Welcome to the VetCompass Learn Zone!

In this area you will find a wide range of resources for exploring the information already generated by the VetCompass Programme. We are keen to share our findings as widely as possible, using visual, interactive and multi-media approaches to report VetCompass research output, alongside our growing body of peer-reviewed journal articles.

   infogram snapshot     

VetCompass Library

cat longevity infogram Free access to full-text copies of our peer-reviewed and VetCompass-related publications. cropped RCVS poster

VetCompass Posters & Infograms

Brief, pictorial summaries of important VetCompass studies and findings, many of which have been presented at major international conferences. 

VetCompass Interactive data exploration tools

Explore regional differences in demographics of UK pet dogs and cats in a few clicks of the mouse and discover the most common types of health problem affecting their well-being, based on data from VetCompass-participating clinics nationwide.

VetCompass Blog             Coming soon.....

  .siamese cat Cat jumping   crossbred dog

Peer-reviewed VetCompass publications       

   Click on the title links for free access to full-text articles  

Disorders recorded in Cavalier King Charles Spaniels attending primary-care veterinary practices in England

Summers JF, O’Neill DG, Church DB, Thomson PC, McGreevy PD and Brodbelt DC. 

(April 2015) Canine Genetics and Epidemiology. 

This work demonstrates the value of veterinary practice based, breed-specific studies in highlighting common problems and potential disease predispositions in popular dog breeds. This knowledge is invaluable to vets, dog owners, breeders and can be used to prioritise particular purebred dog health issues for investigation and targeted action.

Prevalence of and risk factors for degenerative Mitral Valve disease in dogs attending primary-care veterinary practices in England

Mattin MJ, Boswood A, Church DB, López-Alvarez J, McGreevy PD, O'Neill DG, Thomson PC, Brodbelt DC.

(March 2015) Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine

Electronic patient record data from 111,967 dogs attending 93 practices were used to estimate prevalence of degenerative mitral valve disease (DMVD) in dogs attending primary-care veterinary practices in England. Potential risk factors for DMVD were explored. Findings from this study can help clinicians to identify high-risk individuals for DMVD, improve clinical diagnosis and direct future research.


Prevalence and risk factors for mast cell tumours in dogs in England

Shoop SJ, Marlow S, Church DB, English K, McGreevy PD, Stell AJ, Thomson PC, O'Neill DG and Brodbelt DC boxer dog
(2014) Canine Genetics and Epidemiology.
This study reports overall and breed-specific prevalences of mast cell tumours (MCT) in a primary-care population of 168,636 dogs and evaluates potential risk factors for MCT diagnosis. The authors report a clinically significant prevalence of MCT, highlight specific breed types with particularly high prevalences and explore additional factors associated with MCT diagnosis. 

Prescribing practices of primary-care veterinary practitioners in dogs diagnosed with bacterial pyoderma

Summers JF, Hendricks A, Brodbelt DC
(2014) BMC Veterinary Research.
This study describes patient signalment, disease characteristics and treatment prescribed in a large number of UK, primary-care canine pyoderma cases. The estimated prevalence of canine pyoderma in the UK vet-visiting population is also reported.

Prevalence of disorders recorded in cats attending primary-care veterinary practices in England

O'Neill DG, Church DB, McGreevy PD, Thomson PC, Brodbelt DC
(2014) Veterinary Journal.
This study describes the disorders most commonly diagnosed in a sample of 3584 cats attending 91 veterinary clinics in England. Differences between the disorders recorded in crossbred and purebred cats were explored.

Feline hyperthyroidism reported in primary-care veterinary practices in England: prevalence, associated factors and spatial distribution

Stephens MJ, O'Neill DG, Church DB, McGreevy PD, Thomson PC, Brodbelt DCGinger kitten
(2014) The Veterinary Record.
This study highlights feline hyperthyroidism as a high prevalence disease in cats attending primary-care veterinary practices in England. Certain breeds and purebred cats overall had lower odds of hyperthyroidism than non-purebred cats.

Longevity and Mortality in cats attending primary care veterinary practices in England 

O'Neill DG, Church DB, McGreevy PD, Thomson PC, Brodbelt DC
(2014) Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery.
This paper explores longevity and common causes of death in 118,016 cats attending 90 veterinary practices in England. Typical life-expectancies of popular breeds of cat are also reported.

