Plain English Summary
It is often repeated that pedigree or purebred dogs have an unacceptably high occurrence of disorders due to inbreeding and selection for exaggerated features. However, there are few single studies that report the occurrence of all disorders across multiple breeds; instead most focus on specific breeds or specific conditions. Information on the frequency of various conditions is important in prioritizing health concerns in dogs. Therefore, a survey of dog owners was undertaken to gather health information on Kennel Club registered pedigree dogs, regardless of whether or not these disorders were diagnosed at a veterinary practice.
The purpose of this study was to identify the most common conditions affecting the current Kennel Club registered pedigree dog population.
From a total of 43,005 live Kennel Club registered dogs, just under two thirds of live dogs had no reported disorders. The most commonly reported diseases/conditions for all live dogs across all breeds were lipoma (fatty masses) (4.3%), skin cysts (3.1%) and allergic skin disorder (2.7%). Differences between the within breed prevalence and overall prevalence across breeds of some disorders were found. The results from this study will substantially contribute to the current understanding of disorder occurrence in UK dogs. It is anticipated that these results will assist the forthcoming Kennel Club Breed Health & Conservation Plans that will identify and prioritise the most pressing welfare concerns and provide advice to breeders/owners on steps that may be taken to minimise the risk of common conditions in particular breeds. Future breed-specific studies are recommended to gather more precise health information across more individual breeds.