Royal Veterinary College Canine Epilepsy Research

Welcome to the page for Canine Epilepsy Research at the Royal Veterinary College

We are a team of clinicians and researchers at the Royal Veterinary College interested in improving our understanding of canine epilepsy so we can improve the lives of dogs and their owners affected by this condition. We are led by Prof Holger Volk, Professor of Veterinary Neurology and Neurosurgery
http://www.rvc.ac.uk/about/our-people/holger-volk

Dr Rowena Packer is the postdoctoral researcher

Operating as usual

Photos from Royal Veterinary College Animal Care Trust's post 26/03/2024
Timeline photos 26/03/2023

๐Ÿ’œ We're highlighting Purple Day - March 26th supporting the Epilepsy Action campaign to raise valuable awareness and funds to support people affected by this condition.
6๏ธโƒฃ3๏ธโƒฃ 3๏ธโƒฃk people
5๏ธโƒฃ3๏ธโƒฃk dogs
1๏ธโƒฃ7๏ธโƒฃk cats
are affected by epilepsy/recurrent seizure disorders. The RVC continue valuable research into this neurological condition in animals.
โ„น๏ธ https://www.rvc.ac.uk/research/projects/epilepsy-in-companion-animals

19/03/2023

Does your dog have epilepsy? Do you use the RVC Epilepsy App? If so, we'd love to find out about it's impact. With Purple Day - the International Day for Epilepsy, just around the corner we're looking for stories to share to raise awarenessss of canine epilepsy and how the condition can be managed. If you'd like to share your story please email [email protected]. Tell us about your dog, how epilepsy affects them and how you use the app. Together, let's help more dogs with epilepsy live well with this condition.

The Royal Veterinary College (RVC) Royal Veterinary College Canine Epilepsy Research

21/02/2023

When funds and time are limited, but canine welfare stakes are high, what is the best way forward for research on a complex disease like epilepsy? And do all major stakeholders agree? ๐Ÿค”

We tackled these questions in this paper published in 2021 - great to see it making waves with this achievement! ๐ŸŒŸ

This paper is still available, open access to read and share here:
https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/jvim.16144

15/02/2023

We have created a new infographic to accompany our new publication, that includes top tips for vets on how to build strong and successful relationships with owners of dogs with epilepsy ๐Ÿค

Please share our infographic (along with the link below to our freely accessible paper) with your own vet practice and your social media networks ๐Ÿ’œ

https://bvajournals.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/vetr.2482

Timeline photos 15/02/2023

Our new study on the impact of vet-owner relationships on how owners manage their dog's epilepsy has been published! ๐Ÿ’ป

A huge thank you to the wonderful owners who gave up their time to be interviewed for this study ๐Ÿ’œ

We hope these results will help the veterinary profession to build strong, lasting and trusting relationships with owners of dogs with epilepsy, for the benefit of the dogs, owners and vets alike ๐Ÿถ

The paper is free to read and share here:
https://bvajournals.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/vetr.2482

๐Ÿ• New research from the RVC explores the role of vet-owner relationships in the experience of owners of dogs with epilepsy. The study found that clearer owner expectations for treatment outcomes and the conditionโ€™s management alongside more reliable resources outside of the consult room are needed to support positive vet-owner relationships.

โžก๏ธ Read more: https://rvc.uk.com/canine-epilepsy

21/01/2023

The Royal Veterinary College Animal Care Trust are amazing long term supporters of our epilepsy work, funding projects from our app to our recent RESET clinical trial.

Please sign up to this easy way to send them vital donations while you shop online, without it costing you anything!

Thank you for your ongoing support of our and ACTโ€™s work - lots of new results to share in 2023 ๐Ÿพ

Have you heard the sad news? In 1 month's time, Amazon will no longer be giving your favourite chairty (which is hopefully us!) donations when you shop.

Since AmazonSmile launched, our supporters have raised a whopping ยฃ47,000 by the simple act of choosing us as their favourite charity. THANK YOU.

