As dedicated owners, each time your pet visits a VetCompass participating veterinary practice, you are contributing to the long-term health of companion animals. Your pet’s anonymised clinical information is invaluable to veterinary research to improve the health and welfare of our animals. This page includes all the information you need to know as a client registered with a VetCompass participating practice.

What is VetCompass research being used for?

This nationwide veterinary surveillance study aims to identify the important conditions affecting our pets today and explore how their detection and management can be improved. The results of studies exploring the common disorders affecting dogs, common disorders affecting catscanine life expectancy and feline life expectancy have been summarised in infograms, which display the main results clearly. Information about other studies can be found on our research projects and publications pages.

How do I know if my veterinary practice is part of VetCompass?

If your registered veterinary clinic is taking part in the project they may well have signs up in the waiting area. If not, please confirm your clinic’s involvement with reception. 

What information is being collected?

We are interested in the general characteristics of your pet such as their breed, sex and age. In addition, clinical information such as the conditions affecting their health and treatments received are very important to us. Animal and owner names and financial data are not shared. All information passed on to us is anonymised and confidential. 

Will my details be passed onto any third parties?

At no point will client details be passed onto any third parties. All information is used for research purposes only.

Do the study results remain anonymous?

Personal data will not be identified in the final results of VetCompass studies. The results are based on a large pool of information collected from hundreds of veterinary clinics in the UK and never on an individual patient basis. At no point will client confidentiality or data protection legislation be compromised.

Can I opt out of the project?

If you are registered with a VetCompass participating practice and would rather your animal’s clinical information is not used for research purposes, we offer a simple opt out option. Please inform your veterinary surgeon that you would rather your pet’s information is not used for the project.  

Who is funding VetCompass research?

Initial funding for VetCompass came from the project founders, the Royal Veterinary College and the University of Sydney. As the project developed, collaborations with outside bodies have generated additional funding for specific research projects. Current and past supporters of the VetCompass project include PetPlan Charitable Trust, Dogs Trust, Kennel Club Charitable Trust, the RSPCA, Zoetis, the BBSRC and the RVC.   

Further Information

More information on the VetCompass project can be found in our information leaflet.

If you require additional information, please contact us.

Equine VetCompass is a nationwide initiative to improve health and disease monitoring within the general horse population.   Detailed knowledge of the types and frequency of disease occurring, is essential for the safeguarding of equine health and welfare; however this information is currently in short supply. Equine VetCompass collaborate with a number of veterinary practices to produce this valuable information.      

How does Equine VetCompass work?

All vets routinely document details about the disorders they treat in patient records.  Equine VetCompass collects key information from these records for   research purposes.  Equine VetCompass researchers analyse the records to determine:                      

  • What diseases are present
  • The number of horses affected
  • Which horses are at increased risk of being affected by a particular disease  

Equine VetCompass also explores the geographical distribution of disease and will monitor for changes in disease prevalence over time, in order to identify new and changing threats to horse health.   Equine VetCompass generates reliable disease statistics. These will be made readily available to vets to inform and improve veterinary care, and to researchers so that work is directed towards projects that will benefit large numbers of horses.        

What information is collected?

Equine VetCompass collects patient details including breed, sex, age and microchip number, along with clinical notes, diagnosis and treatment plan.   Before transfer to the secure Equine VetCompass database, your record is stripped of all sensitive information such as your name, full address and financial details ensuring complete anonymity.  Equine VetCompass employs strict protocols for record collection, storage and usage and fully complies with the Data Protection Act.  

Has Equine VetCompass received ethical approval?

Yes, Equine VetCompass is approved by the RVC’s Clinical Research and Ethical Review Board. The project is also supported by The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons, the regulatory body for veterinary surgeons in the UK.     

What do I need to do?

Unless you say otherwise, your veterinary practice will assume that you are happy for your horse’s records to be shared with Equine VetCompass. If you would prefer not to take part, please let your veterinary practice know.   

Further information

If you have any questions about the Equine VetCompass project, please contact Sarah Allen by email: seallen@rvc.ac.uk or phone: 01707 666012

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