Diabetes in Pets on the Rise
Diabetes in pets is rising at a startling rate, according to a new report by Banfield Pet Hospital of Portland, Ore.
The report found a 32 percent increase in the rate of canine diabetes mellitus and a 16 percent increase in feline diabetes mellitus since 2006.
The rise in cat and dog diabetes mimics a similar jump in human diabetes, which according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, has increased at a rate of 28 percent since 2005.
While diabetes mellitus was not listed in the top 10 diagnoses of pets seen in 2010, the diagnosis of overweight or obese, which are risk factors for diabetes mellitus, was high on the list, according to the report. For young adult, mature adult and geriatric dogs, it was in the top five diagnoses, and for cats of the same age ranges, it was in the top three.
Banfield’s State of Pet Health 2011 Report comprised medical data from 2.1 million dogs and nearly 450,000 cats that were cared for in 2010 in Banfield’s 770 hospitals spanning 43 states.
The report analyzes trends from the past five years and highlights the most common, preventable, transmittable to humans or medically important diagnoses affecting dogs and cats.
“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,” said Jeffrey Klausner, D.V.M., senior vice president and chief medical officer for Banfield Pet Hospital. “As a practice, we believe that early diagnosis of disease will positively impact a pet’s health and lifespan. We hope the information in this report will be useful to both veterinarians and pet owners as we partner to help pets live longer, healthier lives.”
In addition to diabetes, American dogs and cats are facing other conditions that parallel human health problems, such as dental disease. Dental disease is the most common disorder among dogs and cats, affecting 68 percent of cats and 78 percent of dogs over the age of three, according to the report. Just as with humans, dental disease in dogs and cats has been associated with changes in liver, kidney and cardiac functions, the report further noted.
In 2010, tartar was the most common dental diagnosis in dogs (toy, small, medium and large breed) as well as cats, according to the report. The top five dog breeds most likely to develop periodontal disease include the Toy Poodle, Yorkshire Terrier, Maltese, Pomeranian and Shetland Sheepdog.
Other findings from the report:
The report also outlines the most common diagnoses for both dogs and cats in 2010. For dogs, the top five diagnoses in Banfield hospitals were: dental tartar, otitis externa, overweight, dermatitis and fleas. For cats, the top five diagnoses were: dental tartar, fleas, overweight, tapeworms and cystitis.
- In 2010, heartworm disease was one of the top three health risks for dogs and cats seen in Banfield hospitals in the Southern United States. The disease was detected in 6.7 percent of dogs in Mississippi, 6.3 percent in Arkansas, almost 5 percent in Louisiana, almost 3 percent in Alabama, 2.6 percent in Texas and a little more than 2 percent in South Carolina.
- Otitis externa (inflammation of the external ear canal) has seen a 9.4 percent increase in dogs and 34 percent increase in cats since 2006.
- Overall, the proportion of flea infestation has increased 16 percent in dogs and 12 percent in cats over the past five years.
- Roundworms, hookworms and whipworms have been on the rise in cats since 2006 while hookworms and whipworms have been on the rise in dogs during the same period.
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