Prevalence of disorders recorded in cats attending primary-care veterinary practices in England

O'Neill, D G and Church, D B and McGreevy, P D and Thomson, P C and Brodbelt, D C (2014) Prevalence of disorders recorded in cats attending primary-care veterinary practices in England. VETERINARY JOURNAL, 202 (2). pp. 286-291.

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Abstract

Improved understanding of absolute and relative prevalence values for common feline disorders could support clinicians when listing differential diagnoses and also assist prioritisation of breeding, research and health control strategies. This study aimed to analyse primary-care veterinary clinical data within the VetCompass project to estimate the prevalence of the most common disorders recorded in cats in England and to evaluate associations with purebred status. It was hypothesised that common disorders would be more prevalent in purebred than in crossbred cats. From a study population of 142,576 cats attending 91 clinics across Central and South-East England from 1 September 2009 to 15 January 2014, a random sample of 3584 was selected for detailed clinical review to extract information on all disorders recorded. The most prevalent diagnosis-level disorders were periodontal disease (n = 499; prevalence, 13.9%, 95% confidence intervals [CI], 12.5–15.4), flea infestation (n = 285; prevalence, 8.0%; 95% CI, 7.0–8.9) and obesity (n = 239; prevalence, 6.7%; 95% CI, 5.7–7.6). The most prevalent disorder groups recorded were dental conditions (n = 540; prevalence, 15.1%, 95% CI, 13.6–16.6), traumatic injury (n = 463; prevalence, 12.9%; 95% CI, 11.6–14.3) and dermatological disorders (n = 373; prevalence, 10.4%; 95% CI, 9.2–11.7). Crossbred cats had a higher prevalence of abscesses (excluding cat bite abscesses) (P = 0.009) and hyperthyroidism (P = 0.002) among the 20 most common disorders recorded. Purebreds had a higher prevalence for coat disorders (P <0.001). Veterinarians could use these results to focus their diagnostic and prophylactic efforts towards the most prevalent feline disorders. The study did not show an increased prevalence of common disorders in purebred cats compared with crossbred cats. Primary-care veterinary clinical data were versatile and useful for demographic and clinical feline studies.