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Journal of veterinary internal medicine/ American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine
Volume 35 | Issue 4 (July 2021)

Daytime and nocturnal activity in treated dogs with idiopathic epilepsy compared to matched unaffected controls.

J Vet Intern Med. July 2021;35(4):1826-1833.
Megan Barry1, Starr Cameron2, Sean Kent3, Heidi Barnes Heller4, Kylie Grady5
1 Department of Medical Sciences, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, Wisconsin, USA.; 2 Department of Medical Sciences, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, Wisconsin, USA.; 3 Department of Statistics, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, Wisconsin, USA.; 4 Barnes Veterinary Specialty Service, Madison, Wisconsin, USA.; 5 Department of Medical Sciences, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, Wisconsin, USA.
© 2021 The Authors. Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine published by Wiley Periodicals LLC on behalf of American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine.


BACKGROUND:In dogs, antiepileptic drugs (AED) cause lethargy but quantitative data regarding the effects of AED on activity levels are not available, and little is known about how AEDs affect sleep quality.
OBJECTIVE:To quantitatively compare activity levels and nocturnal activity in dogs previously diagnosed with idiopathic epilepsy (IE) receiving AEDs compared to age- and breed-matched control dogs.
ANIMALS:Sixty-two dogs with IE and 310 control dogs.
METHODS:This is a 3-month prospective parallel observational study. An activity monitoring device for dogs was used to measure daily activity levels and sleep scores in all dogs.
RESULTS:Dogs with IE treated with AEDs had an 18% average lower baseline activity level compared to control dogs (P = .005; point estimate = 0.82, 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.75-0.90). The combination of phenobarbital and potassium bromide (KBr) was associated with an average 28% decrease in activity in dogs with IE compared to control dogs (P = .03; point estimate = 0.72; CI, 0.62-0.82). Mean sleep scores were not significantly different in dogs with IE receiving AEDs compared to control dogs (P = .43). However, higher dosages of KBr were associated with lower sleep scores (P = .01).
CONCLUSIONS:Dogs with IE receiving AEDs have lower activity levels, but no difference in sleep scores, compared to controls. The combination of phenobarbital and KBr had the largest decrease in activity between groups. Higher doses of KBr may affect nocturnal activity in epileptic dogs.

antiepileptic drugs; canine activity monitoring device;

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233 AAG5571 872100 4 University of Wisconsin - Madison, School of Veterinary Medicine, Companion Animal Fund

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