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Greetings from Toby's Foundation, 


This is our 12th Anniversary of working to stop canine epilepsy, to help those dogs affected with this disease and increase canine epilepsy awareness. We are pleased to tell you that there are 7 canine epilepsy grants active right now with 6 different researchers as Principal Investigators. This level of interest in canine epilepsy is unprecedented! We have succeeded in raising awareness about canine epilepsy and supporting and encouraging research into this devastating and complex disease.

Toby’s Foundation co-sponsors CHF Grant 02133: Canine Epilepsy: Genetic Variants, Biomarkers, and New Therapies

Dr. Ned E. Patterson, DVM PhD; University of Minnesota


Dr. Patterson and his team are working on identifying genetic (DNA) mutations associated with epilepsy and/or drug resistant epilepsy in Australian shepherds, and Vizslas.


The researchers have DNA for affected and unaffected Australian shepherds and Viszlas. In initial analysis of 170,000 single nucleotide – SNP (DNA) markers in a portion of the affected and unaffected dogs, the researchers have found possible areas for epilepsy genes in Australian shepherds and in Vizslas. For both breeds they will do additional SNP markers with 4 times as many SNP markers, and additional sequencing of genes in possible areas. They are looking for a causative DNA mutation to develop genetic screening tests.


The researchers are also working to see if blood micro RNA (miRNA) levels vary within epilepsy dogs and could be used as markers. The researchers have successfully measured miRNA levels and are looking for any patterns and associations for possible future use of blood miRNA as a diagnostic marker or marker of how well therapy is working in epileptic dogs.


Clinical Trial Recruitment...

... for a study by Dr. Karen Munana, DVM, North Carolina State University – College of Veterinary Medicine


“The Microbiota-Gut-Brain axis in canine epilepsy-Determining the role of Lactobacilli”



This study aims to evaluate the role of certain intestinal bacteria in the management of epilepsy in dogs. Alterations in the population of intestinal bacteria in the Lactobacillus group are believed to play a role in the development and progression of several human diseases of the nervous system. An association between epilepsy and both celiac disease and inflammatory bowel disease has been identified in humans, which suggests that changes in intestinal bacteria might also play a role in the progression of epilepsy. The purpose of this trial is to evaluate bacterial populations in the gastrointestinal tract of dogs with epilepsy and compare these to normal dogs. We hypothesize that dogs with epilepsy have alterations in the population of lactobacillus as compared to normal dogs. This study will provide preliminary information on the role of GI tract bacteria in canine epilepsy, and further our understanding to help us develop more successful outcomes for this disorder.



We are recruiting dogs that have been diagnosed with epilepsy but are not currently receiving anti-seizure medication, and that live in a household with another dog that is not epileptic. Owners of dogs enrolled in the

study will be instructed to collect a fresh stool sample from their dogs to ship to the investigators. Owners will also be asked to complete a brief questionnaire related to their dog's environment, diet and health.

Dogs will received a fecal exam at no-charge to the owner. All study results will be provided to owners and their family veterinarians.


Your dog does not have to go to NCSU-CVM for this study so if your dog meets the above requirements for participation in this study please contact Julie Nettifee. See the contact information below.




Julie Ann Nettifee  RVT, BS, VTS (Neurology)

North Carolina State University

College of Veterinary Medicine

Department of Clinical Sciences & Comparative Medicine Institute

919-513-6812 Phone

919-513-6830 FAX


Thank you to everyone who has helped us and worked with us over the last 12 years. We thank our donors and supporters, breeders and owners of affected and unaffected dogs, organizations and researchers that have worked with us, and those who have faithfully given blood samples and funds for the research. We are all needed to stop this disease and ease the suffering of those affected with it. We plan to keep going until this disease is stopped in its tracks. We cannot do it without you. Thank you for your continued support.


Toby’s Foundation, Inc.

Making Tracks to Defeat Canine Epilepsy



Your gifts help us to support the research to find the genes responsible for canine epilepsy and develop a screening test and more effective treatments for dogs suffering from this disease.


Toby's Foundation, Inc. is a non-profit 501(c)(3) charitable organization. Our Federal Tax Identification number is 74-3135217. Your gift is tax deductible to the fullest extent of the law. 


Please check with your employer about a Matching Gifts program. 


If you would like to make a memorial or honorary gift to support canine epilepsy research, an acknowledgement card can be sent to whomever you specify. 


We accept donations online (see link below) or you may mail your check to: 


Toby's Foundation 

P.O. Box 7321 

Laguna Niguel , CA 92607

Please support us by visiting us on facebook and like us.

AussiE-Update Volume IX, No. 61
August 4, 2016

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Toby's Foundation
P.O. Box 7321
Laguna Niguel, California 92607

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