Dan Gerard O'Neill

Dan Gerard O'Neill
Royal Veterinary College | RVC · Veterinary Epidemiology, Economics and Public Health

MVB BSc(hons) GPCert(SAP) GPCert(FelP) GPCert(Derm) GPCert(B&PS) PGCertVetEd FHEA MSc(VetEpi) PhD FRCVS

About

201
Publications
40,073
Reads
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3,534
Citations
Citations since 2017
160 Research Items
3186 Citations
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Introduction
Dan is a companion animal epidemiologst within the VetCompass Programme. His research uses clinical data shared with primary-care veterinary practices to investigate a wide range of health and welfare issues in companion animal species, with particular emphasis on the associations between breed and health. This work is supported by Kennel Club Charitable Trust funding.
Additional affiliations
October 2010 - present
Royal Veterinary College
Position
  • Companion Animal Epidemiologist
October 2010 - present
Royal Veterinary College
Position
  • Companion Animal Epidemiologist
October 2010 - present
University of London
Position
  • Companion Animal Epidemiologist

Publications

Publications (201)
Article
Full-text available
Heat-related illness (HRI) is predicted to increase in dogs due to rising global temperatures. This study evaluated retrospective VetCompass veterinary clinical records to explore geographical variability and ambient conditions associated with HRI events in UK dogs, and report the intrinsic (canine) and extrinsic (location, trigger, ambient weather...
Article
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The UK recorded sharp rises in puppy purchasing during the 2020 phase of the COVID-19 pandemic, with many first-time dog owners purchasing puppies to improve their mental health during this challenging period. Government restrictions on movement and social interaction during the pandemic led to animal welfare concerns over puppies’ reduced time-sen...
Article
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Background: Urethral obstruction (UO) has a negative effect on welfare of cats. Objectives: This study aimed to determine incidence, case management, and outcomes of UO in cats in primary-care practice in the United Kingdom. Animals: All male cats under veterinary care within the VetCompass database in 2016. Methods: A retrospective cohort s...
Article
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Background Prolapsed nictitating membrane gland (PNMG) is the most common disorder of the third eyelid in dogs. However, the epidemiology of PNMG in the wider dog population remains understudied. Methods Using de-identified clinical data from the VetCompass Programme, this cohort study aimed to report the prevalence, demographic and breed-related...
Article
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Undesirable behaviours (UBs) in dogs are common and important issues with serious potential welfare consequences for both the dogs and their owners. This study aimed to investigate the usage of drug therapy for UBs in dogs and assess demographic risk factors for drug-prescribed UBs within the dog population under primary-care veterinary care in the...
Article
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Background The French Bulldog is a highly popular dog breed but is linked with many serious health issues. A holistic view of breed health in French Bulldogs would assist efforts to appreciate the overall health strengths and weaknesses in the French Bulldog and to take appropriate steps to mitigate these. Based on random sampling of French Bulldog...
Article
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Objectives To estimate the frequency and risk factors for Cushing's syndrome in dogs under UK primary veterinary care. Materials and Methods Dogs with Cushing's syndrome were identified by searching electronic patient records of primary-care veterinary practices. Pre-existing and incident cases of Cushing's syndrome during 2016 were included to es...
Article
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To evaluate the incidence and risk factors for aural haematoma in dogs under primary veterinary care in the UK. A cohort study design. Dogs diagnosed with aural haematoma during 2016 were identified from the VetCompass database. Univariable and multivariable logistic regression modelling were used for risk factor analysis. There were 2,249/905,554...
Article
Members of Veterinary Humanities UK argue that the vet professions should move away from using the term ‘gold standard care’ and instead adopt ‘contextualised care’, which acknowledges that different treatment pathways are able to offer equally acceptable patient journeys in different contexts.
Article
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Background Otitis externa is a commonly diagnosed disorder in dogs and can carry a high welfare impact on affected animals. This study aimed to report the prevalence and explore the role of breed and aural conformation as predisposing factors for canine otitis externa in the UK. The study used a cohort design of dogs under UK primary veterinary car...
