Vol. 8 No. 2 (2022)

Assessment of a canine Hypersensitivity - Hyperactivity syndrome rating scale.

Published 2023-01-10


  • ADHD,
  • Diagnosis,
  • Dog,
  • HSHA,
  • Rating scale,
  • Behavior
  • ...More


Rating scales have been used to evaluate Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in humans for many years, and ADHD rating scales modified for use in dogs, canis familiaris, have been validated and replicated. Still a canine ADHD syndrome has not been well-defined.  To date, ADHD rating scales for dog have not been used to address the question of whether dogs with high scores demonstrate behavioural disorders.

In the French model of Zoopsychiatry, Hypersensitivity-Hyperactivity (HSHA) syndrome in dogs has been clinically described, and can be considered a potential animal model of human ADHD, as well as a clinically defined canine version of ADHD. This prospective multicentric case study evaluated the usefulness of a translated version of one published ADHD rating scale in studying dogs with HSHA syndrome.

Seventy-eight owners of 78 dogs exhibiting HSHA, diagnosed by veterinary behaviourists filled out a questionnaire. Seventy-eight questionnaires were also administered to owners of healthy dogs that were matched as closely as possible in terms of breed, age, and sex. Four scores were studied: total score, inattention score (IA), and two hyperactivity scores (HI1 and HI2). The accuracy of the different scales in distinguishing HSHA cases from healthy dogs was analysed by Receiver Operating Characteristic (ROC) curves and by calculating the Area Under the ROC Curve (AUC).

The total score ranged from 15 to 46 with a mean of 29.36 in the HSHA group, and from 3 to 29 with a mean of 15.68 in the control group. The AUC for the total score was 0.955 (95% Confidence Interval 0.925-0.984).

This scale had a very good ability to discriminate between dogs with HSHA and healthy matched controls. Determining an appropriate threshold score should help screen for HSHA syndrome in dogs and encourage behavioural consultation.