Prevalence of Health Problems in Shelter Dogs in the Czech Republic
World Small Animal Veterinary Association Congress Proceedings, 2018
V. Vecerek; S. Vitulova; E. Voslarova; M. Volfova
Department of Animal Protection Welfare and Behaviour, University of Veterinary and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Brno, Czech Republic


Health and injury status are considered major determinants of adoption in dogs. They influence the likelihood of adoption as well as the length of stay at the shelter.


The aim of this study was to analyze a prevalence of health problems in shelter dogs.


The subject of this retrospective study were dogs impounded at a Czech municipal shelter over a ten-year period (2007 to 2016). The results were analyzed using the statistical package Unistat 5.6. Statistical comparisons between frequencies of the categorical variables of interest were performed with the chi-square test within the contingency table procedures.


A significantly (p<0.001) larger proportion of shelter dogs was clinically healthy. Whereas 63.4% of dogs at the monitored shelter were clinically healthy, 36.6% of dogs showed single or multiple signs of disease. Sex, size, age, and purebred vs. crossbred categories differed (p<0.05) in terms of the frequency of clinical signs of disease. A greater prevalence of clinical signs of disease was found in males, in large dogs, in senior dogs (aged 9 years and more), and in purebred dogs. Most diseased dogs (41%) showed multiple clinical signs. Gastrointestinal disease was the most frequent single diagnosis, followed by respiratory diseases, skin diseases, and injuries.


A positive finding is that the population of shelter dogs is healthier than expected. More than 60% of dogs available for adoption over a 10-year period at the monitored shelter had no clinical signs of disease.


Speaker Information
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V. Vecerek
Department of Animal Protection Welfare and Behaviour
University of Veterinary and Pharmaceutical Sciences Brno
Brno, Czech Republic

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