The Novel Integration of Electroencephalography, Actigraphy, and Questionnaires: A Multimodal Approach to Understanding Epileptic Canine Behaviour

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University of Guelph

Dogs with idiopathic epilepsy (IE) commonly present with complex behavioural profiles. Limited tools exist to objectively quantify and classify canine behaviour in epilepsy. Tools including questionnaires, actigraphy, and electroencephalography (EEG) are unable to accurately depict a complete picture of epilepsy-related canine behaviour when used individually. The question remained whether caregiver-reported questionnaires, actigraphy, and EEG could be used concurrently for behaviour classification in epileptic dogs. First, at-home 24-hour sessions combining EEG, actigraphy, and questionnaires were successfully recorded in 6/10 field trials. The feasibility trials data were then analyzed for behavioural differences between IE and neurotypical (NT) dogs across three categories; sleep, behavioural comorbidities, and energy. There were no significant differences observed in these categories when assessed by the technology individually and concurrently (p > 0.05). Prospective studies with a sample size of ≥ 20 dogs per group are recommended to further validate this approach before considering it for clinical practice.

Idiopathic epilepsy, Electroencephalography, Actigraphy, Questionnaires, Behavioural comorbidities