Health Webinars 2021

Hosted by the Flatcoated Retriever Society via Zoom

June 5th at 2pm

There will be two live webinars, with an opportunity for Q & As after each.

Immune mediated disease: How our immune system works and what happens when things go wrong? By Emma Rogers-Smith BSc(Hons) BA VetMB MRCVS ECVIM-CA Resident in Internal Medicine, Davies Veterinary Specialists

Webinar synopsis: Starting with a brief overview of how the immune system works to keep our pets healthy, we will consider just how intricate, complex and fascinating this microscopic defence system really is. This will be followed by a look at a few diseases of the immune system we see in veterinary medicine including what causes your pet to become unwell, what to look out for and an explanation of the detective work your vet may need to undertake to reach a diagnosis. 

Vaccination by Katherine Clarke BVSc MRCVS BSAVA PGCertSAM ECVIM-CA Resident in Internal Medicine, Davies Veterinary Specialists.

Webinar synopsis: We will briefly discuss the various diseases that we routinely vaccinate dogs against and the recommended protocols for these vaccinations. We will then cover some of the ‘bad science’ and ‘anti-vaccination’ thoughts out there and tackle these by reviewing the evidence regarding vaccines and other disease processes, especially immune mediated diseases.

The webinars will be free, please contact Liz Branscombe at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to register your interest, joining instructions and a link for the live webinars will be emailed to attendees closer to the date.

Sponsored by Davies Veterinary Specialists


Health Seminars 2021

The Society Health Committee had planned to hold a health seminar day in July 2020 which was then postponed until July 2021. The committee have now agreed, with support from Davies Veterinary Specialists, to make this an online event which will remove any uncertainty regarding another last-minute postponement. We hope to create several webinars and deliver them in shorter sessions. The programme of seminars and speakers remains the same and is as follows:

Vaccination: Katherine Clarke BVSc MRCVS BSAVA PGCertSAM ECVIM-CA Resident in Internal Medicine

Immune mediated disease: Dr Emma Rogers-Smith BSc(Hons) BA VetMB MRCVS ECVIM-CA Resident in Internal Medicine. 

Canine First Aid: Danielle Banks BSc(Hons) RVN GradDipVN  

A walk through gait analysis: Diane Messum HCPC, MCSP, ACPAT Cat A, BSc(Hon), MSc VetPhysio, RAMP

The vaccination and immune mediated disease seminars will be delivered one after the other on the same day as they are linked, these sessions will be live with Q & As and then made available to view again afterwards. The first aid and physio talks will be presented separately. We are waiting for confirmation of dates and times but the seminars are likely to be delivered during May and June, we will post a further update confirming dates and booking information as soon as it is available.   

Sponsored by Davies Veterinary Specialists

The Kennel Club/British Veterinary Association Canine Health Schemes update regarding the current national lockdown

The following update from the Kennel Club Health Team has been sent to Breed Health Coordinators today (08/01/2021)

The Kennel Club and the British Veterinary Association (BVA) would like to provide an update to all breeders currently awaiting results from hip or elbow screening and to provide reassurance of the measures being taken to ensure those waiting for results receive them at the earliest possible opportunity. 

Furthermore we wish to issue guidance relating to use of the Kennel Club/British Veterinary Association Canine Health Schemes (CHS) during the current national lockdown. 

Customers waiting for results for dogs screened pre-January 2021

As of 5th January 2021 England entered a third lockdown since the beginning of the Covid 19 pandemic, this means that unfortunately the processing of results for the hip and elbow schemes are being continually impacted. This is due to the quality and consistency measures of scoring and grading for the schemes, which require two scrutineers and members of the BVA CHS team to travel into central London to undertake scoring sessions in Covid secure conditions. It is essential to the efficacy of the scheme that this process is upheld at this time even given the logistical challenges that the pandemic presents. Changes to the process are being considered and trialled, but will only be implemented once the existing quality and consistency standards for the scheme are met.  It is essential that the Kennel Club and BVA maintain the integrity of CHS which has been in operation for 65 years.

Furthermore BVA has to ensure the safety of its staff and of the scrutineers when co-ordinating the sessions. Due to Covid restrictions a number of sessions have had to be postponed and rescheduled and we hope that customers of the scheme will respect that delays have been caused by the unprecedented circumstances we are now all trying to work and operate within.

