AKC Canine Health Foundation Launches Epilepsy Research Initiative

All donations to this Initiative in 2017 will be matched dollar-for-dollar, up to $250,000 thanks to the generosity of the American Kennel Club!



CHF is pleased to announce a matched-funding initiative to fight epilepsy in dogs. 

Epilepsy is the most common medical neurological disorder in dogs. The term epilepsy refers to recurrent seizures resulting from an abnormality in brain function. The condition can be inherited (genetic epilepsy), caused by structural problems in the brain (symptomatic epilepsy), or may be of unknown cause (idiopathic epilepsy). Determination of the appropriate treatment for canine epilepsy, as well as prognosis for the condition, depends on accurate diagnosis of the type and cause of seizures.  


Through this initiative, CHF has funded four research grants for $289,000 in 2016. In 2014, the Foundation funded two research grants totaling $220,000 in research funding.

2017 Grants

2323-Efficacy of Cannabidiol (CBD) for the Treatment of Canine Epilepsy
Principal Investigator: Stephanie McGrath, DVM, MS; Colorado State University;
Total Grant Amount:  $356,022; Grant Period:  10/1/2017 - 9/30/2020

2016 Grants

02248:  Identification of a Novel Juvenile Myoclonic Epilepsy Gene and Its Underlying Disease Mechanism
Principal Investigator: Dr. Hannes T Lohi, PhD; University of Helsinki and the Folkhälsan Institute of Genetics
Total Grant Amount:  $82,240.00; Grant Period:  5/1/2016 - 10/31/2017

Read Dr. Lohi's epilepsy research publication >>>

How a Gene Defect in Dogs Could Help Treat Epilepsy in Humans

02249-A:  Studying the Role of the Gastrointestinal Tract in Canine Epilepsy
Principal Investigator: Dr. Karen R. Munana, DVM; North Carolina State University
Total Grant Amount:  $14,995.00; Grant Period:  6/1/2016 - 11/30/2017

02252:  Investigating a Ketogenic Medium-Chain Triglyceride (MCT) Supplement for the Treatment of Drug-Resistant Canine Idiopathic Epilepsy and Its Behavioral Comorbidities
Principal Investigator: Dr. Holger Andreas Volk, DVM, PhD; Royal Veterinary College, University of London
Total Grant Amount:  $107,697.06; Grant Period:  5/1/2016 - 10/31/2017

02257:  Identification of Genetic Risk Factors for Canine Epilepsy
Principal Investigator: Dr. Gary S. Johnson, DVM PhD; University of Missouri, Columbia
Total Grant Amount:  $84,121.00; Grant Period:  5/1/2016 - 10/31/2017

2014 Grants

02131:  Neurostimulation: A Groundbreaking New Treatment for Canine Epilepsy
Principal Investigator: Dr. Sam Nicholas Long, BVSc, PhD; The University of Melbourne
Total Grant Amount:  $116,000.00; Grant Period:  10/1/2014 - 9/30/2016

02133:  Canine Epilepsy: Genetic Variants, Biomarkers, and New Therapies
Principal Investigator: Dr. Ned E. Patterson, DVM PhD; University of Minnesota
Total Grant Amount:  $104,781.00; Grant Period:  10/1/2014 - 3/31/2017

Read Dr. Patterson's research publication >>>

Read about the other epilepsy grants funded by CHF.

The life-altering nature of epilepsy is of foremost concern to the AKC Canine Health Foundation and requires a major research effort. With your support, we can make a significant investment and make real progress in the fight against epilepsy.

Educational Resources

What's Feeding Those Seizures? An Update on Refractory Canine Epilepsy and the Potential Link to Gastrointestinal Health
Speaker: Karen R. Muñana, DVM, MS, DACVIM (Neurology)

Register today for this exciting webinar  on October 24, 2017 at 8:00 pm ET. (Link will take you to the VetVine website, CHF’s partner in our webinar series.)

This webinar, like others in the series, is approved for up to 1 hour of CE credit for veterinarians and veterinary technicians. This approval is valid in jurisdictions which recognize AAVSB RACE; however, participants are responsible for ascertaining each board's CE requirements.

Read our peer reviewed Epilepsy whitepaper and sign up to download a free seizure diary.

Seizure information from the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine

What to do if your dog has a seizure

Epilepsy research recently funded by the AKC Canine Health Foundation

American Veterinary Medical Association podcast on epilepsy

EPIL-K9 All Breed Canine Epilepsy List (online discussion group)

Thank You to the Sponsors of the Epilepsy Initiative

Download the Epilepsy Initiative sponsorship form.

Champion Sponsors ($50,000+):

Collie Health Foundation

 (2014, 2015, 2016)


  (2014, 2016, 2017)


Lead Sponsors ($25,000 - $49,999):

Giant Schnauzer Club of America (2014)
United States Australian Shepherd Foundation/USASA (2014)

Charter Sponsors ($10,000 - $24,999):

American Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Club Charitable Trust  (2014)
American German Shepherd Dog Charitable Foundation, Inc.  (2014, 2016)
Australian Shepherd Health & Genetics Institute (2014)
English Springer Spaniel Field Trial Association Foundation (2014)
German Shorthaired Pointer Club of America (2014)
Greater Swiss Mountain Dog Club of America (2014)
Greyhound Club of America (2014)
Keeshond Club of America (2014)
Saint Bernard Club of America and Charitable Foundation (2014)
Toby's Foundation (2014)
Vizsla Club of America & Vizsla Club of America Welfare Foundation (2014)

Sponsors ($2,500 - $9,999):

Alaskan Malamute Club of America (2014)
American Belgian Tervuren Club (2014)
American Brittany Club (2014, 2015)
American Pointer Club (2014)
American Spaniel Club Foundation (2017)
Chihuahua Club of America (2016)
Field Spaniel Society of America (2014)
Gordon Setter Club of America (2014, 2016)
Health & Rescue Foundation of the Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen Club of America (2015, 2016)
Irish Water Spaniel Club of America (2014)
Labrador Retriever Club, Inc. (2016)
Mastiff Club of America Charitable Trust (2015)
Miniature Pinscher Club of America, Inc. (2016)
Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (2014)
Piedmont Border Collie Association (2015)
Poodle Club of America Foundation (2017)
Portuguese Water Dog Foundation (2016)
Rhodesian Ridgeback Club of the United States (2016)
Siberian Husky Club of America, Inc. (2014)
Vizsla Club of America / Vizsla Club of America Welfare Foundation (2015)

All donations to this Initiative in 2017 will be matched dollar-for-dollar, up to $250,000 thanks to the generosity of the American Kennel Club!


Help Future Generations of Dogs

Participate in canine health research by providing samples or by enrolling in a clinical trial. Samples are needed from healthy dogs and dogs affected by specific diseases.

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