Each year, Banfield Pet Hospital (banfield.com) collects and analyzes medical data from more than 850 hospitals across the U.S., in which more than 14,000 associates, including 2900 licensed veterinarians, care for nearly 2.3 million dogs and 470,000 cats. The findings from each year’s data are then shared with the public through the State of Pet Health Report (stateofpethealth.com) published the following year.
Banfield’s belief is all pets need twice-yearly comprehensive examinations. These are important throughout a pet’s life to ensure he or she is receiving life stage-based preventative care.—Jeffrey Klausner, DVM, MS, Diplomate ACVIM, Chief Medical Officer, Banfield Pet Hospital
The 5 Ws of Data Collection
WHO The Banfield Applied Research and Knowledge (BARK) team of investigators—dedicated to population-based research, which supports the practice of evidence-based medicine
WHAT Analyze medical data from > 8 million patient visits to Banfield Pet Hospitals each year
WHEN Daily data download through the proprietary electronic medical records system, PetWare™
WHERE At Banfield’s main campus in Portland, Oregon
WHY To fulfill Banfield’s commitment to:
- Provide high-quality veterinary care grounded in evidence-based medicine
- Improve this care through consideration of findings from each yearly report
- Increase knowledge by sharing this report with the veterinary profession and public
FOCUS ON INFECTIOUS DISEASE
The 2014 report—the fourth year the State of Pet Health Report has been compiled—focused on infectious diseases that:
- Can be conclusively diagnosed by specific tests, or
- Have pathognomonic clinical presentations.
The data analyzed included disease prevalence as well as geographic trends. The infectious diseases studied were:
- Dogs: Parvovirus infection, canine infectious respiratory disease complex (CIRDC; also referred to as “kennel cough”), Lyme disease, and Giardia infection
- Cats: Upper respiratory infection, feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV), feline leukemia virus (FeLV), and ear mites.
In this year’s report, the most concerning statistics revealed were a:
- 21% increase in positive results of tests identifying Lyme Disease
- 48% increase in the diagnosis of FIV infection.
These increases occurred over the past 5 years (since 2009).
It is important to note, though, that the infectious diseases highlighted in the report are just a subset of those affecting the pet population. These nfectious diseases—for which meaningful statistics could not be calculated—are also touched on in the 2014 report.
Canine infectious respiratory disease complex results from exposure to a variety of bacterial and viral pathogens. These pathogens include:
- Bacterial: Primarily Bordetella bronchiseptica, but also Streptococcus and Mycoplasma species
- Viral: Parainfluenza virus, canine influenza virus, canine adenovirus, or canine distemper virus.
Feline upper respiratory infection results from exposure to feline herpesvirus, feline calicivirus, Chlamydophila felis, and other pathogens.
In both dogs and cats, multiple pathogens are usually present in respiratory diseases. In addition, patient immune status and management variables can contribute to disease severity.
DIAGNOSES BASED ON SPECIES & AGE
The Table outlines the most common dog and cat breeds presented to Banfield Pet Hospitals in 2013.
|Table. Most Common Breeds of Dogs & Cats Presented to Banfield Pet Hospitals in 2013|
|1. Labrador retriever
3. Yorkshire terrier
4. Shih Tzu
5. Pit bull
6. German shepherd
8. Mixed breed
|1. Domestic shorthair
2. Domestic medium hair
3. Domestic longhair
5. Maine coon
10. Russian blue
Most Common Diagnoses in Dogs
Dogs presented were classified by size: Toy/small (51%), medium (27%), large (21%), and giant (2%).* Some common diagnoses based on breed size were:
- Toy/small (< 20 lb): Dental tartar, patellar luxation, retained deciduous teeth
- Medium (20–50 lb): Conjunctivitis, cystitis, underbite
- Large (50–90 lb): Gastroenteritis, otitis externa, overweight
- Giant (> 90 lb): Arthritis, lameness, skin tumors
The bar graph, Most Common Diagnoses: Dogs, provides a comprehensive look at the most common diagnoses—by age category—in dogs presented for veterinary care at Banfield Pet Hospitals.
Most Common Diagnoses in Cats
For every 5 dogs presented in 2013, 1 cat was presented for care. The bar graph, Most Common Diagnoses: Cats, provides a comprehensive look at the most common diagnoses—by age category—in cats presented for veterinary care at Banfield Pet Hospitals.
Wellness visits, including such as care as physical examination, routine vaccination, and laboratory analysis, are included in the bar graphs under the heading “Healthy Pet.” While not a true medical diagnosis, including this reason for presentation to a veterinarian reinforces the importance of preventive care.
INFECTIOUS DISEASE IN CATS
The State of Pet Health 2014 Report highlighted the following key findings regarding infectious diseases in cats presented to Banfield Pet Hospitals in 2013.
Feline Immunodeficiency Virus Infection
- Approximately 1 in every 300 cats seen was infected with FIV.
- Intact adult cats (≥ 1 year) were 3.5× more likely to be infected with FIV than same-aged spayed or neutered cats.
- Oklahoma, Iowa, and Arkansas had the highest prevalence of cats infected with FIV (78, 69, and 56 cases/10,000, respectively).
Key Takeaway: The number of cats diagnosed with FIV has increased 48%—from approximately 23 cases per 10,000 in 2009 to 33 cases per 10,000 in 2013. Male cats are 3× more likely to be infected with FIV than female cats.
Feline Leukemia Virus Infection
- Approximately 1 in every 250 cats was infected with FeLV.
- Intact adult cats were 4.5× more likely to be infected with FeLV than same-aged spayed or neutered cats.
- FeLV infection in cats < 3 years of age was approximately:
- 2× more likely than infection in mature adult cats (3–10 years)
- 3× more likely than infection in geriatric cats (> 10 years).