Approaches to Canine Health Surveillance

O'Neill DG, Church DB, McGreevy PD, Thomson PC, Brodbelt DC
(2014) Canine Genetics and Epidemiology,1:2.
This paper reviews the history and development of canine health surveillance systems and what their strengths and weakneses are. It also describes some of the new ways this is now being taken forward to collect high quality health data to support clinical and genetic studies.

Prevalence of Disorders Recorded in Dogs Attending Primary-Care Veterinary Practices in England

O'Neill DG, Church DB, McGreevy PD, Thomson PC, Brodbelt DC
(2014) PLoS One, 9(3).
This study describes the most frequently recorded disorders in dogs seen by vets in England and provides a prevalence baseline against which to measure progress in canine health.   

An Epidemiological study of diabetes mellitus in dogs attending first opinion practice in the UK

Mattin MJ, O'Neill DG, Church DB, McGreevy PD, Thomson PC, Brodbelt DC
(2014) The Veterinary Record, 174(14), 349.
This study estimates the prevalence of diabetes mellitus in a population of dogs attending primary care veterinary practices. Risk factors associated with being diagnosed with the disorder and factors associated with survival are also identified.

Longevity and mortality of owned dogs in England (awaiting full text link.....)scottish terrier dog

O'Neill DG, Church DB, McGreevy PD, Thomson PC, Brodbelt DC
(2013) The Veterinary Journal, 198, 638-643.
This study analysed data from 102,609 dogs attending first opinion veterinary practices to estimate median longevity and highlight major breed differences in longevity. It also describes the most frequently attributed causes of death in different age groups of dogs.

Chronic Kidney Disease in Dogs in UK Veterinary Practices: Prevalence, Risk Factors, and Survival

O'Neill DG, Elliott J, Church DB, McGreevy PD, Thomson PC, Brodbelt DC
(2013) Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine; 27(4):814-21
This study estimates the prevalence and identifies the risk factors associated with CKD diagnosis and survival in dogs. Increased awareness of these factors should facilitate diagnosis and optimize case management.

Prevalence and risk factors for canine epilepsy of unknown origin in the UK

L. Kearsley-Fleet, D.G. O'Neill, H.A. Volk, D.B. Church, D.C. Brodbelt
(2013) The Veterinary Record; 30;172(13)
Dr Volk (Head of Neurology and Neurosurgery, Royal Veterinary College) describes this as ' an exciting paper that estimates for the first time the prevalence of epilepsy in a large first-opinion clinic population of dogs'.

Primary care veterinary usage of systemic glucocorticoids in cats and dogs in three UK practices

D. O’Neill, A. Hendricks, J. Summers, D. Brodbelt 
(2012) J Small Anim Pract; 53(4): 217-22
This study aimed to describe systemic glucocorticoid usage in cats and dogs by primary care veterinary practices and to ascertain risk factors for clinical use as well as evaluating the consistency of prescribing patterns across clinics. It further aimed to validate a merged database of primary veterinary clinical data as a functional tool for clinical epidemiological research.

Articles about VetCompass

crossbred dog

Building practice-based research in the UK (awaiting full text link....)

D. O'Neill

(2015) The Veterinary Record; 176, 461-46

This editorial describes the growth of three major practice-based research (PBR) projects in the UK in response to recent calls for relevant research based on primary-care veterinary clinical data. To optimise potential benefits from this relatively new form of research it is vital to thoroughly understand the nature of primary-care veterinary practice itself and the complexity of the clinical data recorded. However, as studies based on primary-care clinical data continue to be published, this novel approach will revolutionise how we perceive the health of companion animals. With three major PBR projects in progress, the UK is well positioned to lead internationally in this area.

Progress in purebred dog health since the Bateson report of 2010

D. O'Neill
(2014) The Veterinary Record; 175(11). 277-279. 
In 2010, the Bateson report proposed recommendations to address issues relating to purebred dog health. In this editorial, Dan O'Neill discusses the actions that have been taken in light of these recommendations, including a VetCompass PhD to explore the epidemiology of disorders reported in companion animals in England.

