Research Priorities for Idiopathic Epilepsy in Dogs: Viewpoints of Owners, General Practice Veterinarians, and Neurology Specialists

For which topic were research priorities identified?

idiopathic epilepsy in dogs

In which location was the research priority setting conducted?

Europe - United Kingdom

Why was it conducted at all?

Epilepsy is the most common chronic neurological disease in dogs that adversely affects the quality of life (QoL) of affected dogs and their owners. Research on epilepsy in dogs is expanding internationally, but where best to focus limited research time, funds, and expertise to achieve better outcomes for affected dogs and their owners has not been studied.

What was the objective?

to explore idiopathic epilepsy (IE) research priorities of owners of dogs with IE, general practice veterinarians, and veterinary neurologists

What was the outcome?

a ranking list of 18 research areas

How long did the research prioritization take?

2016 - 2020

Which methods were used to identify research priorities?


How were the priorities for research identified exactly?

Step 1: literature review: peer-reviewed IE studies to identify research areas. Step 2: survey 1: in 2016, participants were asked to rate importance of 18 areas and to rank those 18 areas by importance. Step 3: survey 2: in 2020, participants were given the same survey and asked to rate and rank the 18 areas, additionally participants asked to rate potential for 10 nondrug therapies to positively impact upon the management of IE in dogs. Step 4: comparison of ratings and rankings between the two years

Which stakeholders took part?

Owners of dogs diagnosed with ie, veterinarians, veterinarians with specialist qualifications in veterinary neurology. Survey 1: 414 participants: 302 owners, 84 GP vets, 28 neurologists. Survey 2: 414 participants: 273 owners, 68 GP vets, 73 neurologists.

How were stakeholders recruited?

Respondents were recruited via several routes including social media (Facebook, Twitter), with owners specifically targeted via online support forums, vets via veterinarian-specific websites, for example,, and neurology specialists via LISTSERVS for the 2 specialist colleges.

Were stakeholders actively involved or did they just participate?

Stakeholders were mere participants of the research prioritization process; they were not actively involved in the process.