Clinical Studies

Melatonin - it's not just a sleep hormone!

" A pilot study: serum melatonin levels in normal dogs and dogs with seizures"


Purpose of Study

Epilepsy or recurrent seizures are reported to be the most common neurologic conditions in dogs, but 20-30% of affected dogs are considered to be resistant to the commonly used canine anticonvulsant drugs. Thus, alternative canine epilepsy treatments are needed. The purpose of this study is to compare melatonin levels in normal dogs with levels in dogs who experience seizures. Recent studies of lab animals have shown that the hormone melatonin has anti-seizure properties. According to several case reports in human medicine, melatonin may also reduce seizures in people.


This study may lay the groundwork for further studies that examine the effects of melatonin on seizures, leading to the development of new seizure treatments utilizing melatonin. Enrolled dogs will receive a free examination by a board certified veterinary neurologist. All costs associated with blood draws and analysis will be covered by the study.

Enrollment Requirements

Normal dogs: We have completed enrollment for normal dogs at this time. Thank you for your interest.

Seizure dogs: Dogs enrolled in this study must have a documented history of seizures. They can be any breed, sex or weight but must be older than 6 months of age.

Treatment Methods

Enrolled dogs will spend one day (7:30-4:30) at the WSU-VTH. Upon arrival, they will receive a thorough physical exam including a detailed neurologic exam. A neurologist will draw 6.0 ml of blood (a little over 1 teaspoon) from the dog three times during the day (at 8 am, 12 pm and 4 pm).

Owner Responsibilities

Bring your dog to the WSU-VTH for one day (7:30 am -4:30 pm).

Contact Information

For more information please contact:

Valorie Wiss, Clinical Studies Coordinator
Office: 509-335-0798
Cell: 509-432-5345

Dr. Annie Chen-Allen
Office: 509-335-0711