More dogs and cats are being diagnosed with osteoarthritis (OA). According to Banfield Pet Hospital’s 2019 State of Pet Health Report, there has been a 66 percent increase of OA in dogs and 150 percent increase in cats over the past 10 years.
Discomfort from OA can keep pets from being active, lead to weight gain, and in turn, worsen the joint condition, according to Banfield officials. Banfield found 52 percent of dogs and 41 percent of cats with OA are also overweight or obese. Therefore, weight management is an important part of treating OA, even if a pet is not currently overweight, officials further noted.
"As veterinary professionals and pet lovers ourselves, all of us at Banfield understand diagnosing and treating a complicated and sometimes overlooked disease like osteoarthritis is a joint effort—and that pets can benefit from better management of both pain and excess weight," said Molly McAllister, DVM, chief medical officer for Banfield Pet Hospital. "At Banfield, our goal is to arm pet owners with the tools they need to spot signs of OA and empower them to have meaningful conversations with their veterinarians to give their pets the best lives possible."
While OA is more common in older pets, the disease can develop in dogs and cats at any age, Banfield officials said. Further, the progressive and degenerative disease can go undiagnosed, with pet owners often mistaking signs of OA as normal "old age" behavior, officials added.
Other findings from Banfield’s report:
· 61 percent of dogs and 1.1 percent of cats are affected by OA
· More than 20 percent of dogs and 4 percent of cats 10 years of age and older are affected by OA
· Dogs with OA are 1.7 time more likely to be overweight or obese
· Cats with OA are 1.2 times more likely to be overweight or obese
Banfield’s 2019 State of Pet Health Report includes medical data from more than 2.5 million dogs and 500,000 cats Banfield cared for in 2018.
Banfield, which was founded in Portland, Ore., is part of Mars Inc. in McLean, Va.