Incidence and risk factors for heat-related illness (heatstroke) in UK dogs under primary veterinary care in 2016

Hall, E. ORCID: 0000-0002-9978-8736 and Carter, A. ORCID: 0000-0002-6216-2377, 2020. Incidence and risk factors for heat-related illness (heatstroke) in UK dogs under primary veterinary care in 2016. Scientific Reports, 10: 9128. ISSN 2045-2322

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As climate change causes global temperatures to rise, heat-related illness, a potentially fatal condition in dogs, will become an ever-greater threat. This study aimed to report the incidence, fatality and canine risk factors of heat-related illness in UK dogs under primary veterinary care in 2016. The VetCompassTM programme collects de-identified electronic patient records from UK veterinary practices for research. From the clinical records of 905,543 dogs under veterinary care in 2016, 395 confirmed heat-related illness events were identified. The estimated 2016 incidence of heat-related illness was 0.04% (95% CI 0.04-0.05%), with an event fatality rate of 14.18% (95% CI 11.08 – 17.96%). Multivariable analysis identified significant risk factors including breed (e.g. Chow Chow, Bulldog and French Bulldog), higher bodyweight relative to the breed/sex mean and being over two years of age. Dogs with a brachycephalic skull shape and dogs weighing over 50 kg were also at greater risk. As we move into an ever-warmer world, veterinary professionals may need to include resistance to heat-related illness amongst their rationales when advising owners on breed selection. Breeding for good respiratory function and maintaining a healthy bodyweight should be considered key welfare priorities for all dogs to limit the risk of heat-related illness.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: Scientific Reports
Creators: Hall, E. and Carter, A.
Publisher: Nature Research
Date: 2020
Volume: 10
ISSN: 2045-2322
Rights: © The Author(s) 2020. Open Access. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this license, visit
Divisions: Schools > School of Animal, Rural and Environmental Sciences
Record created by: Jill Tomkinson
Date Added: 10 Jun 2020 08:37
Last Modified: 31 May 2021 15:19

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