Banfield Releases 2019 State of Pet Health Report

Banfield Pet Hospital’s annual State of Pet Health Report analyzes data from over 2.5 million dogs and half a million cats that are patients at their veterinary offices in the US.

You can check out the full report on the Banfield website, including interactive features like checking on the most common pet health issues in your state, by dog or cat.

What are the most common pet health issues seen at Banfield?

  • Dental calculus (tartar)
  • Overweight
  • Otitis externa (ear infection)
  • Luxating patella
  • Nuclear sclerosis (cloudy eye)

Banfield also reports a significant increase in the diagnosis of osteoarthritis in both dogs and cats.  They note that this increase is primarily due to the growing problem of obesity in our pets, as extra weight puts stress on their joints.

Skin allergies are also commonly seen in the pets brought to Banfield.  The three most common are:

  • Flea allergies
  • Food allergies
  • Environmental allergies

Be sure to keep your pet at a healthy weight and talk to your veterinarian about any health concerns you have about your best friend!

 

 

Meet FACE Success Story Abel

This beautiful cat is Abel!  Abel was suffering from a urinary blockage and had to go to the vet for treatment.  Sadly, he became re-obstruced within 24 hours and needed a perineal urethrostomy (a surgery that permanently opens up the urethra in cats prone to blockages).

Urinary blockages are a common condition in male cats, but can quickly become life-threatening when a cat is unable to urinate.

Money was tight for Abel’s family, so with the help of a FACE grant, he was able to get the surgery he needed to live a normal life again.

Abel’s family reports that he is now home and recovering well from his surgery!

 

How Climate Change Impacts the Health of Our Pets

USA Today recently published an interesting article about all the different ways warming temperatures have a negative effect on the health of our dogs, cats, and other pets.

According to veterinary epidemiologists interviewed for the article, certain diseases, many of them spread by parasites, are moving into geographic areas not previously affected by them.

Here’s a brief rundown, but be sure to click the link above to read the full story.

Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever

This is a bacterial illness spread by ticks.  Historically, it has been carried by the American dog tick.  Veterinarians are now reporting that this disease is being spread north by a new type of tropical tick (called the brown dog tick) that came to the US from South America.

Heartworm

Heartworm is a serious disease that is passed on to our pets through mosquito bites.  The worm larvae mature at faster rates in warmer temperatures.  Heartworm was traditionally a problem in the southern part of the US, but is now moving into other parts of the country that haven’t seen it before.

Lyme Disease

Like Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Lyme disease is also spread by ticks…usually the deer tick (also called the black legged tick).  Veterinarians report that Lyme disease is now moving north from the US into Canada.  The transmission season for Lyme and other diseases also gets longer as temperatures stay warmer for longer periods of time.

The article notes that climate change affects how these diseases are spread in multiple ways.  Besides the normal movement of parasites further north as temperatures warm, there are other ways they seem to be spreading.

One of the most significant is the movement of infected shelter pets from one part of the country to another.  This happens in the wake of climate-influenced natural disasters like hurricanes, tornados, and wildfires when displaced pets are relocated.

More shelter pets are also being transported around the country because there’s a greater demand for shelter pets as the sale of dogs and cats in retail pet stores is being banned in more places around the US.

Be sure to talk to your veterinarian about the best ways to protect your pets from parasite borne illnesses in your area!

 

Heartwarming Video: New Rescue Pup Brings Joy to Dog Mourning Loss of His Brother

Banksy and Hamilton were best canine companions, doing everything together until Hamilton passed away.  Banksy was deeply affected by the loss of his best friend.  His owners became very concerned, as Banksy became depressed and spent most of his time sleeping.

They decided that adding a new dog to the family might be the answer.  Enter Mochi, an adorable fluffball from Jindo Love Rescue, an organization that saves and adopts out dogs from the Korean dog meat trade.

Mochi also just happens to look like a miniature version of Hamilton!  After a successful introduction, Banksy and Mochi have become inseparable, sharing everything from toys to walks to Puppuccino drinks side by side.

Watch the adorable video from The Dodo below.  You can also follow the adventures of Banksy and Mochi (with their new friend Bowie) on their Instagram account!

 

Domestic Cats Face Dangers From Urban Coyotes

The US National Park Service recently completed a two-year study on the diet of coyotes in the Los Angeles, California area.  The results indicate that our cats could be at greater risk for being eaten by coyotes than we thought.

Researchers analyzed over 3,200 samples of coyote poop (called scat) from Los Angeles and surrounding communities.  They also compared the urban coyote samples with samples from more suburban areas that are closer to their natural habitat.

They found that the diet of urban coyotes was influenced by living so close to humans.  The coyotes routinely ate human food scraps and commercial pet food.  They also ate a lot of ornamental fruits commonly found in our gardens.

Unfortunately, free-roaming cats–and even cats allowed outside but restricted to enclosed yards–are also on the menu for urban coyotes.  Domestic cat remains were found in 20% of the scat, the third most common component after human and pet foods and ornamental fruits.

The scat of coyotes from more rural areas had only 4% of domestic cat and it also had less human and pet food and ornamental fruit remains.  Rabbits were the most common part of the non-urban coyotes’ diet.

Pet owners in areas with high numbers of coyotes should always keep their cats indoors.  Small dogs can also be at risk, so it’s important to walk your dog on leash and never leave your dog in the yard unattended.

Make sure your trash can lids are secure and avoid leaving bowls of pet food outside as well.  Experts also recommend avoiding bird feeders and ornamental fruit trees to discourage coyote visits to your back yard.

You can find a lot of helpful information on keeping your pets safe from coyotes on the Urban Coyote Initiative website HERE.