not needed at the present time

Keppra Study

Contact person:
Karen Munana

A previous study evaluating levetiracetam (Trade name - Keppra) as a treatment for epilepsy demonstrated that there is considerable variability from dog to dog in the serum levels of the drug that are attained, despite all dogs being administered the same dose.  This is unusual for a drug like Keppra that does not undergo metabolism by the liver.  The aim of this study is to further evaluate the kinetics of the drug in dogs, to better understand these unexpected results. We hope to determine what factors influence the metabolism of Keppra in dogs and the best time to take a sample when evaluating blood levels, as well as gather data to enable us to make recommendations on dosage and dosing interval.   This study will provide us valuable information on the optimal use of  Keppra as a treatment for refractory epilepsy in dogs.


Page last update: 12/13/2011

Fund-Raising Projects for
Anti Epileptic Drug Research
and DNA Epilepsy Research

What's Wrong With Gibson?
Children's illustrated story
book about canine epilepsy.
Percentage of proceeds will be
donated to support canine
epilepsy research. Click
graphic above to order!