Weighty Issue of Osteoarthritis

Vancouver, WA June 20, 2019

Today, Banfield Pet Hospital® released its 2019 State of Pet Health Report®, which explores the growing trend of osteoarthritis (OA) in pets – a progressive and painful degenerative disease that can go unnoticed and undiagnosed. 

With the number of overweight and obese pets in the U.S. reaching epidemic levels, diseases associated with excess weight like OA are also on the rise. According to the report, Banfield has witnessed a 66% increase of OA in dogs and 150% 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. Banfield found 52% of dogs and 41% 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.

“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, chief medical officer, 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. Further, the progressive and degenerative disease can go undiagnosed, with pet owners often mistaking signs of OA as normal “old age” behavior. 

Other key findings from Banfield’s 2019 State of Pet Health Report include:

  • 6.1% of dogs and 1.1% of cats are affected by OA
  • More than 20% of dogs and 4% of cats ten years of age and older are affected by OA
  • Dogs with OA are 1.7 times more likely to be overweight or obese
  • Cats with OA are 1.2 times more likely to be overweight or obese

The largest of its kind, Banfield’s 2019 State of Pet Health Report leverages medical data from the more than 2.5 million dogs and 500,000 cats Banfield cared for in 2018. To learn more about osteoarthritis in pets, visit StateofPetHealth.com/osteoarthritis

About Banfield Pet Hospital®

Banfield Pet Hospital was founded in Portland, Ore. in 1955 and today is the largest general veterinary practice in the United States with more than 1,000 hospitals in 42 states, Washington D.C. and Puerto Rico. More than 3,600 Banfield veterinarians are committed to providing high-quality veterinary care to over three million pets annually. As part of the Mars, Inc. family of brands, Banfield is committed to its purpose—A BETTER WORLD FOR PETS®—because pets make a better world for us. Press seeking additional information are invited to call the Media Hotline: (888) 355-0595.

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