The good news? You can shop through Easy Fundraising instead! They send us donations when you shop online (without it costing you a penny more). Visit www.easyfundraising.co.uk to find out more and sign up. Have time this morning? That's great, do your good deed for the week today! 5 minutes this morning could help us for years to come.

Don't forget, until 20th February, you can still shop with AmazonSmile just like before.


14/10/2022

CALLING ALL OWNERS OF DOGS WITH EPILEPSY

Our friends at TiHo in Germany need your help!

We would be very pleased if you would take 10 minutes to answer a few questions exploring the use of rescue medication for emergency seizures at home, conducted as part of a doctoral thesis.

The team's aim is to optimize the therapeutic approach and improve the quality of life of dogs with seizure disorders. Your responses will help them to better understand what types of interventions and treatments are most effective and comfortable for your dog and yourself in this type of emergency situation.

If you would like to participate in the survey, please click on the link below: https://survey.tiho-hannover.de/survey3/index.php/368855?lang=en&fbclid=IwAR3gtSw3MrhFEq8rG3b3rROPRTZgEc1tOD3tbnxOC5lx-YaOIzk3d9oAl88

Photos from Royal Veterinary College Canine Epilepsy Research's post 30/09/2022

This beautiful girl is Dairylea who has just finished our 'RESET' trial, exploring behavioural interventions for canine epilepsy. Here is some lovely feedback from her owner - thanks so much for being such a dedicated trial participant!

"Taking part in the RESET trial with Dairylea has allowed me to make changes which have greatly improved her day to day life and most importantly, happiness. Since implementing the advice, Dairylea is much calmer at home and we have a better bond because of it. The trial was really interesting to be involved in and everything was easy to understand."

We have finished recruitment for RESET, with the last few dogs going into the final stages of this 6-month trial this autumn. We hope to start sharing results of the trial with you in 2023 ๐Ÿคฉ

Photos from Royal Veterinary College Animal Care Trust's post 26/08/2022

We are so thrilled to have the amazing Laura Evans and her dedicated team fundraising for our epilepsy research - it makes the world of difference and we are all extremely grateful for their ongoing support ๐Ÿ’œ๐Ÿ’œ๐Ÿ’œ

17/08/2022

Just 3 days left to contribute to this study, closing on Friday 19th August - please get involved if you are a UK based owner of a dog with epilepsy ๐Ÿ’œ ๐Ÿพ

http://www.serlin.co.uk/survey/

Our lovely RVC colleague Dr Ruth Serlin and final year Veterinary Medicine student Christina Mack are interested in how you, as an owner of dog with epilepsy, interpret side effect information for anti-seizure medications prescribed by your veterinary surgeon.

If you are based in the UK, could you spare 10 minutes to complete their short survey?

http://www.serlin.co.uk/survey/

06/08/2022

Our lovely RVC colleague Dr Ruth Serlin and final year Veterinary Medicine student Christina Mack are interested in how you, as an owner of dog with epilepsy, interpret side effect information for anti-seizure medications prescribed by your veterinary surgeon.

If you are based in the UK, could you spare 10 minutes to complete their short survey?

http://www.serlin.co.uk/survey/

04/07/2022

We are really excited to see an important new book on seizure disorders in cats and dogs finally published! ๐Ÿ“š

This international textbook is edited by two of our epilepsy heroes, Luisa De Risio (UK) and Karen Munana (US) and includes 19 chapters from international experts covering all you would ever need to know about diagnosing and managing epilepsy patients ๐Ÿพ

It also includes a chapter on Quality of Life Issues in Canine Epilepsy from The Royal Veterinary College (RVC)โ€™s own Dr Rowena Packer ๐Ÿ’œ

We hope this book will help vets around the world manage epilepsy cases using the most up to date evidence available ๐Ÿ‘ฉโ€โš•๏ธ

For more info, see the publishersโ€™ webpage below:

https://www.edrapublishing.com/home/584/a-practical-guide-to-seizure-disorders-in-dogs-and-cats.html?fbclid=IwAR3nyxaCjItteFvh0MjytMTrlIVTYEmipqYc-NHvjQtGEk2pNE510M1t7D8

