Banfield Pet Hospital has released its 2016 State of Pet Health report, compiled from the medical data of 2.5 million dogs and almost 500,000 cats treated at Banfield Pet Hospitals in 2015. The Banfield Applied Research and Knowledge team (BARK) analyzed data from 925 of its hospitals to find 10-year trends in common diagnoses for cats and dogs, according to a Banfield release. The findings were grouped in sections covering diabetes mellitus, heartworm disease, dental disease, otitis externa, fleas, ticks and internal parasites.
“Now in its sixth year, 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,” says Daniel Aja, DVM, senior vice president and chief medical officer for Banfield. “It is our hope that the information in this report continues to serve as a catalyst for pet owners to partner with veterinary teams to help pets live better lives through preventive care.”
Click through the pages that follow for a high-level overview of the report’s findings.
Just as with humans, the report suggests that diabetes prevalence is rising in pets and that dogs are more likely to develop type 1 diabetes, while cats are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes. Banfield didn’t find a clear regional pattern in the highest rates of diabetes, but the greatest prevalence in 2015 for dogs was found in Nevada, Montana, Iowa, Wisconsin and Kentucky. The highest rates for cats were found in Delaware, New Mexico, District of Columbia, Wisconsin and Arkansas.
Canine diabetes has increased by 80 percent from 2006-2016, while the prevalence of diabetes in cats has increased 18 percent in that same time frame.
Unlike diabetes, the Banfield research found a distinct geographical trend in the rates of heartworm infection, with the highest prevalence found in the southeastern states. Those with the highest prevalence were Mississippi (4.1 percent), Louisiana (3.9 percent) and Arkansas (3.6 percent). Overall, however, there’s been a 33 percent decrease in heartworm prevalence since 2011.
Dental disease is the most common disease in pets, affecting 76 percent of dogs and 63 percent of cats, according to the the Banfield study. In 2015, the states with the highest percentage of canine dental disease were Minnesota, Nevada, Iowa and Nebraska, while Minnesota, Wisconsin, Nevada and Washington led the prevalence rates in cats.
Since 2006, the prevalence of dental disease in dogs has grown by 23 percent.
In cats, the prevalence has also grown by 23 percent. Cats also showed an increase in other dental conditions such as stomatitis (69 percent) and tooth resorption (1,587 percent).
Otitis externa is in the top 10 diagnoses for cats and dogs, according to the 2016 State of Pet Health Report. In 2015, 13 percent of dogs and 7 percent of cats were diagnosed with the condition.
The prevalence of otitis externa in dogs peaked in 2010 at 14 percent. Since then the prevalence has decreased to 13 percent.
Between 2006 and 2010, the number of diagnosed otitis externa cases in cats rose 30 percent, and that prevalence has remained steady since 2010.
In 2015 fleas were among the most common parasites found in both dogs and cats. In 2015, for both cats and dogs, the states with the highest flea infestations were Louisiana, Alabama and Florida.
Overall, the prevalence of flea infestation in dogs has grown 6 percent since 2006, with a peak in 2012.
Cats on the other hand have shown a 10 percent increase in flea infestations, also with a peak in 2012. The study reports that the prevalence of fleas in cats is twice that of dogs, indicating that more cats need to be given flea prevention.
In terms of ticks, there's been an 11 percent decrease in the number of tick cases in dogs over the past 10 years.
The states with the highest instances of ticks, Puerto Rico, Arkansas and Massachusetts, ranked in the top five for both cats and dogs.
In cats, ticks are a less common problem, and there’s been a 10 percent decrease in the number of cases seen over the last 10 years.
There’s been a decrease in the prevalence of internal parasites over the last 10 years. The report posits that the increased use of flea preventives in cats and dogs and increased use of heartworm preventives in dogs may have a hand in some of those changes.
Since 2011, there’s been a decrease in roundworms, whipworms and tapeworms, but the prevalence of hookworms has remained mostly unchanged.
In cats, there’s been a reduction in roundworms, hookworms, whipworms and tapeworms, though cats are more than twice as likely to have tapeworms as compared to dogs.
For more on the Banfield Pet Hospital 2016 State of Pet Health report visit stateofpethealth.com