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BANFIELD Pet Health By The Numbers

Infectious Respiratory & Canine Cranial Cruciate Diseases

Infectious Respiratory & Canine Cranial Cruciate 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.


Of all pets presented to Banfield Pet Hospitals in 2012:

  • Coughing was the primary reason given for the visit in 1% of dogs and 1.2% of cats.
  • Approximately 1 in every 57 dogs, or 1.8% (38,119/2,177,598) of all dogs seen, was diagnosed and/or had laboratory findings consistent with kennel cough, also known as canine infectious respiratory disease complex.
  • The highest prevalence of this disease was seen in dogs < 1 year of age, specifically 1 in 36 puppies, or 2.8%.
  • Approximately 1 in every 11 cats, or 9.3% (42,253/454,715) of all cats seen was diagnosed and/or had laboratory findings consist with upper respiratory infection.
  • The highest prevalence of this disease was seen in cats < 1 year of age, or 17.8% of all cats seen.

Path to Pet Wellness: This thought-provoking data highlights the importance of infectious respiratory disease. Previously published studies have tended to focus on specific populations, such as those in shelters or catteries, in which the prevalence of clinically infected animals can be as high as 80%. The data shared in this column demonstrates that infectious respiratory disease is relatively common in the overall U.S. pet population. Of particular importance is the finding that such large numbers of cats are presenting with clinical signs of upper respiratory infection. Pediatric patients are more likely to be affected, possibly reflecting incomplete vaccination and immature immune function.

—Lesley G. King, MVB, Diplomate ACVECC & ACVIM (Small Animal Internal Medicine)

Read Feline Rhinitis and Upper Respiratory Disease (Jul/Aug 2012 issue).


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Dogs were categorized by size based on the average adult body weight (male and female) of the breed reported in the medical record; calculations are based on the 2,190,000 dogs seen in 2012 for which this information was available.

Path to Pet Wellness: This interesting data confirms the higher prevalence of lameness in large dogs compared with smaller dogs, although body condition scores would likely even better predict lameness. Although the actual incidence of cranial cruciate ligament (CCL) disease in dogs is unknown, reports estimate that it may occur in up to 20% of all dogs in their lifetime.1-4 While the numbers reported here likely underestimate the prevalence of CCL disease, they may not include patients with partial tears or those in which instability is difficult to palpate. However, until proven otherwise, a diagnosis of CCL disease should be considered in all dogs with hindlimb lameness.

—Kimberly A. Agnello, DVM, MS, Diplomate ACVS

Read Canine Cranial Cruciate Disease: An Evidence-Based Look at Current Treatment Modalities.


  1. Survey of 200 veterinarians, 1996. Pfizer Animal Health proprietary market research.
  2. Intema F, Hazewinkel HA, Gouwens D, et al. In early OA, thinning of the subchondral plate is directly related to cartilage damage: Results from a canine ACLT-meniscectomy model. Osteoarthritis Cartilage 2010;18(5):691-698.
  3. Elkins AD, Pechman R, Kearney MT, et al. A retrospective study evaluating the degree of degenerative joint disease in the stifle joints of dogs following surgical repair of anterior cruciate ligament rupture. JAAHA 1991; 27:533-540.
  4. Wilke VL, Robinson DA, Evans RB, et al. Estimate of the annual economic impact of treatment of CCL injury in dogs in the U.S. JAVMA 2005; 227:1604-1607.