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University of Cambridge/Kennel Club Respiratory Function Grading (RFG) Scheme

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Introduction

  • The Kennel Club/ University of Cambridge RFG Scheme was introduced in January 2019 as a non-invasive and relatively simple method of grading Brachycephalic Obstructive Airway Syndrome (BOAS) severity. 
  • It has been validated in the Bulldog, French bulldog and Pug and thus currently is only available for these breeds though there is ongoing research on other flat faced breeds. 
  • It was introduced to guide breeders on the suitability of dogs for breeding with respect to the upper airway but can also be used to guide clinical decisions on which dogs require treatment and as a method of auditing treatment. All dogs, KC registered and non-registered and all colors are eligible for the scheme.  
  • The RFG Scheme consists of a clinical assessment of the upper airway with an exercise stress test. Any dog that is tested will have the result submitted to the Kennel Club. Registered dogs will have the results published in the health section. 
  • The RFG Scheme is carried out by a group of approved assessors who have undergone training by the Kennel Club. The list of RFG assessors is published on the KC website (www.thekennelclub.org.uk/health/for-breeders/respiratory-function-grading-scheme/).  

Brachycephalic obstructive airway syndrome (BOAS)

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The RFG Scheme

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Grading

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Results

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Recommendations

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed Papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Riggs J, Liu N C, Sutton D R, Sargan D, Ladlow J F (2019) Validation of exercise testing and laryngeal auscultation for grading brachycephalic obstructive airway syndrome in pugs, French bulldogs, and English bulldogs by using whole-body barometric plethysmography. Vet Surg 48(4), 488‐496 PubMed.
  • Liu N C, Oechtering G U, Adams V J, Kalmar L, Sargan D R, Ladlow J F (2017) Outcomes and prognostic factors of surgical treatments for brachycephalic obstructive airway syndrome in 3 breeds. Vet Surg 46(2), 271-280 PubMed.
  • Liu N C, Troconis E L, Kalmar L, Price D, Wright H E, Adams V J, Sargan D R, Ladlow J F (2017) Conformational risk factors of brachycephalic obstructive airway syndrome (BOAS) in pugs, French bulldogs, and bulldogs.PLoS One 12(8), e0181928 PubMed.
  • Liu N C, Adams V J, Kalmar L, Ladlow J F, Sargan D R (2016) Whole-body barometric plethysmography characterizes upper airway obstructions in 3 brachycephalic breeds of dogs. J Vet Int Med 30(3), 853-865 PubMed.
  • Liu N C, Sargan D R, Adams V J, Ladlow J F (2015) Characterisation of Brachycephalic Obstructive Airway Syndrome in French Bulldogs Using Whole-Body Barometric Plethysmography. PLoS One 10(6),e0130741 PubMed.
  • O'Neill D G, Jackson C, Guy J H et al (2015) Epidemiological associations between brachycephaly and upper respiratory tract disorders in dogs attending veterinary practices in England. Canine Genet Epidemiol 2,10 PubMed.
  • Packer R, Hendricks A & Burn C C (2012) Do Dog Owners Perceive the Clinical Signs Related to Conformational Inherited Disorders as “Normal” for the Breed? a Potential Constraint to Improving Canine Welfare. Anim Welfare 21(1), 81-93. 

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