The AKC Canine Health Foundation Launches Matched-funding Initiative to Better Understand and Treat Epilepsy in Dogs


The AKC Canine Health Foundation (CHF), a nonprofit organization whose mission is to prevent, treat and cure diseases in all dogs, announces a new Initiative to advance research into canine epilepsy. The goal of the Initiative is to provide funds to support innovative research that will advance understanding of the mechanisms underlying epilepsy, leading to more effective treatments, as well as provide educational resources for dog owners and veterinarians.

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.  

Educational resources about epilepsy and seizures, including a peer reviewed whitepaper with a seizure diary to help owners track their dog’s health, and a live webinar later this year: What's Feeding Those Seizures? An Update on Refractory Canine Epilepsy and the Potential Link to Gastrointestinal Health with Karen R. Muñana, DVM, MS, DACVIM (Neurology), are available to dog owners and veterinarians at

As an added incentive for donors, all donations and donor advised fund disbursements to the CHF Epilepsy Initiative during 2017 will be generously matched dollar-for-dollar by the American Kennel Club (AKC), up to $250,000.

“The specific biochemical and genetic mechanisms that cause seizures are not yet fully understood in either dogs or humans, although seizures are known to result from dysfunction in the brain’s electrical activity,” according to Dr. Diane Brown, CHF CEO. “Through the CHF Epilepsy Initiative, this research will improve our understanding of seizures in dogs, which may help their human companions, also.”

While one in every 100 dogs will be affected by epilepsy, many dogs, with the support of dedicated owners, can lead a good life by following a veterinarian’s treatment plan. The CHF Epilepsy Initiative will equip dog owners with educational resources and further cutting-edge canine health research to help bring about better understanding and more treatment options for this devastating condition.

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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