Prevalence and clinical characteristics of idiopathic epilepsy in German shepherd dogs in the UK

Please note: the main caregiver of this German shepherd dog should fill out the questionnaire. Your completion of the questionnaire indicates your consent to participate in this study.
Please click on the "Done" button at the bottom of the page to submit the questionnaire.  If, for any reason, you exit the questionnaire before completing it and clicking the "Done" button at the bottom, any information you have already entered will be lost. 
If you have more than one German shepherd dog, please complete a separate questionnaire for each dog.

We would appreciate it if you could include your contact details, but this is not required if you prefer your answers to remain anonymous. Please provide details about your dog when requested and tick the relevant boxes after each question.

All information provided will be kept confidential by the Animal Health Trust (AHT) investigators and will be very helpful to increase understanding, and possibly treatment and prevention of this condition. Anonymised results will be published in a scientific journal.

1. Date of Questionnaire Completion

Your German shepherd dog's details:

2. Dog's call name or nickname

3. Dog's Kennel Club name

4. Dog's Kennel Club number

5. Dog's gender

6. Is your dog neutered?

7. Date of birth (DD/MM/YYYY or MM/YYYY)

8. Body weight (kg or lbs - please state)

9. If this dog is no longer alive, please specify: date of death (dd/mm/yyyy or at least mm/yyyy)

10. Cause of death (if known) :

11. Has your dog ever experienced two or more seizures/ fits?

If no, please submit this questionnaire now, by clicking the "Done" button at the bottom of the page (after question 82).  If your German shepherd dog develops seizures/ fits/ epilepsy in the 12 months following submission of this questionnaire, please let us know, either by emailing or call 01638 552700, Monday to Thursday 9 am to 4 pm and ask for Julia Freeman.

If yes or not sure, it would be extremely helpful if you could answer as many as possible of the following questions before you submit the questionnaire.

12. If the AHT investigators require further details from you would you be happy to be contacted by the AHT investigators?

13. If yes, please provide your details:

14. If the AHT investigators require further details from your vet, would you be happy for the AHT investigators to contact your vet?

15. If yes, please provide your primary vet and veterinary practice details:

Seizure occurrence and characteristics:

16. Please provide the date (ideally dd/mm/yyyy or at least mm/yyyy) of your dog’s first seizure

17. If you cannot remember the precise date when your dog had his/her first seizure, would you be able to tell us whether your dog was:

18. If known, can you please write the dates in which the seizures have occurred until today (ideally dd/mm/yyyy or at least mm/yyyy and number of seizures occurring on each date, as recorded in your seizure diary)?

19. If the information requested in question 18 is not available, can you please say how often does your dog have seizure days (a seizure day is defined as 24 hour period during which one or more seizures occur)?

20. Has your dog ever had more than one seizure in 24 hours? 

21. If yes, what is the highest number of seizures in 24 hours?

22. How commonly does your dog have more than one seizure in 24 hours?

23. Does your dog return to normal in between seizures when multiple occur in a 24 hour time period?

24. Does your dog experience seizures that last longer than 5 minutes?

25. If yes, how often do seizures that last longer than 5 minutes occur?

26. As an average, how many hours a day does your dog spend with you or other family member/s?

27. Is your dog completely normal in between seizures?

28. If no, please specify what is abnormal

29. Has your dog undergone any tests to investigate the cause of the seizures?

30. If yes, please select all that apply:

31. Were any of these investigation results not normal?

32. If yes, please specify which tests were not normal

33. Do the seizures always look the same?

34. Please describe in your own words what your dog does just before, during and soon after the seizure (if seizures are not alike, describe the most common type first and the less common type/s after)

The following questions refer to your dog’s most common type of seizures.

Just before the seizure:

35. What is your dog usually doing just before the seizure starts?

36. Do the seizures occur most commonly in the morning, afternoon, evening, night or any time?

37. Can you tell that your dog is going to have a seizure?  

38. If yes, what signals the upcoming seizure (please select all that apply)?

39. Are the seizures triggered by any factor (please select all that apply)?

During the seizure:

40. Does the seizure start on one or both sides of your dog’s body?

41. When a seizure starts, is one body part affected first?

42. Is the rest of the body affected soon after?      

43. Does your dog make chewing movements?

44. Does your dog make repeated licking movements?

45. Does your dog become recumbent (lay down) during the seizure?

46. Is your dog’s body (muscle tone) stiff/ rigid, floppy or normal during the seizure?

47. Are there any running/ paddling movements during the seizure?

48. Do you think your dog’s level of awareness remains normal during the seizure (e.g. he/ she is aware of who you are and where he/ she is)?

