A world-first clinical audit which looked at the outcomes of minimally-invasive surgical procedures in dogs, published in The Journal of Veterinary Cardiology, has concluded that the process of performing a clinical audit in veterinary clinical interventions across different centres is achievable.

The audit1 was led by Paragon Veterinary Referrals’ head of cardiology, Chris Linney (pictured), to review treatment for patent ductus arteriosus. 

He set up the study whilst working at Willows Veterinary Centre and Referral Service, and the other centres collaborating on the study were Anicura Oslo Animal Hospital, Heart Vets; Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies and the Roslin Institute, University of Edinburgh, University Hospital of Companion Animals, Copenhagen and Veterinary Cardiology Consultancy.

Other clinicians taking part included Brigite Pedro, Mike Martin and João Neves, formerly of Willows, along with Jo Harris and Dave Dickson, of HeartVets.

Chris, an RCVS and EBVS specialist in cardiology, said: “This published multicentre prospective clinical audit was a first of its kind in the cardiology world. 

“This type of audit acts as a quality control to improve patient outcomes through systematic review of care, comparing to predefined criteria and then implementing change, and so the process repeats.

“Improving patient outcomes and benchmarking against existing standards is essential for elevating patient outcomes.

In the centres in this study, we are already delivering excellent patient outcomes but with room for improvements, however small, this audit will help future patients but also colleagues across the cardiology world.”


  1. Martin M, Pedro B, Dickson D, Neves J, Harris J, Martinez-Pereira Y, Oliveira MI, Willesen JL, Vatne L, Culshaw GJ, Linney C. Outcome clinical audit: Analyses of interventional closure of patent ductus arteriosus in dogs. J Vet Cardiol. 2022 Jul 5;43:27-40. doi: 10.1016/j.jvc.2022.06.009. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 35947914. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/35947914/ 

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