Our new paper based on the epidemiology of canine osteoarthritis went live online this morning! The paper entitled ‘Prevalence, duration and risk factors for appendicular osteoarthritis in a UK dog population under primary veterinary care’ was conducted as one part of my MRes project, using the VetcompassTM database. Using veterinary primary-care electronic patient records, information was gathered to provide epidemiological data for canine osteoarthritis. The key findings for this paper include prevalence, duration of and risk factors for development of osteoarthritis in UK dogs.
Of 455,557 study dogs, we identified 16,437 candidate osteoarthritis cases through a combination of search terms to highlight potential cases. 6104 (37%) of these were manually checked and 4196 (69% of sample) were confirmed as cases. Further data on demography, clinical signs, duration and management were extracted for a proportion of these confirmed cases. Estimated annual period prevalence of appendicular osteoarthritis was calculated at 2.5% equating to around 200,000 UK affected dogs annually. Risk factors associated with osteoarthritis diagnosis included breed (e.g. Labrador, Golden Retriever), being insured, being neutered, of higher bodyweight and being older than six years. Duration calculation trials suggest osteoarthritis affects 11% of affected individuals’ lifespan. These findings provide evidence that osteoarthritis can have a substantial impact on canine welfare at the individual and population level, and should not be overlooked as a disorder in veterinary medicine!
The paper is available via open access at www.nature.com/articles/s41598-018-23940-z