Dental Disease Tops List of Pet Health ProblemsPublished April 26, 2011
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Banfield Pet Hospital, based in Portland, Oregon, recently released the “State of Pet Health 2011 Report,” compiled of medical data from 2.1 million dogs and nearly 450,00 cats.
Outlined in the report are the most common diseases diagnosed in 2010 under Banfield Pet Hospitals' care, for both cats and dogs. The top five diagnoses for cats were dental tartar, fleas, overweight, tapeworms and bladder infections, while the top five medical conditions diagnosed for dogs at Banfield's hospitals were dental tartar, otitis externa (inflammation of the outer ear), overweight, dermatitis and fleas.
Commenting on the study, Jeffrey Klausner, DVM, Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer for Banfield Pet Hospital said, “As the largest general veterinary practice in the world, Banfield is in a unique position to release the first annual ‘State of Pet Health Report.’ This report was created because we wanted to use our knowledge and research to help educate pet owners and raise profession-wide awareness for some of the most common and important diagnoses affecting the health of pets in the United States. As a practice, we believe that early diagnosis of disease will positively impact a pet’s health and lifespan.”
According to the report, the most common disorder among cats and dogs is dental disease. Based on the pet population seen at Banfield Pet Hospital, 68 percent of cats and 78 percent of dogs over the age of 3 were affected. Dental disease opens the door wide for serious complications such as heart, liver and kidney disease.
In reading the report, what I most disturbing though not surprising, is the alarming rise in the rate of diabetes in both cats and dogs, which parallels the trend in humans. While The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports the rise of diabetes in humans since 2005 at 28 percent, the Banfield study reports a 45 percent increase in canine diabetes mellitus in 2005 with a 32 percent rise in 2006, with a 16 percent increase in feline diabetes mellitus since 2006.
In the past four years, flea infestation in dogs has increased 16 percent and 12 percent in cats. Fleas and ticks carry and spread diseases that affect both pets and humans. With the wide availability of effective and safe flea and tick control products on the market today, it makes me wonder if the state of our economy is the major contributing factor.
The data strongly supports the need for regular veterinary care to ensure robust health for our beloved pets.
Visit banfield.com to learn more about Banfield Pet Hospital.