Published: 19 Mar 2018 | Last Updated: 30 Sep 2019 15:40:41

The health and welfare of flat-faced (brachycephalic) dogs is currently under scrutiny like never before. Crufts is the largest dog show in the world and therefore is a key event to ensure progress towards improving brachycephalic health. A national team called the Brachycephalic Working Group (BWG) ( been set up to co-ordinate matters relating to improving brachycephalic health. A key element to this work requires developing a strong evidence-based approach in the next generation of UK veterinary surgeons. As chairperson of the BWG, Dr Dan O’Neill presented part of a series of seminars to over 200 veterinary undergraduates during Crufts 2018. Based on extensive VetCompass™ research, thought-provoking data on the population surge in certain (but not all) brachycephalic breeds was explored and predisposed disorders in these breeds were highlighted. The recurring theme from the discussions was that sustained and meaningful improvement to the ‘brachy issue’ will only be achieved if all the relevant stakeholders (including breeders, vets, academics and welfare bodies) work harmoniously together.

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