Nine of fifteen breeds pass veterinary checks at Crufts

Nine of the fifteen high profile breeds that required veterinary checks at this year’s Crufts were passed by independent vets and went on to compete in their respective Best in Group competitions.

The six breeds that did not pass their vet checks at Crufts and which therefore were not given their Best of Breed awards were the Bulldog, Pekingese, Clumber Spaniel, Mastiff, Neapolitan Mastiff and the Basset Hound.

Although the Kennel Club believes that the reason each individual dog failed the check is a private matter, understandably the observations behind the vets’ decisions are of interest in order to help the breeds move forward. The majority of the dogs did not pass the veterinary check due to eye related symptoms.

Vets 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 were 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 were looking 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 were delighted to see that nine of the fifteen breeds passed the checks that were carried out by an independent veterinary surgeon. Although the individual reasons why six of the breeds failed will remain a private matter, between the owner, the Kennel Club and the vet, the overriding issue was related to eye conditions. This gives us a clear idea about the areas that still need to be improved but we are also able to see where there has been a great deal of improvement.”

Kennel Club Chairman, Prof Steve Dean, said ‘ It is very encouraging to see nine of the high profile breeds pass their health checks. I am aware some exhibitors were disappointed about those breeds that did not pass but this should not detract from the very real progress several of these breeds have made in improving breed health. The trend noted with eye problems is perhaps a signal that across all breeds we need to pay particular attention, when breeding, to the health of the canine eye to ensure dogs have the best chance of living life with good vision, free of discomfort.”

The Kennel Club will be reviewing the veterinary reports over the next few weeks to see what further conclusions can be drawn from the information.

13th March 2012

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