Clinical trials available for dogs with idiopathic seizures

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Raleigh, N.C. -- A clinical trial to evaluate new medication for idiopathic epilepsy in dogs is being conducted in several cities nationwide through the end of this year, with veterinary neurology specialists participating.

Raleigh, N.C.

-- A clinical trial to evaluate new medication for idiopathic epilepsy in dogs is being conducted in several cities nationwide through the end of this year, with veterinary neurology specialists participating.

Regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and sponsored by a major animal-health pharmaceutical firm, the trial offers qualifying dogs referred by their veterinarians free medical evaluations and diagnostic tests, which may include CAT scans or MRIs, and free medication and monthly exams. Owners can have funds credited to their accounts at their referring veterinarians.

Dogs must be evaluated by an investigator within seven days of the most recent seizure. Potential risks and benefits of the medication will be discussed with owners prior to enrollment.

Trials currently are being conducted in Alabama, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas. Other states may be added later.

Idiopathic epilepsy affects about four million dogs in the United States, about 5.7 percent of the dog population. Breeds most susceptible include Beagles, Belgian Tervurens, Bernese Mountain Dogs, British Alsatians, Collies, Dachshunds, German Shepherds, Golden Retrievers, Keeshondens, Labrador Retrievers, Miniature Schnauzers, Portuguese Water Dogs and Vizslas.

To qualfy for the trial, dogs must be at least 4 months old, not previously treated with anti-seizure medication, weigh at least 11 pounds, not pregnant and have no previous history of seizure clusters or status epilepticus.

Raleigh-based Visionaire Research & Education, which helps veterinary pharmaceutical firms recruit for clinical trials, is helping coordinate the trials.

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