Photos from Royal Veterinary College Animal Care Trust's post 30/06/2022

Incredible fundraising efforts from the fabulous Laura Evans and team, raising money for our epilepsy research in memory of her beautiful Kye - we canโ€™t thank you enough Laura! ๐Ÿ’œ๐Ÿ’œ๐Ÿ’œ

16/05/2022

Could your dogโ€™s wee tell us more about their epilepsy? ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿ”ฌ

A new collaborative study between RVC and our amazing colleagues at Vetspecialists Against Epilepsy has been published that identified differences in the neurotransmitter profiles of dogs with epilepsy compared to controls, with further influences from the use of antiseizure drugs. ๐Ÿ’Š

This means that in the future, urine samples could be even more valuable in the diagnosis and monitoring of epilepsy in dogs ๐Ÿพ

Huge thanks to all of the lovely owners who took part in our IDEAS study whose samples played an important role in this study! ๐Ÿ’œ

For the full article, please follow this link:

https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fvets.2022.893013/full

29/04/2022

Recruitment for our trial investigating behavioural interventions for canine epilepsy (RESET) has now finished!

A massive thank you to everyone who has taken the time to complete the questionnaire, shared information about the trial, and of course to all of our participants ๐Ÿ’œ

It will be a few more months until the trial is completed, and we hope to have results to share with you next year ๐Ÿพ

Photos from Royal Veterinary College Animal Care Trust's post 28/04/2022

We are so grateful to Rosieโ€™s amazing family for doing so much fantastic fundraising in her memory ๐Ÿ’œ

Photos from Royal Veterinary College Canine Epilepsy Research's post 25/04/2022

โ—๏ธLAST CHANCE TO REGISTER YOUR INTERESTโ—๏ธ
Remaining places on the RESET trial are limited: please register before Friday 29th April.

More information: https://www.rvc.ac.uk/research/projects/reset

You can register your interest by fully completing this questionnaire: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/RESET_registeryourinterest

๐Ÿ• Read on to hear about Mollie and her owners, who have already taken part in the RESET trial:

โ€œWe were lucky to be involved in another RVC study in the summer for Border Collies with epilepsy (The Big, Brainy Border Collie Study) and heard about RESET. We were very pleased to be accepted onto the study.

The RESET study has been both enjoyable and informative. Taking part in the trial was not time consuming or onerous. The questionnaires were not too long or demanding and the Zoom calls were fun and helpful!

What became apparent very quickly was how the RESET project made me focus more on Mollie than I had in the past. It also became apparent how addicted to routine she is. If we turned left on a walk when we should turn right, she looked askance! Her ability to tell the time and remind us of what we should be doing when is remarkable.

I would definitely recommend taking part to other owners. Being the owner of an epileptic dog can feel isolating and the ability to prevent or lessen frequency of seizures an uphill struggle. Being part of a study like RESET makes you feel as if you are doing something, not just for your own dog but for others including puppies not yet born.โ€ ๐Ÿ’œ

20/04/2022

Harvey is another fantastic dog who has taken part in the RESET trial to help us learn more about behavioural therapies for canine epilepsy ๐Ÿพ

Could you and your dog help us too? Find more information here: https://www.rvc.ac.uk/research/projects/reset **recruitment for the trial ends next week**
Please share and help us find our final participants!

Harvey's owner told us:
โ€œI was interested in taking part in the trial after seeing a post from the RVC on my Facebook feed looking for participants in behaviour interventions for epileptic dogs and I was keen to get involved. Harvey ticked all the eligibility boxes and Sarah was happy to have him on board.

A six month commitment may seem a lot but, to be honest it wasn't. I already kept a diary of Harvey's seizure activity since he started having them in April 2019. The trial involved making a few more notes, plus completing an online questionnaire, on a fortnightly basis.

The detail on the behaviour and seizure activity diaries was easy to complete. The behaviour diary was something new to me; whilst I had always monitored and looked for triggers in Harvey's seizures keeping these records made me think of things that I hadn't thought about before. I also noticed when permanent changes in his behaviour began to take hold rather than them creeping in unobserved. Harvey loved it when we did the activities in the two video calls!

