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A study was undertaken to evaluate owners' perception of the effect that epilepsy and long-term phenobarbital therapy had on the quality of pet and owner lifestyle. Selected owners who participated in a prospective, longitudinal clinical epilepsy study were sent a questionnaire at the end of the two-year study. Inclusion criteria were dogs with a history of seizures without previous medical attention or therapy by any veterinarian before enrolment, subsequent determination of seizure aetiology using a standardised diagnostic protocol and treatment with phenobarbital for a minimum period of six months. A relatively equal distribution of the respondents' dogs had a determined (secondary, 47 per cent) or undetermined (primary, 53 per cent) seizure aetiology, and the vast majority of owners agreed that they would choose to treat their epileptic pet again rather than opt for other alternatives. Most owners disagreed that their pet was leading a poor quality of life after the start of phenobarbital therapy. A significant negative correlation existed between an owner's perception of the pet's quality of life and the amount of work required to care for the pet during the two-year study period. This study demonstrates that many owners are willing to care for epileptic dogs on long-term phenobarbital treatment, regardless of the underlying cause.