The Functional Breeding Podcast - Disorder Testing

7th June 2024

Last episode I talked with Dr. Dan O'Neill, a veterinary epidemiologist who studies canine disorders that have an inherited component - what the rest of us might call "genetic diseases." During that interview he mentioned that he didn't think disorder testing - what most of us call health testing - has been workinig to improve canine health. I cut that section because I felt we needed to go into a lot more detail on it to understand what he meant by that, since I knew he didn't mean we should entirely stop health testing - I mean disorder testing. So here is the followup interview. I want to emphasize that he isn't saying disorder testing shouldn't be done as an aid to choosing how to breed dogs. He IS saying that the way we approach choosing and interpreting tests could use a revamp. I hope you enjoy this conversation as much as I did!

PodBean online player - 1 hour 32 minutes

Dan O'Neill and Rowena Packer discuss health issues faced by flat-faced dogs

22nd May 2024

Dan and Rowena talk about the health issues brachycephalic dogs can face and the effects it has on their lifespan. Also discussed is their co-edited book, The Health and Welfare of Brachycephalic (Flat-Faced) Companion Animals: A Complete Guide for Veterinarians and Animal Professionals. The book covers a wide range of information and the intended audience is not just vets but anyone who cares about these dogs.

YouTube - 53 minutes

The Functional Breeding Podcast - VetCompass and Inherited Disease

6th May 2024

Dan O'Neill, MVB, PhD, FRCVS is a veterinary epidemiologist who studies canine disorders that have an inherited component - what the rest of us might call "genetic diseases." 

PodBean online player - 1 hour 23 minutes

A Dog's Life with Anna Webb and Dr Dan O'Neill

21st April 2024

We’re joined by Dr Dan O’Neill, Associate Professor for Companion Animal Epidemiology at the RVC and co-founding ICECDogs member. We’re chatting about the ICECDogs - the International Collaborative on Extreme Conformations in Dogs. Particularly discussing the recently published position paper, the aim of which is to help owners to recognise good innate health in dogs. The paper was heavily informed by research from the Royal Veterinary College (RVC). The first of its kind, it provides a guide for animal caregivers, and the wider public, to identify healthy natural physical characteristics in dogs and to predict and assess potential health and welfare based on body shape. This will help anyone who cares about dogs to understand how likely a dog is to suffer from negative impacts resulting from an extreme conformation. Dr Dan explains that no dog owner ever wants an unhealthy dog, but the huge popularity of dogs with extreme conformations suggests that many owners have not fully grasped the link between body shape and quality of life for dogs.  The aim to raise awareness at all levels  - owners, prospective owners, breeders,  and underline that dogs should be dogs,  and not click bait on social media.

Spotify online player - 1 hour 7 minutes

Veterinary Voices UK podcast - The Brachycephalic Crisis - How Should the Veterinary Profession Respond?

with Dan O'Neill

10th March 2024

The popularity of brachycephalic dogs has soared over the past decade, and the pet owning public seem to be largely unaware of the suffering these dogs endure due to their extreme conformation. The Veterinary Voices team Robyn Lowe and Danny Chambers chat to Dan O'Neill from the RVC and Vet Compass about his new paper in the Veterinary Record 'All I do is fight fires' which explores why the veterinary profession is struggling to deal with the 'brachycephalic crisis'. Why do people want to breed and own dogs born into a lifetime of suffering?  What is the effect on vets and vet nurses who have to regularly deal with the severe health problems associated with this breed?

Spotify online player - 35 minutes

Dan O'Neill discusses welfare of flat-faced dogs

21st June 2023

Dan O'Neill (co-leader of VetCompass) has participated in a virtual roundtable run by the Veterinary Information Network (VIN) alongside five other veterinarians from three countries to discuss the welfare issues related to extreme brachycephalism and to promote an open exchange of ideas on possible mitigations for the welfare costs from this extreme conformation. The virtual roundtable took place between May 8th and May 18th and a summary of the discussions is now available at

VetCompass evidence contributes to WSAVA video on Brachycephalic Obstructive Airway Syndrome

13th February 2023

We are delighted to share that VetCompass evidence has contributed to educational video by WSAVA on Brachycephalic Obstructive Airway Syndrome (BOAS) in dogs. The video encourages us to work together to improve the health and welfare of dogs with brachycephaly. 

YouTube - 17 minutes

RCVS Knowledge - Evidence Based Veterinary Medicine Podcast. Research Focus: How long will this dog live? Going beyond life expectancy with Dan O'Neill

14th July 2022

In this episode, Dan O'Neill talked to Sally about new research on dog life expectancy and mortality, using VetCompass data, broken down by age, sex and breed. The research gives a novel insight into the varied life trajectory across dogs, while identifying potential impacts and applications on canine health and welfare, as well as owner and veterinary professionals' understanding. 

Spotify online player - 31 minutes

Health and life expectancy of hamsters in the UK

1st July 2022

Dr Dan O'Neill discusses the findings of our recent paper on the health and life expectancy of hamsters in the UK with Sean Moncrieff on Newstalk on Irish radio.

