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Greetings from Toby's Foundation,


The Canine Health Foundation Board of Directors has approved Dr. Patterson's project for "Identification of idiopathic Epilepsy Genes in Australian Shepherds" to continue his epilepsy research.

This new CHF study is exciting news. As we reported earlier Dr. Patterson and his team got a significant hit on one chromosome in the Australian Shepherd. We appreciate the Canine Health Foundation's commitment to funding research to help improve the lives of all dogs and for funding Dr. Patterson's epilepsy study for Australian Shepherds. Toby’s Foundation will support this study for Aussie epilepsy research by becoming a sponsor to help fund it.


Toby’s Foundation is co-sponsoring a Morris Animal Foundation (MAF) study for Dr. Dawn Merton Boothe at Auburn University. “This study suggests that extended release levetiracetam (commercially known as Keppra) would be a better treatment option for dogs with epilepsy”…. Please see below.


D10CA-060:  Pharmacokinetics of Single Oral Dose Levetiracetam Extended Release Tablets in Healthy Adult Dogs, Dawn Merton Boothe, DVM, PhD


“PROGRESS UPDATE:  Epilepsy is a serious, late-onset seizure disorder that affects a large number of dog breeds. Dogs often require lifelong treatment and frequently develop a tolerance to therapy, so increasingly higher doses of anticonvulsants are needed. Previous studies showed that levetiracetam (commercially known as Keppra), a human antiepileptic drug, is well tolerated by dogs, even at concentrations that exceed the maximum therapeutic range for humans. The drug also shows promise in controlling seizures. However, the half-life of levetiracetam is short in dogs. To address this issue, researchers at Auburn University are studying a new extended-release Keppra product, approved for humans, that may allow for twice- or once-daily dosing in dogs. To date, researchers have completed all data collection from client-owned dogs and are in the process of conducting statistical analysis. Preliminary analysis suggests that the new extended-release Keppra product results in drug concentrations that stay above the minimum recommended therapeutic dose for 18 hours (compared to only 6 hours following intravenous administration). This study suggests that extended-release levetiracetam would be a better treatment option for dogs with epilepsy than regular-release levetiracetam, and it should be used in any further clinical trials studying the efficacy of levetiracetam for long-term management of seizures in dogs with epilepsy.”

North Carolina State University has a survey they would like filled out by owners of pets with epilepsy on “The Impact of Epilepsy in Companion Animal Patients” Please see below.

“Dear Pet Owner:


Seizures affect more than 5 percent of the companion animal population.  We are contacting you today to see if you might be willing to share with us some information regarding your experiences with a pet with epilepsy so that we, as the veterinary profession, can develop a greater understanding of your needs living with a pet with epilepsy.  Information obtained from this survey will help us to:

Increase our understanding of the disease impacts, help us to provide more information to potential grantors to study the disease as it relates to impacts on the owner, and more.


All of the personal information provided will remain confidential.  We appreciate your consideration of this request.  The survey can be accessed at the followiing URL:


If you have any questions whatsoever regarding this survey, please contact Julie Nettifee Osborne, RVT, BS, VTS (Neurology) or 919-513-6812.”


Warm Regards,



Julie Ann Nettifee Osborne, RVT, BS

North Carolina State University

College of Veterinary Medicine

Department of Clinical Sciences

1060 William Moore Drive

Raleigh, NC  27607

919-513-6812 Phone

919-513-6830 FAX


Please see our current ad “Let’s Keep the Focus on the Research in Memory of Cali”. Blood samples from affected dogs are still needed so if you have a dog with idiopathic (primary) epilepsy please send in a blood sample on your dog in Memory of Cali who died because of cluster seizures.


There are others like Cali. Please visit our Aussie Album to see Coogan, Diesel, Emmett, Skye and Yogi to mention a few who were rescue dogs with epilepsy and are in the memorial pages of our album. Take time to look at all the dogs in our album. We are working with your help to stop this disease by supporting the research to find the gene(s) responsible for this disease and develop a screening test. Progress has been made. The researchers can keep going as long as they have blood samples and funding. Please continue to support us in the fight against canine epilepsy.


Please see our website for information on submitting a blood sample for the research. Your donations are needed to support this important research. Please see below for information on giving. All gifts are tax deductible to the fullest extent of the law. Thank you for your help.


AUSSIE ALBUM: If you have an Aussie with epilepsy either living or deceased and would like to send us a picture please email it to us with call name, state or country, date of birth, if known, and date of death as applicable. If your dog has passed away you may also send us a few words or lines in Memoriam to be placed under your dog’s picture.


LETTERS to TOBY: If you have a dog with epilepsy either Aussie or non-Aussie and would like to share their story in the Letters to Toby section of our website, please contact us for information.

Charitable Giving

Your gifts help us to support the research to find the genes responsible for canine epilepsy and develop a screening test.

Please make Toby's Foundation part of your charitable giving. Toby's Foundation, Inc. is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization. Our Federal Tax Identification number is 74-3135217. Your gift is tax deductible to the fullest extent of the law and helps us in our efforts to stop canine epilepsy. 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

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AussiE-Update Volume V, No. 40
September 24, 2011

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P.O. Box 7321
Laguna Niguel, California 92607

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