3 biggest threats to dog welfare revealed

The Veterinary Times has reported that new evidence from the Royal Veterinary College has demonstrated dental disease, osteoarthritis and obesity have the greatest impact on a dog’s welfare....

The study indicated that, of eight major disorders seen by veterinary surgeons in practice, these three conditions had the highest overall welfare impact on affected dogs.
The research – carried out using the RVC VetCompass programme – investigated the severity and duration of the major conditions seen in practice, in addition to recording their frequency, to provide an overall measure of welfare impact.

The key findings were:

  • The most common conditions were dental disorder (9.6%), overweight/obese (5.7%) and anal sac disorder (4.5%).
  • The conditions that lasted the longest were dental disorders (76% of year), osteoarthritis (82%) and overweight/obese (70%).
  • The most severe conditions were osteoarthritis (scoring 13 out of 21; higher scores indicated greater severity), otitis externa (11/21) and dermatitis (10/21).
  • The conditions with the highest overall scores – calculated using the frequency, duration and severity – were dental disease, osteoarthritis and obesity.

The study was conducted by analysing data from 455,557 dogs that presented at veterinary practices participating in VetCompass.

It represents a collaboration between researchers at the RVC, and the universities of Cambridge and Leeds.