Cruciate Ligament Disease Survey –  UK Bernese Mountain Dogs

Thank you for your interest in this survey. Cruciate ligament problems have always been reported in our breed but there are contrasting opinions on just how much we suffer from this problem. No one can say how widespread a problem they really are, or if there is any pattern or consistent factors attached to them that we may be able to use to investigate and improve the situation.

This survey aims to not only find out about each occurrence but firstly get at least a steer on just how prevalent Cruciate Ligament problems are among Bernese Mountain Dogs in the UK. Therefore it is vitally important for us to understand the number of Bernese who have NOT suffered from cruciate problems to set against those who HAVE.

With this in mind it is requested that the simple SECTION 1 OF THIS SURVEY IS COMPLETED BY AS MANY BMD OWNERS AND FORMER OWNERS AS POSSIBLE, summarising all of the Bernese they have ever owned, IRRESPECTIVE OF WHETHER THEY HAVE EXPERIENCED CRUCIATE PROBLEMS OR NOT. This will help to add context, in terms of overall population, of how widespread the problem is. This should only take a minute or two for most people with no cruciate problems to report and your assistance is very much appreciated.

Then, for those whose Bernese HAVE experienced Cruciate Ligament issues, please continue through the remaining sections giving as much information as possible for each affected dog individually. Each dog that has had a cruciate issue requires a separate section 2 completing.  Be as precise as you can but do not worry if exact details are difficult to remember or obtain, approximate ages or dates will suffice for example. Similarly if you do not know clinical details just give what information you can but sometimes a quick and easy call to your vet can yield dates or information as it is simple for most vets to access your dog’s records.

There are also chances to contribute any thoughts you may have from your experience of cruciate problems. This is to gather opinions from within the breed and see if any consistencies emerge.

More detailed information about the survey and  the collection of this data can be found below, beneath the survey itself,  including a GDPR statement and more guidance and background to the survey.

PLEASE NOTE Closing date for submissions is 30th November 2021.

Download the Survey Form to print and complete in hard copy

(to send by post or scan and email)

Thank you – your support really is appreciated.

CRUCIATE LIGAMENT SURVEY

SECTION 1.1: Personal Details

Your Name (required)

Your Email Address (required)

Your Telephone Number (optional, but maybe helpful)

How many years have you been a Bernese owner?

During that time, how many Bernese have you owned?

How many of the Bernese you have owned have experienced a cruciate problem?

Of these Bernese, how many received surgery to their cruciate ligament problem?

THANK YOU

The information you have provided above will help to add context to how prevalent Cruciate Ligament issues are among the breed population as a whole. If NONE of the Bernese you have owned have experienced Cruciate issues please SCROLL TO THE END OF THE FORM & CLICK SEND button.

HOWEVER If you HAVE experienced Cruciate Ligament issues with any of your Bernese we would really appreciate it if you would CONTINUE THROUGH THE QUESTIONS below providing as much information as possible about each affected dog in turn. Your time and support with this survey are hugely appreciated.


SECTION 2.0: General Thoughts on Cruciate Ligament Disease

Which, if any, of the following best summarises any feeling you have why THIS dog experienced a Cruciate problem?


(Note: This is simply a chance to express any thoughts you, as the owner, may have about this incidence of cruciate. This is not asking for scientific fact, just any opinion you may have. Correlation with other owner's similar thoughts could give previously unidentified points a chance to emerge. Indicating 'genetic' is NOT the same as attaching any responsibility to the breeder of your dog. Many things can be hereditary or congenital but not be predictable.)

If applicable do you feel there is any significant factor why your unaffected dog(s) avoided this problem? (For example, being exercised, rested or fed differently?)

SECTION 2.1: Dog Details (Please complete individually for each affected dog)

Submissions can only be accepted from the owners or breeders of a dog. Please indicate your status below.