We were given some "tasks" to do and monitor for 12 weeks. This was easy to do and we continue to do now. Harvey continues to enjoy life and we get out and about as much as possible.

If you are thinking about joining the trial but are worried about the amount of time it takes then please be assured it isn't an onerous commitment and the support from Sarah is superb. I am glad to have had an opportunity to feed into the trials, especially as it may help others who are dealing with this distressing condition with their dogs.โ€

A big thank you to Harvey, his owner, and everyone else who has taken part in the trial so far ๐Ÿ’œ

15/04/2022

This is Mabelle (on the left) and her brother Henri - Mabelle has idiopathic epilepsy and recently took part in our RESET trial, investigating behavioural therapies for canine epilepsy ๐Ÿพ

**We are now recruiting for our final participants on the trial, if you are interested in taking part, please get in touch as soon as possible**

This is what Mabelle's owner told us about taking part in the trial:
โ€œThis is my little baby, Mabelle, she is 6 years old and has had to cope with epilepsy since she was 1. Like anyone with a dog with medical conditions we would try anything to help her cope.

I had followed the work of the RVC for many years and jumped at the chance to be part of a clinical trial.

At first it was a little scary, when I realised I was going to part of something that could make a difference. But it was so easy to do, the questionnaires were easy to follow and the support I received was second to none.

I am not the greatest at coping with computers, but I found I was looking forward to the next update.

Completing the daily diary was an eye opener as I really started to notice differences in Mabelleโ€™s behaviour. I started to read signs of possible triggers and I have learned more about her and how she was feeling than ever before.

I work closely with my vet to control her medication, but it made such a refreshing change to work on behaviour rather than the newest drug available.

I feel extremely honoured to have been chosen for this trial. The RVC do so much good work into researching conditions our pets suffer with, and the thought that I have given a little part into helping is very satisfying.

If you are eligible to participate, do it, I donโ€™t regret a thing.โ€

Please find more information, including how to register your interest, here: https://www.rvc.ac.uk/research/projects/reset

Timeline photos 14/04/2022

Happy Easter to all our lovely followers! ๐Ÿฃ

Remember to be aware of the Easter treats that are dangerous to our pets, and keep them away from their reach ๐Ÿซ ๐Ÿ‡ ๐Ÿ–

๐Ÿฃ Over the Easter period, our RVC small animal hospitals often see an increase in cases where pets have eaten something toxic - please ensure the members of your household are aware of what to watch out for!

Photos from Royal Veterinary College Canine Epilepsy Research's post 12/04/2022

This chilled out doggy is Lily, a mini dachshund who has idiopathic epilepsy and recently took part in our trial investigating behavioural therapies for canine epilepsy ๐Ÿ’œ

Lily's owner told us:
โ€œHaving been part of the epilepsy trial I can definitely say that it was beneficial to myself and my dog as it made me more aware of triggers for her seizures. I think that during the latter half of the trial I did see a slight reduction in frequency of seizures and so I will be continuing with the advice given by Sarah and hope that it will continue to help.

I'll be interested to read the results that come out and I'm really glad to have been able to take part in the trial, thank you Sarah for all your support, advice and hard work you are putting into this study.โ€

**We are now recruiting our last participants to take part in the trial - please be aware that there are limited places available**

If you are interested in taking part, please visit: https://www.rvc.ac.uk/research/projects/reset for more information, including how to register your interest ๐Ÿพ

Dog Ways - tell us about your dog's lifestyle and behaviour 11/04/2022

One week to go to take part in this interesting study on the fascinating brains and behaviour of our dogs ๐Ÿง ๐Ÿพ If you own a dog and have a spare 15 mins this week, please help with our research ๐Ÿ”ฌ๐Ÿ™

Survey available at: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/RVCDogWays

Dog Ways - tell us about your dog's lifestyle and behaviour We are interested in exploring how a dogโ€™s genetics, current lifestyle, and previous background and lifestyle (e.g., where they were bred or where they previously lived) influences their behaviour.

