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BANFIELD Pet Health By The Numbers, Dentistry, Urology/Renal Medicine

A Look at Kidney & Periodontal Diseases

A Look at Kidney & Periodontal Diseases


The following statistics were extracted from data collected from the medical records of nearly 2.2 million dogs and 460,000 cats cared for in more than 800 Banfield Pet Hospitals (banfield.com) in 2012. Note that diagnosis was made based on the attending clinician’s judgment. Learn more about this new column by reading Welcome to…Pet Health by the Numbers.


Of all the pets presented to Banfield Pet Hospitals in 2012:

  • A diagnosis of kidney disease (acute or chronic) was made in 2% of cats and only 0.3% of dogs.
  • In patients over 10 years of age, approximately 1 in every 12 cats (7.8%) and 1 in every 67 dogs (1.5%) were diagnosed with chronic kidney disease (CKD).
  • Median serum creatinine concentrations in cats and dogs diagnosed with CKD were 3.2 mg/dL and 2.6 mg/dL, respectively.

Path to Pet Wellness: Although the incidence of acute kidney injury (AKI) is unknown, previously published estimates of CKD incidence in the general population of dogs and cats have been around 0.5% to 1.5%.1,2 However, 1 recent study demonstrated that 30% of geriatric cats developed azotemia over the course of 1 year,3 suggesting that CKD is likely more common than realized. The difference between prevalence and diagnostic data highlights how CKD may be overlooked due to absent or mild clinical signs. To enhance detection of renal disease, routine blood analysis and urinalysis should be performed, particularly in apparently healthy geriatric pets.

—JD Foster, VMD, Diplomate ACVIM

Read Nutritional Management of Renal Disease: An Evidence-Based Approach.


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Path to Pet Wellness: By 2 years of age, 80% of dogs and 70% of cats have some form of periodontal disease.4 However, in veterinary practices nationwide, the number of pets diagnosed with periodontal disease, and subsequently treated, lags behind the prevalence statistics. To definitively diagnose this disease, oral evaluations must be performed with the patient under anesthesia, which allows identification of clinical signs and findings associated with periodontal disease, including the presence of plaque above and below the gumline; dental radiography is also essential to diagnosis.

—Brook A. Niemiec, DVM, FAVD, Diplomate AVDC

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Read Practical Dentistry: Feline & Canine Oral Ulcerative Disease.


  1. Polzin DJ. Chronic kidney disease. In Bartges J, Polzin DJ (eds): Nephrology and Urology of Small Animals. Ames, IA: Wiley-Blackwell, 2011, pp 433-471.
  2. O’Neill DG, Elliott J, Church DB, et al. Chronic kidney disease in dogs in UK veterinary practices: Prevalence, risk factors, and survival. J Vet Intern Med 2013; 27(4):814-821.
  3. Jepson RE, Brodbelt D, Vallance C, et al. Evaluation of predictors of the development of azotemia in cats. J Vet Intern Med 2009; 23(4):806-813.
  4. Wiggs RB, Lobprise HB. Periodontology. Veterinary Dentistry, Principles, and Practice. Philadelphia: Lippincott, 1997, pp 186-231.