Objective—To estimate the prevalence of surgical castration among dogs and cats evaluated at private US veterinary hospitals and to determine the influence of sex, age, breed, geographic location, and prepaid wellness plan enrollment on the likelihood of castration.
Design—Retrospective period prevalence study.
Animals—320,172 cats and 1,339,860 dogs examined at 651 hospitals during 2007
Procedures—Univariate and multivariate analyses were used to compare prevalence among subpopulations for each species.
Results—The overall prevalence of castration was 82% in cats and 64% in dogs. Prevalence increased significantly with age in both species. Among cats, males were slightly more likely to be castrated than females (prevalence ratio [PR] = 1.03) and mixed breeds slightly less likely than purebreds (PR = 0.99). Among dogs, males were less likely to be castrated than females (PR = 0.93) and mixed breeds more likely than purebreds (PR = 1.19). Prevalence was lowest in dogs in the Southeastern United States (61%). Dogs and cats on a wellness plan were more likely to be castrated than those not on a plan (PR = 1.33 and 1.18, respectively). Among commonly reported dog breeds, pit bull-type dogs (27%) and Chihuahuas (46%) were least likely to be castrated.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Many young adult (1- to < 4-year-old) dogs (32%) were uncastrated, signaling a need to promote earlier castration. Outreach efforts should be directed toward owners of pets least likely to be castrated, such as male dogs, dogs of specific breeds (ie, pit bull-type and Chihuahua), and dogs in the Southeastern United States. Additional research is needed to evaluate the potential impact of wellness programs on an owner's decision to have his or her pet castrated.
OBJECTIVE To examine potential associations between periodontal disease (PD) and the risk of development of chronic azotemic kidney disease (CKD) among cats and determine whether the risk of CKD increases with severity of PD.
DESIGN Retrospective cohort study.
ANIMALS 169, 242 cats.
PROCEDURES Cats were evaluated ≥ 3 times at any of 829 hospitals from January 1, 2002, through June 30, 2013. Cats with an initial diagnosis of PD of any stage (n = 56,414) were frequency matched with cats that had no history or evidence of PD (112,828) by age and year of study entry. Data on signalment, PD, and other conditions potentially related to CKD were extracted from electronic medical records. Cox proportional hazards modeling was used to estimate the association of PD with CKD after controlling for covariates.
RESULTS PD was associated with increased risk of CKD; risk was highest for cats with stage 3 or 4 PD. Risk of CKD increased with age. Purebred cats had greater risk of CKD than mixed-breed cats. General anesthesia within the year before study exit and diagnosis of cystitis at any point prior to study exit (including prior to study entry) were each associated with increased CKD risk. Diagnosis of diabetes mellitus or hepatic lipidosis at any point prior to study exit was associated with decreased CKD risk.
CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE The findings supported the benefit of maintaining good oral health and can be useful to veterinarians for educating owners on the importance of preventing PD in cats.
Objective—To identify risk factors associated with diagnosis of chronic kidney disease (CKD) in cats.
Design—Retrospective case-control study.
Animals—1,230 cats with a clinical diagnosis of CKD, serum creatinine concentration > 1.6 mg/dL, and urine specific gravity < 1.035 and 1,230 age-matched control cats.
Procedures—Data on putative risk factors for CKD were extracted for multivariate logistic regression analysis from the medical records of cats brought to 755 primary care veterinary hospitals. For a subset of cats evaluated 6 to 12 months prior to the date of CKD diagnosis or control group inclusion, the percentage change in body weight between those dates as well as clinical signs at the earlier date were analyzed for associations with CKD development.
Results—Risk factors for CKD in cats included thin body condition, prior periodontal disease or cystitis, anesthesia or documented dehydration in the preceding year, being a neutered male (vs spayed female), and living anywhere in the United States other than the northeast. The probability of CKD decreased with increasing body weight in nondehydrated cats, domestic shorthair breed, and prior diagnosis of diabetes mellitus and increased when vomiting, polyuria or polydipsia, appetite or energy loss, or halitosis was present at the time of diagnosis or control group inclusion but not when those signs were reported 6 to 12 months earlier. Median weight loss during the preceding 6 to 12 months was 10.8% and 2.1% in cats with and without CKD, respectively.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—The probability of CKD diagnosis in cats was influenced by several variables; recent weight loss, particularly in combination with the other factors, warrants assessment of cats for CKD.
OBJECTIVE To identify risk factors for anesthetic-related death in pet dogs and cats.
DESIGN Matched case-control study.
ANIMALS 237 dogs and 181 cats.