I/We are the owners of this dog OR I/We Are the breeders of this dog

Your Dog's Pet Name (required)

Your Dog's Gender (required)

Your Dog's Kennel (KC) Name (if known - even a partial name may be helpful)

Country of Origin if this dog was born outside of the UK

Your Dog's Date of Birth (required - partial details are better than no details if you don't know the exact date as they may assist us being able to research this)

Was this dog neutered ?

If this dog was neutered, at what age was this done ?


If known, what was the approximate adult weight of this dog (please state stones & pounds/lbs or kilograms/kgs)

If known, what was the approximate adult height of this dog (please state centimetres/cm or inches/in)

SECTION 2.2: This Dog's Cruciate Ligament Disease Summary

Your Dog's Age (in Years & Months) at First Cruciate Problem

Was the Left or Right Leg Affected ?

Was this Dog Clinically Diagnosed by a Vet?

If Yes, Which Imaging Method was Used to Confirm the Diagnosis?


What Type of Cruciate Damage Occurred?

If Applicable - Your Dog's Age (in Years & Months) when a Cruciate Problem occurred in the OTHER leg.

Was this Dog Clinically Diagnosed by a Vet?

If Yes, Which Imaging Method was Used to Confirm the Diagnosis?


What Type of Cruciate Damage Occurred?

SECTION 2.3: Treatment to FIRST Problem Cruciate

Did this Problem Lead to Surgery?

If surgery was required, What type of surgery was performed (if known)


Was this Surgery Undertaken by General Practitioner Vet or a Specialist Referral Surgeon?

In Your Opinion, was this Surgery Successful ?

Are there any comments you would like to add regarding the surgery ?

After Surgery: Once recovered please estimate by percentage what degree of normal function your dog regained (0% is no improvement or worse, 100% is back to full mobility and strength before cruciate damage)


How long did it take for your dog to reach this level of recovery?

Did you seek any Alternative Treatment route to surgery?

If so, please give some details (what approach, successfulness of approach)

Following Alternative Treatment: Once recovered please estimate by percentage what degree of normal function your dog regained (0% is no improvement or worse, 100% is back to full mobility and strength before cruciate damage)


How long did it take for your dog to reach this level of recovery?


If your dog only experienced Cruciate Ligament issues with ONE LEG please SCROLL TO THE END OF THE FORM & CLICK THE SEND button.

HOWEVER If your dog experienced Cruciate Ligament in BOTH legs please CONTINUE THROUGH THE REMAINING QUESTIONS to provide information on the second Cruciate problem.


SECTION 2.4: Treatment to Problem Cruciate on OTHER Leg (If applicable)

Did your dog also suffer a Cruciate Problem affecting the Other Leg

Did this Problem Lead to Surgery?

If surgery was required, What type of surgery was performed (if known)


Was this Surgery Undertaken by General Practitioner Vet or a Specialist Referral Surgeon?

In Your Opinion, Was this Surgery Successful ?

Are there any comments you would like to add regarding the surgery ?

After Surgery: Once recovered please estimate by percentage what degree of normal function your dog regained (0% is no improvement or worse, 100% is back to full mobility and strength before cruciate damage)


How long did it take for your dog to reach this level of recovery?

Did you seek any Alternative Treatment route to surgery?

If so, please give some details (what approach, successfulness of approach)

After Alternative Treatment: Once recovered please estimate by percentage what degree of normal function your dog regained (0% is no improvement or worse, 100% is back to full mobility and strength before cruciate damage)


How long did it take for your dog to reach this level of recovery?

SECTION 2.5: Feeding, Exercise & Vaccinations - PRIOR to cruciate problem

Which of the following best describes this dog’s feeding regime prior to the Cruciate Problem?



Did you feed any supplements alongside the dog’s regular diet? If yes, please list below


Thinking of your dog's typical daily walking routine, on average how many times per day / week was your dog walked prior to the Cruciate problem


Thinking of your dog's typical daily walking routine, on average how long does each walk take ?


Thinking of your dog's typical daily walking routine, on average how would you describe your dog's activity levels on each walk ?


Which of the following best describes this dog’s general exercise routine before the cruciate problem ?


