Register for “Feeding the epileptic brain with drugs and diets – myths and reality”

Free Webinar

17th October, 8:00 pm

Presented by Professor Holger A. Volk


Generously sponsored by Purina

About This Webinar

Epilepsy is a brain disease which any first opinion practitioner has experience with. Around 1 in 111 dogs will be affected by idiopathic epilepsy, diagnosed by excluding metabolic conditions and structural brain diseases. Recent research has shown that idiopathic epilepsy is more than a simple seizure disorder. Epilepsy is a brain disease with seizures being the main and most prominent clinical sign. Dogs, however, can also suffer from comorbidities such as neurobehavioural changes and cognitive dysfunction. In people, comorbidities can have a far greater influence on quality of life than the seizures themselves. We are just starting to recognise comorbidities in dogs with epilepsy, but have already shown that their impact is significant. The impact of the seizures (esp. seizure frequency and intensity) and comorbidities (such as reduced trainability, spatial memory impairment, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and anxiety) might not only affect the dog but also the owner.

Apart from the disease, antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) can also have an impact on the quality of life. AED treatment is targeted to reduce seizure frequency and severity, but does not treat the underlying disease. The AEDs currently used in veterinary medicine will reduce brain excitability by “depressing” CNS function and so it is not surprising that side effects such as ataxia and sedation occur. Ataxia and sedation have been reported by owners as the main side effects affecting quality of life.

AEDs will always be the mainstay for seizure control, but have their limitations due to the side effects experienced, being more pronounced if given in high quantity and when combining multiple AEDs. Recent research has indicated that we might need to look at epilepsy management more holistically. Diet has been shown in various species to have a positive impact on seizure control and comorbidities such as anxiety and cognition. New evidence is emerging that diets rich in medium chain triglycerides can improve in some dogs idiopathic epilepsy seizure control, cognition and be anxiolytic. We will discuss in this talk the ins and outs of the different epilepsy management options and how to better combine them.


Learning Objectives:

  1. To appreciate that ’thinking pathophysiologically‘ is essential in order to rank your differential list and to define/refine your problem.
  2. To develop a diagnostic approach to the seizuring patient including the identification of comorbidities such as anxiety, attention deficits hyperactivity disorder and cognitive impairment.
  3. To understand the pharmacology, clinical applications and side effect profile of anticonvulsant drugs used in veterinary practice.
  4. To understand the importance of diets in the management of canine epilepsy.
  5. To appreciate the importance of tailoring epilepsy management to the individual patient.

Register Now!

Meet The Speaker

Holger is currently the Head of Department of the Clinical Science and Services at the Royal Veterinary College, Professor of Veterinary Neurology and Neurosurgery and the Past-President of the European College of Veterinary Neurology. He graduated from the Veterinary School of Hanover in 2001, where he also did his PhD in Neuropharmacology studying basic mechanisms of drug-resistant epilepsy. He then completed his specialist clinical education doing an internship and a residency in Neurology and Neurosurgery at the RVC. Holger is internationally known for his work in the field of Chiari-like malformation/syringomyelia and epilepsy. Holger has been chairing the International Veterinary Epilepsy Task Force, which published recently seven consensus statements for canine and feline epilepsy and was a co-chair of the recent published ACVIM consensus statement about medical treatment of epilepsy. He has been a recipient of several Jim Bee educator excellent in teaching awards, the prestigious Bourgelat Award from BSAVA and the International Canine Health Award from the Kennel Club. He has published multiple books and book chapters, 180 articles, 120 conference abstracts, and is a frequent flyer on the international conference circuit.

This webinar is free to watch thanks to the kind sponsorship of Purina