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Demographics of dogs, cats, and rabbits attending veterinary practices in Great Britain as recorded in their electronic health records

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      Abstract

      BackgroundUnderstanding the distribution and determinants of disease in animal populations must be underpinned by knowledge of animal demographics. For companion animals, these data have been difficult to collect because of the distributed nature of the companion animal veterinary industry. Here we describe key demographic features of a large veterinary-visiting pet population in Great Britain as recorded in electronic health records, and explore the association between a range of animal’s characteristics and socioeconomic factors.ResultsElectronic health records were captured by the Small Animal Veterinary Surveillance Network (SAVSNET), from 143 practices (329 sites) in Great Britain. Mixed logistic regression models were used to assess the association between socioeconomic factors and species and breed ownership, and preventative health care interventions. Dogs made up 64.8% of the veterinary-visiting population, with cats, rabbits and other species making up 30.3, 2.0 and 1.6% respectively. Compared to cats, dogs and rabbits were more likely to be purebred and younger. Neutering was more common in cats (77.0%) compared to dogs (57.1%) and rabbits (45.8%). The insurance and microchipping relative frequency was highest in dogs (27.9 and 53.1%, respectively). Dogs in the veterinary-visiting population belonging to owners living in least-deprived areas of Great Britain were more likely to be purebred, neutered, insured and microchipped. The same association was found for cats in England and for certain parameters in Wales and Scotland.ConclusionsThe differences we observed within these populations are likely to impact on the clinical diseases observed within individual veterinary practices that care for them. Based on this descriptive study, there is an indication that the population structures of companion animals co-vary with human and environmental factors such as the predicted socioeconomic level linked to the owner’s address. This ‘co-demographic’ information suggests that further studies of the relationship between human demographics and pet ownership are warranted.Electronic supplementary materialThe online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12917-017-1138-9) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

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          Health status and population characteristics of dogs and cats examined at private veterinary practices in the United States.

          To determine age, breed, sex, body condition score, and diet of dogs and cats examined at private veterinary practices in the United States during 1995, and estimate prevalences of the most common disorders for these animals. Cross-sectional study. 31,484 dogs and 15,226 cats examined by veterinary practitioners at 52 private veterinary practices. Information on age, breed, sex, body condition score, diet, and assigned diagnostic codes were collected electronically from participating practices and transferred to a relational database. Prevalence estimates and frequencies for population description were generated using statistical software. Dental calculus and gingivitis were the most commonly reported disorders. About 7% of dogs and 10% of cats examined by practitioners during the study were considered healthy. Many conditions were common to both species (e.g., flea infestation, conjunctivitis, diarrhea, vomiting). Dogs were likely to be examined because of lameness, disk disease, lipoma, and allergic dermatitis. Cats were likely to be examined because of renal disease, cystitis, feline urologic syndrome, and inappetence. Results can be used by veterinary practitioners to better understand and anticipate health problems of importance in cats and dogs they examine and to better communicate with clients regarding the most prevalent disorders in cats and dogs.
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            Author and article information

            Affiliations
            [1 ]ISNI 0000 0004 1936 8470, GRID grid.10025.36, Institute of Infection and Global Health, , University of Liverpool, ; Waterhouse Building (2nd Floor, Block F), 1-5 Brownlow Street, Liverpool, L69 3GL UK
            [2 ]ISNI 0000 0004 1936 8470, GRID grid.10025.36, Health Protection Research Unit in Emerging and Zoonotic Infections, National Institute for Health Research, , University of Liverpool, ; Liverpool, UK
            [3 ]ISNI 0000 0004 1936 8470, GRID grid.10025.36, Institute of Veterinary Science, Leahurst Campus, , University of Liverpool, ; Chester High Road, Neston, CH64 7TE UK
            [4 ]ISNI 0000 0004 1936 8470, GRID grid.10025.36, Institute of Infection and Global Health, Leahurst Campus, , University of Liverpool, ; Chester High Road, Neston, CH64 7TE UK
            [5 ]ISNI 0000000121662407, GRID grid.5379.8, Health e-Research Centre (Farr@HeRC), Farr Institute, , University of Manchester, ; Vaughan House, Portsmouth St, Manchester, M13 9GB UK
            [6 ]ISNI 0000 0001 1033 9874, GRID grid.478484.3, , British Small Animal Veterinary Association, Waterwells Business Park, ; Woodrow House, 1 Telford Way, Quedgeley, Gloucestershire, GL2 2AB UK
            Contributors
            ORCID: http://orcid.org/0000-0002-1655-8290, fsvb@liverpool.ac.uk
            rtnorle@liverpool.ac.uk
            lvphj@liverpool.ac.uk
            t.menacere@hotmail.com
            Buchan@manchester.ac.uk
            suzanna@reynoldslee.eu
            dawson@liverpool.ac.uk
            rosgask@liverpool.ac.uk
            s.everitt@bsava.com
            alanrad@liverpool.ac.uk
            Journal
            BMC Vet Res
            BMC Vet. Res
            BMC Veterinary Research
            BioMed Central (London )
            1746-6148
            11 July 2017
            11 July 2017
            2017
            : 13
            28693574
            5504643
            1138
            10.1186/s12917-017-1138-9
            © The Author(s). 2017

            Open AccessThis article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.

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            Research Article
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            © The Author(s) 2017

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