Article
Powered by the VetCompass Programme at the Royal Veterinary College (RVC), Dr Dan O'Neill and colleagues analysed clinical data on 363 898 dogs to identify predictors for dry eye (keratoconjunctivitis sicca). Dan explores how veterinary nurses can use this information to help improve the welfare of dogs.
Article
Objectives To utilise a large histopathology database to ascertain the incidence and nature of skin masses in young dogs from 0 to 12 months of age. Materials and Methods A total of 2554 submissions received for histopathology from dogs 0 to 12 months of age, clinically diagnosed with a skin mass between 2006 and 2013, were retrieved from the data...
Article
Full-text available
Widespread media reports suggest that unusually high numbers of the public purchased, or sought to purchase, puppies following the first ‘lockdown’ phase of the COVID-19 pandemic in the UK, dubbed “Pandemic Puppies”. This study aimed to explore this phenomenon by comparing pre-purchase motivations and behaviours, and purchase behaviours of UK owner...
Article
Full-text available
The Labrador Retriever is one of the most popular dog breeds worldwide, therefore it is important to have reliable evidence on the general health issues of the breed. Using anonymised veterinary clinical data from the VetCompass Programme, this study aimed to explore the relative risk to common disorders in the Labrador Retriever. The clinical reco...
Book
Health and welfare issues of brachycephalic (flat-faced) animals are one of the most pressing problems facing companion animals right now. Dogs, in particular, are suffering from a ‘brachycephalic crisis’ resulting from a perfect storm where predispositions to an array of health issues are amplified by a population boom for certain brachycephalic b...
Article
Full-text available
Objectives To estimate the frequency and breed-related risk factors for keratoconjunctivitis sicca (KCS) in dogs under UK primary veterinary care. Methods Analysis of cohort electronic patient record data through the VetCompass Programme. Risk factor analysis used multivariable logistic regression. Results There were 1456 KCS cases overall from 3...
Article
Full-text available
Leptospirosis is an important global zoonotic disease that affects a wide range of mammalian species. Canine leptospirosis outbreaks have been reported after metereological events such as flooding (eg. in Brazil and the United States of America) suggesting an environmental association, but there has been no such study in Great Britain (GB). The dis...
Article
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Objectives: To estimate the annual incidence risk of leptospirosis diagnosis in practice-attending dogs in the UK during 2016 and identify risk factors for diagnosis. Methods: Incidence of leptospirosis diagnosis in dogs during 2016 was estimated from dogs in primary-care practices from the VetCompass Programme (n = 905,543). A case-control stud...
Presentation
Full-text available
Objectives Historically, classification of heat-related illness in dogs relied on body temperature and neurological evaluation, extrapolated from traditional human classifications. Novel systems in human medicine now embrace the multi-systemic progressive nature of heat-related illness. This study aimed to adapt these novel human systems for use in...
Presentation
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Objectives Greater duration and extent of hyperthermia in heat-related illness cases is associated with poorer prognosis. Rapid, effective cooling is critical for improved outcomes. Water immersion and water spray with air movement are currently considered the most effective cooling methods. This study explored cooling methods used in dogs with hea...
Article
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The loss of a pet can be particularly distressing for owners, whether the method of death is euthanasia or is unassisted. Using primary-care clinical data, this study aimed to report the demographic and clinical factors associated with euthanasia, relative to unassisted death, in dogs. Method of death (euthanasia or unassisted) and clinical cause o...
Article
Full-text available
Cushing’s syndrome is an endocrine disease in dogs that negatively impacts upon the quality-of-life of affected animals. Cushing’s syndrome can be a challenging diagnosis to confirm, therefore new methods to aid diagnosis are warranted. Four machine-learning algorithms were applied to predict a future diagnosis of Cushing's syndrome, using structur...
Article
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Heat-related illness is a potentially fatal condition in dogs. Rapid and accurate recognition of the severity can improve clinical management in affected dogs and lead to better outcomes. This study explored retrospective VetCompass veterinary clinical records to investigate the clinical signs recorded for dogs presenting with heat-related illness...
Article
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Objectives: To evaluate the prevalence and risk factors for overweight status in dogs under primary veterinary care in the UK. Materials and methods: A retrospective study design was used to estimate the 1-year (2016) period prevalence of overweight status. The clinical records were randomly ordered and manually validated for dogs with overweigh...