Which of the following best describes the vaccination protocol for this dog


Do you know, or feel, that anything in particular contributed to, or led to, the cruciate problem in this dog? For example trauma, change in exercise, change in routine or management, please give more detail


A Massive thank you for your help with this important breed survey. If you wish to please give any further information about your dog or have any queries or comments about the survey please enter them in the box above

More Information:

  • This survey is an agreed part of the Bernese Breed Health and Conservation Plan (BHCP) instigated by the Kennel Club and approved by our club. This is an investigative survey to seek to ascertain the level of Cruciate Ligament problems in the breed and any obvious relevant information about each incidence.
  • A further purpose is to allow owners and breeders the chance to express any thoughts they have about cruciate problems in Bernese. This is not scientifically derived  data but looking for any consistencies of opinions from experience of owners. If there are repeated points then this may give a direction for further investigation.
  • It is open to members and non members of the BMDC of GB, all past and present UK based owners (and breeders) of Bernese Mountain Dogs are invited to contribute.
  • Whilst this survey seeks basic information about past and present Bernese with Cruciate Ligament problems, it is just as important for us to understand the number of Bernese who have never suffered from cruciate problems. Section one of this form should be filled in by every past and present Bernese owner accounting for every Bernese ever owned whether experiencing Cruciate issues of not, even if  never experiencing a cruciate problem in your Bernese. This is to give as true an idea of context as possible and enable estimation of how widespread the problem is.
  • Depending on results the summary data from this survey may be used to seek further investigation and expertise.
  • Your name and contact details are only requested in case of query, or if there is a second phase to this initiative in which we might ask for further information. Results will be available on the Bernese Mountain Dog Club of Great Britain website and summarised in the club’s publications and social media.
  • The survey will only run until 30th November 2021 so please contribute as soon as you can.
  • Please answer as fully and honestly as possible and give what information you can. If exact dates or other details are not known, approximations will suffice for the purposes of this survey. A quick call to your vet may be able to provide most significant dates and details.
  • Any further comments which you believe may be relevant or of interest to the survey or if your BMD Cruciate experience does not fit into these categories, please feel free to add details in email to survey@bernese.co.uk and feel free to give any further thoughts on Cruciate disease. If you do not have any cruciate issues to report and have any thoughts on why that is please feel free to contribute them. We really want to gather whatever information, experience and thoughts there are out there about cruciate, so if you have any this is your chance to have them heard and potentially taken into account.
  • If preferred, the survey can be Downloaded / Printed from here:  Please send completed paper forms to the Bernese Breed Health Coordinator, Mr S. Green 49, Carr Rd, Deepcar, Sheffield S36 2PR or scan and email it to survey@bernese.co.uk
  • Thank you for supporting the Bernese Health Initiative

BMD Cruciate Survey GDPR Statement

Any owner or breeder name and basic contact details volunteered by contributors to this survey will be stored electronically on a spreadsheet on a password protected personal computer for the purposes and duration of the survey and any subsequent analysis period, after which they will be deleted. Any data provided in written/paper format will be added to the electronic record then the paper forms will be destroyed responsibly.

Data will only be directly accessed by the BHI sub committee members for the purposes of summary and analysis. All BHI sub committee members have signed a confidentiality agreement lodged with the Bernese Mountain Dog Club of Great Britain.

Whilst dog details may eventually be passed on to any ‘professional’ or ‘specialist’ third party appropriate to progress the investigation, e.g. a Veterinary University researcher or canine geneticist, specific individual owner’s or breeder’s details will never be passed to any third party in any form and these details will never be published in any identifiable way unless further specific individual permissions were obtained.

Summary reviews may be published within breed literature, e.g. the breed club magazine, but such reports will never include any individual details of any dogs, breeders or owners.  It may be helpful to contact contributors for further information, if such research is appropriate, but any such extra contribution will be entirely voluntary and subject to these same conditions.

Any individual owner or dog details can be removed from this survey at any time by emailing to survey@bernese.co.uk

PLEASE NOTE: By contributing to this survey owners and breeders will be deemed to have read, understood and consented to these terms.