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Epilepsia Open. 2019 Feb 14;4(1):193-199. doi: 10.1002/epi4.12305. eCollection 2019 Mar.

Dietary intervention for canine epilepsy: Two case reports.

Author information

Neuroscience Program Trinity College Hartford Connecticut.
Department of Psychology Trinity College Hartford Connecticut.
Department of Biology Trinity College Hartford Connecticut.
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke National Institutes of Health Bethesda Maryland.
Ketogenic Therapies, LLC Madison Wisconsin.


Epilepsy is a common neurologic disorder in humans and domesticated canines. In both species the etiology is diverse and complex, and even with medication a significant portion of the population does not experience sufficient seizure control and/or has unacceptable side effects. Humans often try alternatives such as dietary therapy or brain surgery, but in dogs, brain surgery is rarely an option and, despite potential benefits, there are no standard recommendations for a dietary approach. Herein we describe 2 retrospective case studies detailing the effects of homemade diets prepared for dogs with uncontrolled epileptic seizures and/or toxic side effects of medication. Basic recipes are provided for each formula-a high-fat "ketogenic" diet and a partial "whole food" diet. Carbohydrate content was reduced or controlled, and in one case this was proven to be essential for seizure control: ingesting carbohydrates would reverse the benefits of the diet and precipitate a seizure. Both dogs experienced fewer seizures and side effects when eating these modified diets compared to when they were administered antiepileptic drugs, including complete cessation of seizures for extended periods. Practical advantages and success of these homemade dietary interventions highlight the potential for diet-based metabolic therapy as a treatment option for seizures not only in humans but also in dogs.


dog; ketogenic diet; ketones; metabolic therapy; nutrition; seizures

Conflict of interest statement

7Author Beth Zupec‐Kania is the sole proprietor of Ketogenic Therapies, LLC. The remaining authors have no conflicts of interest to disclose. We confirm that we have read the Journal's position on issues involved in ethical publication and affirm that this report is consistent with those guidelines.

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