49. Is your dog able to look you in the eyes during the seizure?

50. Do you think your dog can hear you during a seizure?    

51. Is your dog salivating (drooling/frothing at the mouth) more than normal just before/ during/ soon after the seizure? (please select all that apply)

52. Is your dog urinating just before/ during/ soon after the seizure? (please select all that apply)

53. Is your dog defecating just before/ during/ soon after the seizure? (please select all that apply)

54. How long does the seizure generally last?

55. Do you time the seizure with a watch?

Soon after the seizure:

56. In the minutes/ hours following a seizure does your dog show any of the following (please select all that apply)

57. How long does your dog take to return to completely normal after a seizure?

Development of abnormal behaviour at epilepsy/ seizure onset:

58. Around the time of the first seizure did your dog develop any of the following behaviours which persist most of the time (e.g. also on seizure free days)? (please tick all that apply)


59. Please indicate which of the following antiepileptic medications your dog is currently receiving by ticking the relevant box/es)

60. If known, please indicate the date/s (ideally dd/mm/yyyy or at least mm/yyyy) in which treatment with the antiepileptic medication/s was/ were initiated and the medication dosage as stated on the box/ bottle provided by your vet (for example 1-1-16 to 1-6-2016: Epiphen, 60mg tablet, 2 tablets, twice daily; 2-6-2016 to 1-1-2017 Epiphen, 60mg tablet, 2.5 tablets, twice daily)

61. If known, please provide results of blood tests to assess serum levels of Phenobarbitone and/ or Potassium bromide and date of testing (for example: 1-8-16 Phenobarbitone level 25mg/l)

62. Overall, has the seizure frequency changed after the antiepileptic medication/s was/ were administered at the most effective dose?

63. Please indicate the date of your dog’s most recent seizure (ideally dd/mm/yyyy or at least mm/yyyy)?

Antiepileptic drug adverse effects:

64. Has your dog experienced any adverse effects due to the antiepileptic medication/s?

65. If yes, which one the following adverse effects has your dog experienced after initiation of the antiepileptic medication/s (you can tick several)?

66. Have these adverse effects resolved or have they persisted after the first 3 months after initiation of antiepileptic treatment or a dosage increase?

67. If some adverse effects persist, can you please indicate which ones persist (you can tick several)?

68. Overall how bothersome are the side effects of the antiepileptic medication/s to your dog?

Quality of life assessment:

69. Compared to before the seizures started, how has your dog’s quality of life changed?

70. Overall, how would you rate your dog's quality of life before the seizures started? (1=worst possible; 10=best possible)

71. Overall, how would you rate your dog's quality of life since the first seizure? (1=worst possible; 10=best possible)

72. How would you rate your dog's quality of life in the past 3 months? (1=worst possible; 10=best possible)

73. How many people look after your epileptic dog on a regular basis?

74. Compared to before the seizures started, how has your own quality of life changed due to your dog’s epilepsy?

75. In the last 3 months, how often did you feel that caring for a dog with seizures/ epilepsy caused conflict with your work, education or day-to-day activities?

76. In the last 3 months, how often did you feel that your dog's seizures/ epilepsy limited your social life?

77. In the last 3 months, how often did you feel that your dog's seizures/ epilepsy limited your independence?

78. Overall, how bothersome have the limitations on your life been due to caring for a dog with seizures/ epilepsy?

79. How bothersome/ upsetting are your dog’s seizures to you?

80. Has your dog been diagnosed with any other medical condition/s?

81. If yes, is your dog being administered any treatment for the other medical condition/s?

If available, please provide us with:

-   Video footage of the fit/seizure (please contact Julia Freeman to arrange download)

-   A copy of the seizure and medication diaries

-   Results of previous investigations 
    (veterinary reports, blood tests, urine test, MRI, CT, CSF analysis, others).

If possible, please email this information to Julia Freeman at the email address above.  If it is not available in electronic format, please email or call Julia on 01638 552700 (Monday to Thursday 9 am to 4 pm) to obtain a pre-paid envelope.  Alternatively it can be posted directly to Julia Freeman, Centre For Small Animal Studies, Animal Health Trust, Lanwades Park, Kentford, Newmarket, Suffolk, CB8 7UU.


Thank you very much for your time.

82. Comments and additional information (if you have any additional information which you think might be useful, please add it in the space provided here)