VetCompass study featured in the SundayTelegraph

Report by Jasper Copping
(2014) Sunday Telegraph 13th April 

VetCompass study featured in the Mail on Sunday

Report by Kieren Corcoran
(2014) Mail on Sunday 13th April
These articles discuss the results of a VetCompass study exploring the prevalence of common disorders in dogs. The study compares the frequency with which common disorders occur in crossbred and purebred dogs. 

Building an evidence-based knowledge base

Report by Maddy Mattin
(2014) Practice Life
This article provides an update on the progress of the VetCompass database and the studies generated from these data. The article also explains how primary-care veterinary practices can take part in our welfare-focussed research.

Pointing the way to improved welfare for companion animals (awaiting full text link....)

Report by Dan O'Neill
(2013) Veterinary Record; 173(10): 240-242
In this article Dan O'Neill describes the VetCompass project and explains how the data are used to improve companion animal health and welfare.

Pedigree Chums - KC and VetCompass link up data

Report by James Westgate
(2013) The Veterinary Times - Vol 43 - No. 18 - May 2013 
A project linking the VetCompass and Kennel Club databases is currently being trialled. This article describes the potential benefits of sharing these data, including the possibility of eradicating specific diseases within breeds.

VetCompass Clinical Data Points the Way Forward

Report by Dan O'Neill
(2012) Veterinary Ireland Journal - Vol 2 - No. 7 - p353-356
In this article Dan O'Neill discusses the progress and potential of the VetCompass project in the context of Irish veterinary practice, with particular regard to the benefits to animal welfare and facilitation of the expanding practice of clinical audit.

SPVS and RVC point a way forward for VetCompass

Report by Andrea Oakes 
(2012) The Veterinary Times - 16th July - p2
The news section of The Veterinary Times highlights the advantages of the RVC's ongoing VetCompass health surveillance project. While there are clear management advantages for practices utilising VetCompass, the main benefit of the project is to the patients enrolled in the study, with advancements in national animal welfare gains.

VBJ Aligning clinical and management research interests

Society of Practising Veterinary Surgeons
(2012) The Veterinary Business Journal - Vol 111 - June 2012 - p14
SPVS (Society of Practising Veterinary Surgeons) is proud to announce its support for the RVC's VetCompass project. This article discuss how supporting the RVC in its attempts to standardise diagnostic data is an important strand of SPVS policy, and that it could revolutionise practice.

What Disorders do UK Pedigree Dogs and Cats Really Acquire?bulldog

Dan O’Neill, Dave Brodbelt, David Church, Paul Mcgreevy, Peter Thomson
(2011) Veterinary Times - Vol. 41 - No. 23 - June 13  
This article discusses the health problems of pedigree animals and how surveillance systems like VetCompass are imperative to tackling the issue of pedigree related health disorders and how veterinary practices can become involved in the VEctAR project.

Companion Animal Practice Based Disease Surveillance in the UK

Dave Brodbelt, Stephanie Middleton, Dan O'Neill, Jen Summers, David Church 
(2011) Epidemiologie et Sante Animale - No. 59/60 pp. 38-40
This report highlights the potential to use data from veterinary practices to facilitate companion animal disease surveillance. The results of the VetCompass pilot study (previously known as VEctAR) document the common reasons companion animals present to veterinary practices.

Other VetCompass-related articles

Born for a life of pain

Neil Tweedie

(14 January 2015) Daily Mail Online

This article highlights the concerns and controversy surrounding health and welfare issues in the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. VetCompass Team member Dan O’Neill comments on the importance of the project for investigation and monitoring of inherited disorder prevalence within individual canine breeds. 


Inventory of veterinary syndromic surveillance initiatives in Europe (Triple-S project): Current situation and perspectives

C. Dupuy, A. Bronner, E. Watson, L. Wuyckhuise-Sjouke, M. Reist, A. Fouillet, D. Calavas, P. Hendrikx, JB Perrin,
(2013) Preventative Veterinary Medicine; 111 (3-4): 220-229
The Triple-S Project has conducted an inventory of veterinary syndromic surveillance systems and initiatives in Europe, which includes VetCompass. This article discusses the main features of these systems.

