Dog at veterinary practice with owner

Small Animal Veterinary Surveillance Network (SAVSNET)

Harnessing electronic health and environmental data for rapid and actionable research and surveillance.

The Small Animal Veterinary Surveillance Network (SAVSNET) stemmed from a unique collaboration between the British Small Animal Veterinary Association (BSAVA) and the University of Liverpool and collects real-time electronic health data from veterinary practices and commercial laboratories across the UK.

Understanding diseases that affect the nation’s pets is vital, not just for providing the best treatments for them, but for predicting future outbreaks, designing new therapies and ultimately improving the health and welfare of companion animals.

Our database holds a wealth of information including descriptive data such as age, sex, breed and treatments given, that together can identify trends in space and time, as well as data on diagnosed diseases. This information can be interrogated by our team in many ways according to a client’s requirements. We can also introduce specific questionnaires to veterinary practitioners to be used during consultations that provide additional targeted details of patients, diseases and treatments.

SAVSNET can give organisations unparalleled access to large volumes of real-time data from veterinary practice to help them:

  • Determine how existing and new products are being used
  • Access data for pharmacovigilence queries
  • Discover how individual cases respond to products over time
  • Uncover factors affecting an individual animal’s chances of getting ill or receiving a particular intervention
  • Ascertain geographic, seasonal, climate and deprivation factors affecting disease.

Our key capabilities

We are keen to engage in collaborative and contract research projects and provide a range of specialist services including:

  • Clinical intelligence reports
  • Rapid analytics
  • National and regional data summaries
  • Continuing Professional Development and training days for companies interested in veterinary health informatics.

How we work with external organisations

We work with a wide range of organisations from charities and government agencies to major global pharmaceutical companies.

As an example, we recently worked in collaboration with a commercial client interested in a particular disease affecting small animals, and how this was managed in veterinary practice. The client recognised the requirement for large volumes of data to be analysed by a team with the necessary epidemiological expertise; together this would allow meaningful results and maximise outputs. SAVSNET researchers helped the client achieve their goals by preparing a project plan to provide detailed information with a specific focus on the use of a particular product currently on the market. Detailed analyses were carried out and researchers investigated which diagnostic tests were completed before the product was prescribed and how this compared to current recommendations. The client was presented with the results and a bespoke confidential report produced for them.

Findings from this work have enabled the client to get a more accurate and insightful picture of the prevalence and incidence of the disease of interest to them. They now understand how veterinary surgeons in primary practice diagnose and manage the condition, allowing better targeting of their own products to their own veterinary clients.

Why work with us?

  • World-leader: SAVSNET is supported by the leading veterinary bodies in the UK, including BSAVA, RCVS, VMD and BBSRC, and the team is regularly invited to speak at international research and surveillance meetings
  • Well-connected: we are embedded within the University of Liverpool and work closely with the Institute of Infection and Global Health, the Institute of Veterinary Science and, more widely, to other national and international organisations, allowing us to draw on additional expertise to support our clients if required
  • Large-scale: we currently collect data from more than 500 veterinary practices and laboratories across the UK, giving us real-time information on more than 6,000 veterinary consultations and 100,000 laboratory tests that take place every day
  • Internationally-renowned: our academic team is respected across the world for its research, with particular expertise in infectious diseases, epidemiology, biomedical text mining and zoonoses.