The prevalence of diabetes mellitus in dogs and cats is also going up. While it did not rank in the top 10 diagnoses of pets
in 2010, obesity did. Obesity ranked in the top five diagnoses for young adult, mature adult and geriatric dogs. It leaped
to the top three diagnoses for cats in the same age ranges.
"I wonder about the diabetes increase," Klausner says. "There is a certain percentage of those patients that could be better
managed as far as weight."
Interestingly enough, states with the greatest prevalence for a diagnoses of diabetes mellitus in dogs included Iowa, Rhode
Island, Idaho, Nevada and Delaware. For cats, the top states included Massachusetts, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Nevada and
As might be expected, heartworm disease was most prevalent in the Southeast. In fact, 6.7 percent of dogs in Mississippi tested
positive, and other states like Arkansas (6.3 percent) and Louisiana (5 percent) were not far behind. Alabama (3 percent),
Texas (2.6 percent) and South Carolina (2 percent) also ranked high in terms of heartworm-positive patients.
The data also shows that the disease was diagnosed every month of the year. Peak months for heartworm disease diagnoses occurred
in June and in February.
Inflammation of the outer ear canal ranked as the second most common disease affecting dogs and cats. Since 2006, otitis externa
increased 34 percent in cats and 9.4 percent in dogs. Last year, 15.8 percent of dogs and 7.4 percent of cats were diagnosed
with otitis externa. Some of the purebred dogs predisposed to the disease include: Basset Hound, Beagle, Bulldog (American
and English), Golden Retriever, Labrador Retriever, Lhasa Apso, Poodle (all sizes), Pug, Shar-Pei and English Springer Spaniel.
Roundworms, hookworms and tapeworms
Increases were noted with hookworms too. In fact, the data suggests a 30 percent increase in hookworm prevalence in dogs and
a 3.5 percent increase in cats. Roundworm prevalence, on the other hand, is showing some declines in dogs (4.6 percent), yet
increases (12.6 percent) in cats. Alabama had the highest prevalence of roundworm and ranked high in prevalence of whipworm
and tapeworm in dogs.
Other states like Mississippi, Texas and South Carolina ranked high in prevalence of these parasites for dogs and cats. Tapeworm
remains the most common parasite for cats despite a 15.5 percent decrease in prevalence over the past five years, the report