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Big data provides the best chance of building the evidence base to challenge extreme breeding practices and related poor health.
That is the view of vets and the Kennel Club following the publication of a new study conducted by the VetCompass Programme at the Royal Veterinary College (RVC), which revealed insights into the demographics and disorders of German Shepherd dogs (GSD).
VetCompass utilises data from participating practices, sharing and analysing veterinary clinical information in a bid to improve the welfare of companion animals. Similarly, SAVSNET, a joint venture between the British Small Animal Veterinary Association and the University of Liverpool, conducts research with collaborating veterinary surgeons across the UK.
Providing data from hundreds of UK vet practices, the new VetCompass study, which is the largest to explore GSDs using first opinion veterinary clinical records, revealed that the most common causes of death were joint disorders and an inability to stand.
Ear infections, osteoarthritis, diarrhoea and obesity were recorded as the most common disorders.
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