The Gordon Setter Association Newsletter 2013

The Gordon Setter Association's annual newsletter contains a wealth of information and news about the world of Gordon Setters. Within the newsletter, Dan O'Neill discusses breed health surveillance and the important role VetCompass can play in improving the health and welfare of pedigree dogs (see pages 18-19).

Antimicrobial usage in dogs and cats in first opinion veterinary practices in the UK

A. Mateus, D.C. Brodbelt, N. Barber, K.D. Stärk
(2011) J Small Anim Pract; 52(10): 515-21
The aim of this study was to produce baseline data on patterns of antimicrobial usage in dogs and cats via analysis of electronic practice management system based data.black cocker spaniel

Risk factors for tail injuries in dogs in Great Britain

G. Diesel, D. Pfeiffer, S. Crispin, D. Brodbelt
(2010) Vet Rec, 166(26), 812-7
The objectives of this study were to quantify the risk for canine tail injury in the UK; identify the major risk factors for tail injury; and evaluate the role of tail docking in reducing the risk. 

Pictorial summaries of VetCompass study findings 

Click on the icons or title links to see the full-size posters!


What disorders most commonly affect our dogs?

This poster summarises the results of a study looking at the most common

conditions diagnosed in dogs attending veterinary practices in England.

Developed in collaboration with the Medivet veterinary group and the RSPCA

How long do our dogs live?

A study exploring whether crossbred dogs live longer than purebred dogs is

summarised in this poster. The most common causes of death in dogs and the

average life expectancies of the most common breeds are also presented.

Developed in collaboration with the Medivet veterinary group and the RSPCA

cat longevity infogram

How long do our cats live?

This poster summarises the results of a study looking at the life expectancy

of cats in England. The study aimed to compare the lifespan of crossbred and

purebred cats and identify how long cats live and what they die of.

Developed in collaboration with the Medivet veterinary group and the RSPCA

VetCompass posters from academic conferences and other meetings

Click on the icons or title links to see the full-size posters!

Disorders recorded in Cavalier King Charles Spaniels attending primary-care veterinary practices in England

Presented at the Annual Conference of SVEPM 2015

Ghent, Belgium

(Society of Veterinary Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine)

dmvd poster rcvs knowledgeExposing pedigree dogs posterpyoderma poster (first opinion practice)Pyoderma systematic review poster             

Antimicrobial prescribing for canine pyoderma in UK primary-care practices

Exposing pedigree dogs using disorder prevalence evidence

The epidemiology of degenerative mitral valve disease in dogs attending UK practices

The effectiveness of systemic antimicrobial treatment in canine pyoderma: a systematic review 

Presented at the 1st RCVS Knowledge Evidence-Based Veterinary Medicine (EBVM) Network Conference 2014 

Windsor, UK

Poster of longevity in catsDMVD Poster Poster of disorder prevalence in dogs

Degenerative mitral valve disease in dogs atteding UK practices

Longevity and mortality of cats in England

Disorder prevalence in dogs in England

Presented at the Annual Conference of SVEPM 2014

Dublin, Ireland

(Society of Veterinary Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine)


poster of longevity in dog breedsepilepsy poster

Longevity of UK dog breeds

Prevalence and Risk Factors for Epilepsy of Unidentified Origin among Dogs in the UK

Presented at the Annual Conference of SVEPM 2012

Glasgow, Scotland

(Society of Veterinary Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine)

glucocorticoid poster

An analysis of systemic glucocorticoid use in cats and dogs

Presented at the Annual Conference of SVEPM 2011

Leipzig, Germany

(Society of Veterinary Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine)

Pyoderma poster

The Efficacy of Antimicrobials for the Treatment of Canine Pyoderma in the UK: First opinion practice pilot study findings

Presented at the Annual Conference of SVEPM 2010

Nantes, France

(Society of Veterinary Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine)

antimicrobials poster

Factors associated with the use of antimicrobials in dogs and cats in first opinion veterinary practices

Presented at ASM Annual Meeting 2010

San Diego, California

(American Society for Microbiology)

Click on the icons to start exploring VetCompass data on UK  dogs and cats!



Coming soon....

Top of page