All of the dogs that required vet checks at Crufts today (Sunday March 10th) passed and went on to compete in their respective Best in Group competitions.
The Dogue De Bordeaux, German Shepherd Dog, Neapolitan Mastiff, Mastiff and St Bernard, are on the Kennel Club’s high profile breed list and as such are subject to vet checks following a best of breed win at Crufts and General and Group Championship Shows.
There are fourteen high profile breeds that require vet checks throughout Crufts. All fourteen passed at Crufts 2013.
The vet checks were introduced at Crufts 2012 to help improve the health of the breeds deemed most at risk. The vet checks have been in place at all General and Group Championship Shows since Crufts 2012, to ensure that dogs suffering from exaggerated features or other visible conditions which may be detrimental to the dog are not rewarded in the show ring. In the year following Crufts 2012, 330 dogs out of 345 examined have passed their veterinary checks.
Veterinary surgeons are asked to look for conditions related to externally visible eye disease, lameness, skin disorders and breathing difficulty. These are the four main areas where clinical signs are commonly associated with the structure (conformation) of the high profile breeds. The veterinary surgeons are asked to look out for signs of inflammation related to poor eyelid conformation or signs of chronic damage to the corneal surface of the eye. In addition they look for dermatitis associated with skin folds and long or heavily coated ears, signs of respiratory difficulty or any lameness or hind limb weakness.
Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club Secretary, said: “We want to ensure that only healthy dogs are rewarded in the show ring and also use the show ring to help move those breeds forward that are the most inclined to suffer from health conditions that affect their health and welfare.
“We have been running the vet checks throughout the past year and we have been delighted with the results. We know that the show ring can be, and should be used as a force for good. We have been working hard with breed clubs and breeders of the fourteen high profile breeds to help move the health of each breed forward and I think the results speak for themselves.”
Kennel Club Chairman, Steve Dean said: “The active involvement of the high profile breed health co-ordinators and the exhibitors has been vital to the success so far. It is clear to see that we can be very proud of our pedigree dogs and of the breeders who put so much into ensuring the long term health and welfare of their chosen breeds. Through the vet checks we are challenging some views of the general health and wellbeing of ‘show dogs’ as opposed to the ‘pets’ that vets usually meet.
“The Kennel Club’s Dog Health Group is closely monitoring the scheme to see how best to take it forward and there will be changes as time goes on.”
10th March 2013