CVS has launched a new clinical improvement project in 25 of its first opinion small animal practices to improve the diagnosis of brachycephalic obstructive airway syndrome (BOAS) in dogs.

For the project, the company has developed a Brachycephalic Obstructive Airway Syndrome (BOAS) clinical assessment tool which can be used by a vet or nurse in practice to make a diagnosis.

The assessment is a holistic one which includes taking a history of the animal, a full physical examination, an exercise test and an examination of the dog’s nostrils.

The results of the assessment are then discussed with the owner to agree on a course of treatment.

During each consultation, vets and nurses also look to talk sensitively with clients about breeding, buying and owning brachycephalic dog breeds, offering welfare advice on how to manage their dog’s lifestyle, including issues such as keeping their weight low and looking after them in hot weather.

CVS says it hopes this will increase a general level of welfare awareness amongst brachycephalic dog owners.

CVS has also created a collection of resources for its teams, including new clinical frameworks and veterinary guidelines, webinars and a CPD day on the subject. 

The company has also created materials to help vets and nurses have what can be challenging discussions with clients, including consultation room posters and practice reception TV videos which showing the physiology of the brachycephalic breed.

CVS says that since launch in July last year, the 25 participating practices have conducted nearly 900 brachycephalic assessments, and it aims to have at least 5% of Pugs, French Bulldogs and Bulldogs undergoing assessment across its small animal division by 2028.

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