02930: A Dose Finding Study of Cannabidiol in Dogs with Idiopathic Epilepsy

Grant Status: Open

Grant Amount: $107,995
Stephanie McGrath, DVM, MS; Colorado State University
May 1, 2021 - October 31, 2024

Sponsor(s): American Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Club Chartiable Trust, Dalmatian Club of America Foundation, Inc., Flat-Coated Retriever Foundation, Health & Rescue Foundation of the Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen Club of America, Irish Setter Club of America Foundation, Irish Setter Club of Milwaukee, Inc., Labrador Retriever Club, Inc., Mastiff Club of America, Miniature Pinscher Club of America, Inc., National Beagle Club, Orthopedic Foundation for Animals, Rhodesian Ridgeback Charitable Foundation, Toby's Foundation, Vizsla Club of America Welfare Foundation

Breed(s): -All Dogs
Research Program Area: Epilepsy Initiative
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One Health: Yes


Affecting approximately 5% of the canine population, idiopathic epilepsy is a widespread disease that is often frustrating and, at times, debilitating to both dogs and their owners. About one-third of dogs afflicted by epilepsy are refractory to the standard drugs available to treat the disease so finding a replacement or adjunctive medication is imperative. Recently, the anticonvulsive properties of cannabidiol (CBD) have been demonstrated in human and canine patients. The primary objective of this study is to find an effective dose of CBD for idiopathic epilepsy in client-owned dogs with uncontrolled seizures (≥2 seizures per month). Aim 1 of this study is to determine the dose of oral CBD that will reduce average monthly seizure activity in client-owned refractory idiopathic epileptic dogs by 50% or more when added to standard anticonvulsive therapy. Aim 2 of this study is to evaluate the safety and tolerability of CBD in dogs with idiopathic epilepsy. Investigators hypothesize that, at the appropriate dose, CBD will be effective in lowering the average monthly seizure frequency by 50% in at least 50% of uncontrolled epileptic dogs and that CBD, even at high doses, will be well tolerated. An effective agent with limited side effects has the potential to improve the quality of life of epileptic dogs, and ultimately afflicted humans, as dogs serve as an ideal surrogate for human epileptic conditions.

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