Article
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Background Osteosarcoma is an aggressive and painful bone neoplasm in dogs. Previous studies have reported epidemiological associations suggesting that large body mass, long bone length and the genetics of certain breeds including the Rottweiler are associated with elevated osteosarcoma risk. However, these studies were often limited by selection b...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Non-neoplastic anal sac disorders (ASD) are frequent presentations for dogs in primary-care practice but evidence-based information on disease occurrence and risk is sparse. This study estimates prevalence, breed associations and other risk factors as well as reporting on clinical management. Methods: A cohort study of dogs attending...
Article
Full-text available
Background Although dogs are a commonly owned companion animal in the UK, the species experiences many health problems that are predictable from demographic information. This study aimed to use anonymised veterinary clinical data from the VetCompass™ Programme to report the frequency of common disorders of dogs under primary veterinary care in the...
Article
Full-text available
Objectives: To estimate the frequency, clinical approaches and risk factors of hypoadrenocorticism in dogs under UK primary veterinary care. Materials and methods: Dogs diagnosed with hypoadrenocorticism were identified from the UK VetCompass™ programme by searching anonymised electronic patient records. Pre-existing and newly diagnosed cases of...
Preprint
Full-text available
The loss of a pet can be particularly distressing for owners, whether the method of death is euthanasia or is unassisted. Using primary-care clinical data, this study aimed to report the demographic and clinical factors associated with euthanasia, relative to unassisted death, in dogs. Method of death (euthanasia or unassisted) and clinical cause o...
Article
Full-text available
Background Dogs are the most popular mammal kept as a companion animal globally. Positive human-dog relationships can benefit both the human owners as well as the dogs. However, popularity as a companion animal species does not universally benefit dogs in reverse. Breed-related health problems in dogs have received increasing attention over the las...
Article
New research from the Royal Veterinary College (RVC) confirms that flat-faced (brachycephalic) breeds — including Chihuahuas, Pugs, French Bulldogs and British Bulldogs — are generally less healthy than their non-brachycephalic counterparts, answering the burning question about whether flat-faced dogs truly are less healthy overall.
Article
Full-text available
Background: Although seizures are common in dogs, limited published information is available on the classifications of seizures, diagnostic approaches, or clinical management of seizure-affected patients in the veterinary primary care setting. Objectives: Explore seizure etiology, diagnostic testing, and clinical management of seizure-affected d...
Article
Full-text available
Brachycephalic dog breeds are regularly asserted as being less healthy than non-brachycephalic breeds. Using primary-care veterinary clinical data, this study aimed to identify predispositions and protections in brachycephalic dogs and explore differing inferences between univariable and multivariable results. All disorders during 2016 were extract...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background Osteosarcoma is an aggressive and painful bone neoplasm in dogs. Previous studies have reported epidemiological associations suggesting that large body mass, long bone length and the genetics of certain breeds including the Rottweiler are associated with elevated osteosarcoma risk. However, these studies were often limited by selection b...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Little epidemiological evaluation of recurrent seizure disorders in cats currently exists in veterinary literature. Objectives: To report the prevalence and risk factors for recurrent seizure disorders (RSD) and epilepsy in cats presented to primary care veterinary practices in the United Kingdom (UK). Animals: A total of 285 547 c...
Article
Full-text available
Background The Staffordshire Bull Terrier is a popular dog breed in the UK but there is limited reliable evidence on disorder predispositions and protections within the breed. Using anonymised veterinary clinical data from the VetCompass™ Programme, this study aimed to identify common disorders with predisposition and protection in the Staffordshir...
Article
Background: Since the epidemiology of canine and feline dermatophytosis might evolve in response to chronological, sociological and ecological factors, the authors studied the occurrence of dermatophyte pathogens over 27 years subsequent to the last major UK survey. Methods: Dermatophyte culture submission records from dogs and cats to the Royal...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Novel methods to aid identification of dogs with spontaneous Cushing's syndrome are warranted to optimize case selection for diagnostics, avoid unnecessary testing, and ultimately aid decision-making for veterinarians. Hypothesis/objectives: To develop and internally validate a prediction tool for dogs receiving a diagnosis of Cushin...