Online player - 7 minutes

Listen here

VetCompass is committed to open access publishing

22nd June 2022

Dr Dan O’Neill participated in a video for Springer Nature to celebrate their one millionth open access article being published. He discussed why open access publishing is important for disseminating our research to the wider world. 

Youtube - 3 minutes

Some issues related to flat-faced dogs

9th April, 2022

Dr Dan O’Neill discusses the issues of dogs with brachycephaly with Columbian radio show Mascotas Carocol.

Online player - 7 minutes

Canine Arthritis Management (CAM) - How bad is it? The osteoarthritis epidemic

21st June 2021

VetCompass' Dr Dan O'Neill joins Hannah Capon, founder of CAM, for a Facebook Live event to discuss veterinary clinical records as a data resource on arthritis in dogs.

Facebook Watch - 1 hour 25 minutes

RVC Research Podcast - Dr Dan O'Neill

21st April 2021

Today we are delighted to have Dr Dan O’Neill joining Brian and myself in our remote studio. Dan is Senior Lecturer in Companion Animal Epidemiology here at the RVC and leader of the VetCompass Programme. Dan eloquently describes his story. After twenty-two years in general practice wanting to find evidence for treating or informing clients on the common conditions that he saw, he took a leap to find those answers. After leaving the keys to his practice as he left one Saturday, he started a Master’s in veterinary epidemiology the following Monday. A PhD followed and he has stayed true to his word to find answers to those problems and with just under 100 papers published so far, he shows no signs of slowing down. A delight to speak to and be in his company, we hope that you enjoy the podcast as much as we did recording it.

Online player - 1 hour 4 minutes

Listen here

APDAWG Meeting - Welfare Problems of Flat-faced Dogs, Can We Ever Solve Them?

23rd February 2021

RVC's Dr Dan O’Neill and Dr Rowena Packer join a number of speakers exploring the brachycephalic welfare issues and the challenges we face when trying to improve the ‘wicked problem’ of brachycephalic dog welfare.

YouTube - 3 hours

RCVS Knowledge Podcast - Implementation Science 

6th July 2020

VetCompass PhD Students Adewole Adekola and Imogen Schofield feature on the latest podcast from RCVS knowledge, discussing what veterinary medicine can learn from human medicine.

Online player - 1 hour 11 minutes

BBC Inside Science - Dog Castration

11th June 2020

Dr Dan O'Neill discusses decision making for castrating male dogs on BBC Inside Science

BBC Sounds - 28 minutes

Listen here from 18:20 for Dan's views

Planning your VetCompass Study Jan 2020

2nd January 2020

An overview of how to plan for a successful animal welfare study within VetCompass at the Royal Veterinary College, UK.

YouTube - 11 minutes

VetCompass: Animal welfare evidence status at the end of 2019

12th November 2019

VetCompass started as a PhD project at the Royal Veterinary College in London in 2010 and has now grown to be the largest generator of welfare evidence using veterinary clinical records in the world. A presentation providing an update on VetCompass progress by the end of 2019.

YouTube - 27 minutes

Irish RTE Radio Drivetime - Brachycephalism

Novemebr 2019

Dr Dan O'Neill discusses dogs with brachycephalism on Irish RTE Radio Drivetime

Online player - 6 minutes

Irish Newstalk Radio - Rabbit Research

22nd October 2019
Dr Dan O'Neill discusses VetCompass rabbit research on the ‘Sean Moncrieff’ show on Irish Newstalk Radio

Online player - 12 minutes
Listen here.

18th October 2019
Dr Dan O'Neill discusses VetCompass rabbit research with Martin Kelner on TalkRadio

Online player - 13 minutes

These discussions follow the publication of VetCompass's research paper on Morbidity and mortality of domestic rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus) under primary veterinary care in England.

Biomed Central Podcast - Flat faced dogs are at greater risk of developing corneal ulcers with Dr Dan O'Neill


In this BMC podcast, Dr. Dan O’Neill, from the Royal Veterinary College in London, discusses his latest research looking at the incidence of corneal ulceration in dogs, a painful disease found in many flat faced breeds.

Online player - 10 minutes

Listen here

VetCompass LogoVeterinary Epidemiology in Practice - The VetCompass Programme

30th March 2016

In this e-lecture, recorded as part of the VET Talks series hosted by the RVC, Dr Dan O'Neill gives an overview of practice-based veterinary epidemiological research and describes the important role of VetCompass in pushing the boundaries of this exciting new field. 

YouTube - 13 minutes

Veterinary Clinical Records for Research: An interview with Dr Fergus Coutts

26th December 2015

Discussing how we can use the information contained in veterinary clinical records to better understand pain-related welfare in companion animals.

YouTube - 33 minutes

VetCompass - Supporting Evidence-based Veterinary Medicine

14th March 2016

A short video about VetCompass with examples of evidence generated, with musical accompaniment (no speaker).

YouTube - 3 minutes

Dog Longevity and Mortality in England

16th November 2015

Information on the expected lifespan and causes of death in dogs in England based on a VetCompass Programme study.

YouTube - 14 minutes

Exploring Canine Epilepsy - the VetCompass Approach

6th January 2016

Find out how common epilepsy is in dogs and which breeds are affected.

YouTube - 16 minutes

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