09/04/2022

We are recruiting final participants for our behavioural interventions for canine epilepsy trial (RESET) ๐Ÿพ

You can find more information, including how to register your interest in taking part, here: https://www.rvc.ac.uk/research/projects/reset

This is what one owner has said about taking part with their lovely dog, Shilo:

โ€œI was interested in taking part in the RESET trial as was hoping it would help my epileptic dog. I enjoyed learning more about canine behaviour and how important positive reinforcement training is.

I also enjoyed the extra focus on my dog. Taking part in the trial has helped my dog and helped my relationship with him to be more positive.

Taking part in the trial posed some difficulties at first as I got to grips with the technology, but Sarah was always on hand to help and made everything much easier. She was so patient and efficient it helped enormously and it all very quickly became routine. I would definitely recommend the trial to other owners.โ€

If you have any questions, please email Sarah Hobbs at [email protected]

Timeline photos 06/04/2022

As ever, we are proud to be part of Team RVC ๐Ÿ’œ๐Ÿ’œ๐Ÿ’œ

๐Ÿ’œ We are delighted to retain our top ranked position in veterinary science again in the QS World University Rankings 2022



โžก๏ธ Read more at: http://rvc.uk.com/qs-rankings-2022
โžก๏ธ Share and celebrate at: https://rvc.uk.com/celebrate

Photos from Royal Veterinary College Canine Epilepsy Research's post 05/04/2022

This April we are recruiting for our final participants for our RESET trial, investigating behavioural therapies for canine epilepsy, and we'll be sharing some stories from owners who have already taken part in the trial ๐Ÿ’œ

This handsome boy is Simba, and this is what his owner told us about taking part in the trial:

โ€œAfter my precious dog ๐Ÿ• had his first seizure at just over a year old, I was devastated and did every test, tried every lotion and potion, changed his diet, the seizures carried on regardless. Seeing the RVC advert I obviously jumped to sign up, any info/advice/help Iโ€™d sn**ch anyoneโ€™s hand off.

It means keeping diaries and a couple of video calls which was really enjoyable and your dog is involved, lovely talking with someone so caring and who can relate to your situation.

Taking part is a small amount of your time that maybe can result in one day these trials will help fight off these seizures for good ๐Ÿ‘โ€

If you'd like more information about the trial, including how to register your interest, please visit: https://www.rvc.ac.uk/research/projects/reset

Photos from Royal Veterinary College Canine Epilepsy Research's post 01/04/2022

You may have seen the video of Kyte on Purple Day for epilepsy awareness ๐Ÿ’œ he and his owner took part in our RESET trial last year.

The RESET trial is investigating behavioural interventions for canine epilepsy, and we need dogs like Kyte to help us learn more.

This is what Kyte's owner told us about taking part in the trial:
โ€œWhen I heard about the RESET trial, Kyte was fairly newly diagnosed with epilepsy, and I was keen to learn a little more, and do what I could to help other people whose dogs have this hideous disease.

Sarah, my contact for the trial, has been a huge support. Completing the diaries was really useful, as looking back, I can see how he, and I, made gradual improvement over the months that we were doing the trial.

It was so easy to take part in the RESET trial, and Kyte enjoyed the training sessions.
The video calls were really easy to manage, even for a technophobe like me, and the advice was easy to follow.

I would thoroughly recommend owners of epileptic dogs to take part in the trial. It is really important research to find out more about this disease, and it was also quite fun.โ€

We are now recruiting for our FINAL participants. To find out more, including how to register your interest, please visit: https://www.rvc.ac.uk/research/projects/reset

Please email Sarah at [email protected] if you have any questions ๐Ÿพ

**Please share this information and help us find our final participants!**

Photos from Royal Veterinary College Animal Care Trust's post 26/03/2022

๐Ÿ’œ๐Ÿ’œ World Epilepsy Day Part 2 ๐Ÿ’œ๐Ÿ’œ๐Ÿ’œ

26/03/2022
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