Article
Full-text available
Brachycephalic breeds are proliferating internationally, with dramatic rises in popularity juxtaposed with common and severe breed-related health problems. Physical appearance is as a dominant factor attracting owners to brachycephalic breeds; however, whether these owners will choose their current breed for future ownership and develop ‘breed-loya...
Article
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Objectives: Systemic glucocorticoids are widely used in companion animals. This study aimed to estimate the frequency, describe the characteristics and to evaluate risk factors for common side effects to systemic glucocorticoid therapy in dogs under primary veterinary care in the UK. Methods: A cohort study using VetCompass™ data from 455,557 dogs...
Article
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Background Vestibular disease (VD), central or peripheral, can be a dramatic primary‐care presentation. Current literature describes mostly dogs examined in referral centers. Hypothesis/Objectives Describe the prevalence, presentation, clinical management, and outcomes of VD in dogs under primary veterinary care at UK practices participating in Ve...
Article
Antimicrobial use in companion animals is a largely overlooked contributor to the complex problem of antimicrobial resistance. Humans and companion animals share living spaces and some classes of antimicrobials, including those categorised as Highest Priority Critically Important Antimicrobials (HPCIAs). Veterinary guidelines recommend that these a...
Article
Full-text available
Heat-related illness will affect increasing numbers of dogs as global temperatures rise unless effective mitigation strategies are implemented. This study aimed to identify the key triggers of heat-related illness in dogs and investigate canine risk factors for the most common triggers in UK dogs. Using the VetCompassTM programme, de-identified ele...
Article
Full-text available
Lipomas are relatively common and biologically benign masses of mesenchymal origin consisting of adipocytes. This study reports benchmark data on the clinical management and outcomes of lipomas in dogs under UK primary veterinary care. The study used a cross-sectional analysis of cohort clinical data from dogs that were under veterinary care at pra...
Article
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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...
Article
Full-text available
Abstract Background Diabetes mellitus (DM) is an important endocrine disorder of dogs. The objectives of this study were to estimate prevalence and incidence of DM in dogs, and to explore risk factors for DM and the survival of DM cases in primary-care clinics in the UK. Results A case-control study nested in the cohort of dogs (n = 480,469) aged ≥...
Article
Full-text available
Objective To report the prevalence, configuration, risk factors, fixation methods and outcomes after repair of humeral condylar fractures (HCF) in dogs. Study design Retrospective nested cohort study. Sample population One hundred twelve dogs. Methods Medical records of dogs referred between January 2010 and August 2018 were searched for HCF. De...
Article
Full-text available
Osteoarthritis is a common clinical and pathological end-point from a range of joint disorders, that ultimately lead to structural and functional decline of the joint with associated lameness and pain. Increasing understanding of the risk factors associated with osteoarthritis will assist in addressing the significant threat it poses to the welfare...
Preprint
Full-text available
We experiment with new methods for learning how related words are positioned relative to each other in word embedding spaces. Previous approaches learned constant vector offsets: vectors that point from source tokens to target tokens with an assumption that these offsets were parallel to each other. We show that the offsets between related tokens a...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Conditions affecting the elbow joint are a common cause of lameness in dogs. Primary-care veterinary clinical data are now recognised as a valuable research resource. Using data from the VetCompass Programme, this study aimed to report the frequency and risk factors for elbow joint disease in dogs under primary veterinary care in the U...
Article
Full-text available
Background: The Chihuahua, the world's smallest dog breed, is a popular breed in the UK today. The VetCompass™ Programme collates de-identified clinical records from primary-care veterinary practices in the UK for epidemiological research. This study aimed to characterise the demography, age at death and common disorders of Chihuahuas under primar...
Article
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Clinicians often include references to diseases in clinical notes, which have not been diagnosed in their patients. For some diseases terms, the majority of disease references written in the patient notes may not refer to true disease diagnosis. These references occur because clinicians often use their clinical notes to speculate about disease exis...
Article
Objectives: To integrate external data sources with VetCompass postcode data to explore the spatial distribution and examine potential associations with environmental risk factors in dogs diagnosed with lymphoma at primary care veterinary practices. Materials and methods: Cases of lymphoma were identified from electronic patient records of 455,5...