- Of the 10 states with cats at highest risk for FeLV infection, 7 are located in the Southeast.
Key Takeaway: The number of cats diagnosed with FeLV infection has remained relatively stable over the past 5 years, dropping 5% to 41 cases per 10,000 cats seen in 2013 from 43 cats per 10,000 in 2009.
Feline Upper Respiratory Infection
- Almost 10% of all cats seen had an upper respiratory infection (URI).
- Of juvenile cats (< 1 year), 18% had an URI; this age group was approximately 3× more likely to have an URI than adult cats.
- Intact juvenile cats were 2× more likely to have an URI than same-aged spayed/neutered cats.
- Kentucky had the highest prevalence of cats with URIs, with about 1 in every 7 cats affected.
Key Takeaway: The prevalence of feline URI has increased by 18% over the past 5 years—from 8 cases for every 100 cats in 2009 to almost 10 cases per 100 in 2013.
Ear Mites (Otodectes cynotis)
- About 1 in every 45 cats (approximately 2%) seen had a clinical diagnosis of ear mite infestation.
- Juvenile cats were over 8× more likely to have ear mites than adult cats.
- Intact adult cats were almost 4× more likely to have ear mites than same-aged spayed/neutered cats.
- South Dakota, Iowa, and Alabama had the highest prevalence of cats infested with ear mites (796, 456, and 325 cases/10,000, respectively). Of all cats seen in South Dakota, 8% had ear mites.
Key Takeaway: The diagnosis of ear mite infestation has decreased by 28% over the past 5 years; in 2009, 325 of every 10,000 cats seen had ear mites; in 2013, the number dropped to 233 of every 10,000 cats seen.
Prevention and early disease diagnosis are critical to successfully managing many infectious diseases.—State of Pet Health 2014 Report
INFECTIOUS DISEASE IN DOGS
The State of Pet Health 2014 Report highlighted the following key findings regarding infectious diseases in dogs presented to Banfield Pet Hospitals in 2013.
Canine Parvovirus Infection
- Overall, about 1 in every 290 dogs seen was diagnosed with parvovirus infection.
- Puppies were at greatest risk for parvovirus infection, with 1 in every 74 juvenile (< 1 year) dogs diagnosed with the disease.
- Intact adult dogs (≥ 1 year) were almost 23× more likely to be infected than same-aged spayed/neutered dogs.
- New Mexico, Texas, and Nevada had the highest prevalence of dogs infected with parvovirus (117, 70, and 66 cases/10,000, respectively).
Key Takeaway: The prevalence of parvovirus infection in dogs has remained fairly stable over the past 5 years; however, despite the availability of effective vaccines, the disease persists.
- Overall, about 1 in every 230 dogs seen was diagnosed with Giardia infection.
- Juvenile dogs were, by far, the age group at greatest risk for Giardia infection, with about 1 in every 72 puppies affected.
- Large breed dogs were 50% more likely to be infected with Giardia than toy/small breeds.
- Giardia infection was most common in dogs living in the Central and Northeastern U.S., particularly Kentucky, Iowa, Massachusetts, and New Jersey (96, 88, 74, and 74 cases/10,000, respectively).
Key Takeaway: Giardia infection may be becoming less common. In 2013, 48 of every 10,000 dogs were identified as infected compared with 56 per 10,000 in 2009—a 14% decrease.
Canine Infectious Respiratory Disease Complex
- Overall, almost 2% of dogs seen had CIRDC.
- CIRDC was most common in juvenile dogs, with 1 in 36 affected (2.8%).
- Kentucky, Utah, and Florida had the highest prevalence of dogs with CIRDC (248, 234, and 224 cases/10,000, respectively).
Key Takeaway: The prevalence of CIRDC in dogs has fluctuated over the past 5 years, but the overall difference is minimal (2% decrease). Despite the availability of vaccines, this highly contagious disease remains a significant threat to pet health.
- Overall, about 1 in every 130 dogs seen was infected with the bacterium—Borrelia burgdorferi—that causes Lyme disease.
- Geriatric dogs (> 10 years) were about 10× more likely to be infected with Borrelia burgdorferi than juvenile dogs.
- Infection was twice as common in large breed dogs (111 cases/10,000) compared with infection in toy/small breed dogs (55 cases/10,000).
- The Northeastern states are hot spots for Lyme disease: New Hampshire had the highest rate of diagnosis of infection, with 1 in every 15 dogs seen affected.
Key Takeaway: Diagnosis of infection with Borrelia burgdorferi has increased by 21% since 2009—from 53 cases per 10,000 to 64 cases per 10,000 in 2013. The change corresponds to a similar increase in tick infestation over the same period.
More dogs were diagnosed with Lyme disease in the spring and early summer than at any other time of the year. This peak corresponded with the 2013 peak in tick infestation seen in dogs, demonstrating a link between number of ticks and spread of Lyme disease.
The State of Pet Health 2014 Report emphasizes that the threat of infectious disease is often closer to home than pet owners realize—hiding in backyards and neighborhood dog parks. Seemingly innocent and regular activities for pets, such as drinking from, or swimming in, a pond, sharing a toy, or chasing wildlife may result in serious illness if a pet is not properly vaccinated and protected with preventive medications.
The veterinary professional plays an important role in preventing the spread of infectious disease by:
- Educating pet owners about infectious/zoonotic diseases
- Recommending vaccines for each individual pet based on its lifestyle and geographic location
- Raising awareness about lifestyle factors and transmission modes that put a pet at risk for infection.
To read the entire State of Pet Health 2014 Report, please visit stateofpethealth.com.
CIRDC = canine infectious respiratory disease complex; FeLV = feline leukemia virus; FIV = feline immunodeficiency virus; URI = upper respiratory infection