RVC Pet Epilepsy Tracker

We are excited to introduce you to the use of a new application for your phone or computer to help us track and monitor your epileptic pet. This application will help to improve the treatment of your pet’s epilepsy by allowing us to follow changes in seizure frequency, medication adjustments, and overall, streamline our communication with you.  Please note that we are using this application for tracking and recording purposes only and not as a direct method of communication. This handout will give you a few quick tips for getting started. Thank you for joining the tracking team! Please let us know if you have any questions.

  1. Downloading the application
    1. Please go to your mobile device’s “App store” and search for RVC Pet Epilepsy Tracker.
    2. Download and install the app. It is completely free!
    3. You may also visit for more information.
  2. Setting up
    1. You will note that the “home page” has many tabs for you to choose from. The three at the bottom “My Pet”, “Medication log” and “Seizure log” are the three we are going to concentrate on in this handout. The other tabs have a lot of useful information and please feel free to explore these sections.
    2. The My Pet tab will bring you to a field in which you can fill out all the information about your pet. Please fill out all of the fields to the best of your ability.
    3. If you look at the top there are more tabs under “My Pet”:
      1. Survey will get Basic information about you pet’s seizure history.
      2. History allows you to fill in diagnosis, tests or anything else you want to remember. Hit the “new” button at the top right to add information.
  • Contacts tab is where you can fill in Veterinarian information. Please input the email address: Enter the email under your primary neurologist (Dr. Podell, Niman or Windsor). When you send us information this is the email inbox we want you to send it to. If you wish to send this information to your primary veterinarian you may put them in as a separate contact.
    1. Please note that this email is NOT to be used for emergency purposes or for general questions. If you have an emergency, please call us at CVESC 773-281-7110 or your closest emergency clinic. An EMERGENCY situation is 3 or more seizures in a 24 hour period or any single seizure event that lasts longer than 10 minutes.
    2. Please follow any specific instructions that your doctor provided regarding home treatment of seizure activity.  
  1. Medication Log allows you to input current medications, add new medications and record changes in your medications. Please remember to update any time we change a dosage or add any med on for your pet.
  2. Seizure log is where you will add any seizure activity. To add a new event please click the “new” button in the top right corner. Fill out all of the fields to the best of your ability.
  1. We would like you to please send us updates as follows:
    1. Once a month
    2. Prior to any scheduled appointments
    3. If there is a change in medication type or dose
    4. If 3 or more seizures occurs prior to your next appointment
    5. Any unusual change in seizure activity

Please remember that this application and associated email are not to be used for emergency purposes. You can reach our ER at 773-281-7110, bring your pet into our ER at 3123 N. Clybourn in Chicago, or you seek out the closest emergency clinic to you.


Please email us at if you have any questions or concerns about how to use this tracker.

Thank you for your help in this new adventure! We are excited to be able to have access to more information so that we may better serve you and your pet. 


Canine status epilepticus treated with fosphenytoin: A proof of principle study


Dr. Michael Podell, DVM, DACVIM (Neurology)

Dr. Michael Podell, DVM, DACVIM (Neurology)

Dr. Michael Podell, of the CVESC Neurology and Neurosurgery department, remains actively involved in clinical research trials that aim to discover new palliative and definitive treatment methods for neurological diseases.  Recently, Dr. Podell and his colleagues concluded a clinical research trial studying the effects of fosphenytion, a human seizure medication, on canine status epilepticus.


Objectives: There are a limited number of marketed intravenous antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) available to treat status epilepticus (SE). All were first developed for chronic therapy of epilepsy, not specifically for SE. Epilepsy and canine SE (CSE) occur naturally in dogs, with prevalence, presentation, and percentage of refractory cases similar to human epilepsy. The objective of this study was to determine if CSE treated with fosphenytoin (FOS) results in a similar responder rate as for people.

Methods: A randomized clinical trial was performed for dogs with CSE. Dogs who presented during a seizure or who had additional seizures after enrolling received intravenous (i.v.) benzodiazepine (BZD) followed immediately by intravenous infusion of 15 mg/kg phenytoin equivalent (PE) of fosphenytoin (FOS) or saline placebo (PBO). If seizures continued, additional AEDs were administered per the standard of care for veterinary patients. Total and unbound plasma phenytoin (PHT) concentrations were measured.

Results: Consent was obtained for 50 dogs with CSE. Thirty-one had additional motor seizures and were randomized to the study intervention (22 FOS and 9 PBO). There was a statistically significant difference in the 12 h responder rate, with 63% in the FOS group versus 22% in the placebo group (p = 0.043) having no further seizures. The unbound PHT concentrations at 30 and 60 min were within the therapeutic concentrations for people (1–2 lg/ml) with the exception of one dog. There was mild vomiting in 36% of the FOS group (7/22) within 20 min of FOS administration and none of the placebo group (0/9) (p = 0.064).

Significance: This proof of concept study provides the first evidence that FOS is tolerated and effective in canine SE at PHT concentrations clinically relevant for human SE. Furthermore, naturally occurring CSE can be utilized as a translational platform for future studies of novel SE compounds.

Full Trial Results…

Visit the Northbrook Neurology and Neurosurgery Location

The Chicago Neurology and Neurosurgery Group, with Drs. Niman and Podell, will be available for appointments and same day referrals Wednesday through Friday of every week.  Additional specialty services will be added in the near future.  

The Northbrook clinic is equipped with an upgraded high field Philips MRI scanner, a Sound Eklin digital radiology suite with Efilm, full in-house laboratory capabilities,   a Nihon-Kodon 4 channel electrodiagnostic unit and a well-equipped surgery suite including a NC1 Zeiss neurosurgery operating microscope. 

Dr. Michael Podell with Chicago Veterinary Neurology and Neurosurgery announces the addition of a CUSA Excel surgical ultrasonic aspirator for use in tumor removal.   We are proud to be the only veterinary hospital in Illinois, and one of only a handful of veterinary institutions in the country, to offer this advanced treatment option for brain, spinal and other soft tissue tumors.   This devise uses a specialized tip that vibrates at 32,000 times per second to fragment  tissues while simultaneously lavaging and aspirating material from  the surgical field. The advantage is the ability to remove tumor tissue selectively without affecting surrounding normal tissue and vasculature. This technique is the current standard of care for human neurosurgery to allow more brain and spinal cord tumors to be safely resected without harming vital structures.  Numerous other potential applications include resection of hepatic parenchymal tumors while sparing surrounding liver, removal of intrahepatic shunts, and partial nephrectomy.  The CUSA Excel is just one example of our continued commitment to the advancement of veterinary medicine in the Chicagoland area.  Stay tuned for more information on the benefits of this new technique!