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Researchers discover 'promising' new treatment for canine epilepsy
Adding MCT oil to a dried-kibble diet may reduce epileptic seizures and improve a dog's quality of life.
Study highlights the potential of MCT oil for reducing seizures and improving quality of life.

Researchers at the Royal Veterinary College (RVC) have discovered a promising new treatment for hard-to-treat canine epilepsy.

Scientists tested the effects of an oil supplement on seizure frequency in dogs with drug-resistant epilepsy. They found that adding the oil to a dog's existing diet reduced seizures and improved quality of life for both dog and owner.

The research was funded by The American Kennel Club Canine Health Foundation and is published in the Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine.

Dr Rowena Packer, BBSRC Research Fellow at the RVC said: “Our novel findings indicate that a relatively small change to the diet of dogs’ with hard-to-treat epilepsy can potentially reduce the number of seizures they have, while also improving their medication side effects and overall quality of life.”

The study built on previous research that found the oil contained a specific type of fat (medium-chain triglycerides (MCT)) that could have beneficial effects when added to a dried-kibble diet.

The oil was tested during a rigorous trial, in which 28 dogs received the MCT oil for three months and a placebo oil for three months. Neither the researchers or the dogs' owners knew which oil the dogs were receiving at any given time.

Overall, they observed that dogs had significantly fewer seizures during the MCT phase compared to the placebo phase, and improved owner-reported quality of life.

Dr Packer adds: “Epilepsy is often a challenging and distressing condition for dog owners to manage, particularly when dogs don’t respond to anti-seizure medications in the way their owner and vet might have expected or hoped.

“Historically, diet has not been considered a key part of epilepsy management, but along with other recent findings, these results indicate that nutrition likely plays an important role in seizure control.”

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Avian flu outbreak at RSPB Minsmere

News Story 1
 RSPB Minsmere nature reserve in Suffolk has confirmed an outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza on its site. The coastal nature reserve has seen an increase in dead birds recently, and has said that it is 'extremely concerned' about the potential impacts on bird populations, with 2021 and 2022 seeing the largest ever outbreak in the UK.

In a statement, RSPB said: "We appreciate that it is distressing, for both visitors and staff, to see dead or dying birds at our site but we ask that if visitors see any dead or unwell birds, they do not touch or go near them and that they report it to us at our Visitor Centre during its opening hours, or by emailing us on outside of these times."  

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Moredun Foundation Award opens for applications

The 2022-2023 Moredun Foundation Award (MFA) is now open for members, with up to £2,000 available for successful applicants.

The MFA honours the contribution that education, teamwork, life experience, and travel have made to the understanding of cattle health and welfare. Through its charitable endeavours, Moredun offers its members the opportunity to pursue projects that support personal development.

The prize is open to a wide range of project applications, including those that include producing educational tools, conducting a small research project, or studying farming methods in other nations. For more information and to apply, visit