PROCEDURES Electronic medical records from 822 hospitals were examined to identify dogs and cats that underwent general anesthesia (including sedation) or sedation alone and had death attributable to the anesthetic episode ≤ 7 days later (case animals; 115 dogs and 89 cats) or survived > 7 days afterward (control animals [matched by species and hospital]; 122 dogs and 92 cats). Information on patient characteristics and data related to the anesthesia session were extracted. Conditional multivariable logistic regression was performed to identify factors associated with anesthetic-related death for each species.
RESULTS The anesthetic-related death rate was higher for cats (11/10,000 anesthetic episodes [0.11%]) than for dogs (5/10,000 anesthetic episodes [0.05%]). Increasing age was associated with increased odds of death for both species, as was undergoing nonelective (vs elective) procedures. Odds of death for dogs were significantly greater when preanesthetic physical examination results were not recorded (vs recorded) or when preanesthetic Hct was outside (vs within) the reference range. Odds of death for cats were greater when intra-anesthesia records for oxygen saturation as measured by pulse oximetry were absent. Underweight dogs had almost 15 times the odds of death as nonunderweight dogs; for cats, odds of death increased with increasing body weight (but not with overweight body condition).
CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Several factors were associated with anesthetic-related death in cats and dogs. This information may be useful for development of strategies to reduce anesthetic-related risks when possible and for education of pet owners about anesthetic risks.
Objective—To determine whether gonadectomy or age at gonadectomy was associated with the risk that dogs would subsequently become overweight.
Design—Retrospective cohort study.
Animals—1,930 dogs gonadectomized between 1998 and 2001 at ≤ 6 months of age (n = 782), > 6 months to ≤ 1 year of age (861), or > 1 to ≤ 5 years of age (287) and 1,669 sexually intact dogs.
Procedures—Dogs were followed-up through medical records for ≥ 10 years or until a diagnosis of overweight (defined as overweight, obese, or having a body condition score ≥ 4/5) was recorded. Information extracted included age at study entry, sex, breed, breed-size category, hospital visit frequency, and diagnosis (yes or no) of overweight or diseases that might affect body condition. Relative risk of a diagnosis of overweight was assessed among age groups of gonadectomized dogs and between gonadectomized and sexually intact dogs.
Results—No difference was detected among dogs grouped according to age at gonadectomy with respect to the risk of being overweight. This risk was significantly greater in gonadectomized dogs than in sexually intact dogs, but only during the first 2 years after gonadectomy. Sexually intact male dogs were approximately 40% less likely to have this diagnosis (hazard ratio, 0.61; 95% confidence interval, 0.52 to 0.72) than were sexually intact female dogs; no difference in risk between the sexes was evident for gonadectomized dogs.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Gonadectomized dogs had a greater risk of being overweight than did sexually intact dogs, but this risk was not influenced by age at gonadectomy. Opportunities exist for veterinarians to provide counseling during the first years after gonadectomy to help dogs maintain a healthy weight.
Objective—To identify factors associated with development of struvite urolithiasis in dogs evaluated at general care veterinary hospitals in the United States.
Design—Retrospective case-control study.
Animals—508 dogs with a first-time diagnosis of struvite urolithiasis and 7,135 control dogs.
Procedures—Electronic medical records of all dogs evaluated at 787 general care veterinary hospitals in the United States between October 2007 and December 2010 were reviewed to identify dogs that developed struvite urolithiasis and 2 groups of control dogs with no history of urolithiasis. Information extracted included diet, age, sex, neuter status, breed size category, hospital location, and date of diagnosis. Urinalysis results, urolith composition, and other disease conditions were recorded if applicable. Potential risk factors were assessed with univariable and multivariable regression analysis.
Results—Toy- or small-sized breeds had significantly greater odds of struvite urolithiasis, compared with medium- or large-sized breeds. Neutering significantly increased the odds of this outcome in females only; sexually intact females were more likely to develop struvite urolithiasis than were sexually intact males, but only up to 5 years of age. Urinary factors significantly associated with the outcome were basic (vs acidic) pH, presence of RBCs or WBCs, protein concentration > 30 mg/dL, and ketone concentration ≥ 5 mg/dL.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Evaluation of demographic characteristics and urinalysis results may be useful in the early identification of struvite urolithiasis in dogs. Periodic urinalysis in dogs is recommended because of the potential health impact of a late diagnosis of urolithiasis.
Veterinary professionals work daily to prevent and relieve animal suffering and promote animal health and welfare. Accomplishing this means making safe, effective, and economic veterinary care available and accessible to as many animal owners as possible.
Cost is a barrier to access to care, and a pet owner's financial limitations may force decisions that are against the best interest of the pet's well-being. Between 1998 and 2011, a steady increase was observed in the proportion of owned pets in the United States that received no health care from a veterinary practice, from 32% to 45% for cats and 15% to