Chronic Disease Grows with Pets’ Waists

Chronic disease is on the rise in pets, but owners are hesitant to visit the veterinarian to treat existing conditions.

According to the State of Pet Health 2012 Report, published today by Banfield Pet Hospital, 1 in 5 cats and dogs were classified as obese or overweight in 2011. From 2007 to 2011, the incidence of obesity and overweight in dogs increased 37 percent and increased 90 percent in cats.

Many pets who are diagnosed obese or overweight also suffer with other chronic diseases, including:

  • 40 percent of dogs with arthritis
  • 40 percent of dogs with diabetes
  • 40 percent of dogs with high blood pressure
  • 60 percent of dogs with hypothyroidism

Arthritis and chronic kidney disease are also on the rise. The rate of arthritis diagnoses in dogs rose 28 percent from 2007 to 2011.

Meanwhile, 36 percent of dog owners and 28 percent of cat owners said they would take their pet to see a veterinarian to manage an existing condition, according to a separate survey of 2,000 pet owners conducted by Banfield and market research firm Kelton.

“The key to successful early disease diagnosis involves a partnership between pet owners and their veterinarian to identify changes in a pet’s overall health and behavior,” said Jeffrey Kausner, DVM, senior vice president and chief medical officer for Banfield.

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