The following actions are now being taken to ensure that customers receive results from screening at the earliest possible opportunity;

·       The BVA premises in London will remain open for scoring sessions each week during the current lockdown.

·       Increasing the number of scoring sessions taking place.

·       Increasing the number of X-rays scored at each scoring session.

It is hoped that these actions will enable a return to normal turnaround times by Spring 2021.

We hope that customers will be reassured by our continued commitment to ensuring they receive their results whilst we also maintain the integrity of the schemes and the service provided. We ask for customers to be respectful and patient with CHS team members during this extremely challenging time for us all. Abusive behaviour towards the staff will not be tolerated.

Customers wanting to have dogs screened during the current lockdown 

For those customers intending to have dogs screened using CHS during the current lockdown we wish to draw your attention to the latest guidance provided by BVA and RCVS relating to veterinary treatment during this period which clearly advises veterinary professionals to only carry out work that is essential for public health and animal health and welfare, in the context of the very strong ‘stay at home’ messages from government.

In a joint statement BVA and RCVS said:

“We recognise that this continues to be a very challenging and difficult time for our colleagues, and we want to thank veterinary teams across the UK for continuing to work safely so that we can all play our part in stopping the spread of Covid.

“Once again we thank animal owners for their understanding and ask them to continue to respect their vets’ decisions at this time. The range of services available will vary between practices so that vets can work in Covid-safe ways to keep their colleagues and clients safe.”

We therefore suggest that all owners consult their vet in the first instance to ask whether screening is available at this time and further to consider their personal safety and the safety of others when making decisions if screening is appropriate for their dogs and personal circumstances.

The Kennel Club and BVA ask for all owners and breeders to respect your vet’s judgement at this time if screening is not available to you during the current national lockdown. This applies to all canine health schemes that require travel and contact with others at a time of very strong ‘stay at home’ guidance from the government.

The Kennel Club is happy to offer support and advice to all owners wishing to plan a litter of puppies and consider appropriate health screening including use of CHS, for more information, support or advice please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

For useful links, updates and information please see below;,18CQU,1ZAGV5,4FCX4,1

Flatcoated Retriever Breed Health Survey 2020/21

Breed health surveys were previously carried out by the Society in 2006 and 2011, we are now sharing a further survey for completion in relation to Flatcoated Retrievers resident in the UK (closing date 31st January 2021). The data, once collated, will be compared to that gathered in the previous surveys. An overview of results will be reported in due course, individual responses will remain confidential.

The survey can be carried out on-line which would be preferable but can be completed in paper format and returned by post if necessary.

The online version of the survey can be found here: 

A paper version can be printed via the Society website here

If you have any questions or queries please contact a member of the Society Health Sub-Committee, contact details available on the health home page.

Thank you for your participation.

The FCRS Health Sub-Committee

November 2020


Kennel Club Press Release AHT

Kennel Club/AHT Press release about the future of the Genetics research data and biological material currently stored at the AHT

Update About AHT Closure

Further to the announcement that the Animal Health Trust will close on 31st July 2020 the following message has been sent to Breed Health Coordinators by Cathryn Mellersh today (13th July 2020):

‘’The future of canine genetics research and DNA testing service following closure of Animal Health Trust on July 31st, 2020

I would like to extend my sincere and heartfelt thanks to everybody who has contacted me and my colleagues to express their sadness at the imminent closure of the Animal Health Trust on July 31st. I have worked at the AHT for 19 years, as have many of my team, and we are truly devastated by its closure.

During that time we have worked with so many of you that have an interest in the health and wellbeing of dogs and I believe it is fair to say that together we have done our bit to improve the lives of hundreds, if not thousands, of dogs who might otherwise have been born with an inherited disease.

Many of you have been in touch to ask about what will happen to the samples and data that the AHT has collected over the several decades, as well as whether the research and/or the DNA testing service will continue.

I would like to assure you all that I am working very hard to secure the long-term future of the DNA samples and their associated data as well as both the research and the DNA testing service that my fabulous team carry out and it is my hope is that before very long I will be able to update you with some good news and that we can resume all the projects we currently have underway, as well as starting exciting new ones.’’

I will share further updates as I receive them from Cathryn.

Liz Branscombe Flatcoated Retriever Breed Health Coordinator 

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