Maryland pets fare well in lifespan study

June 12, 2013|By Kim Fernandez,
For The Baltimore Sun

Dogs and cats in Maryland lead deliciously average lives, according to a new study, pointing to responsible owners who take advantage of routine healthcare for their pets.
According to the Banfield Pet Hospital State of Pet Health 2013 study, which analyzed the medical data of nearly 2.2 million dogs and 460,000 cats, Maryland’s 14,432 felines live about 12.1 years, which equals the national average, and its 60,997 dogs enjoy a lifespan of 11.2 years, which is slightly above the national average of 11 years.
Banfield representatives said that several factors seemed to influence lifespan, including heartworm prevalence and vaccination rates (heartworm deaths were greatest in southern states, where the worms can thrive), spay/neuter rates, and the presence of other parasites and diseases. Spayed dogs, the study found, live an average 23 percent longer than non-spayed females, and neutered male dogs live 18 percent longer than their unfixed friends. Spayed cats live 39 percent longer than unspayed, and neutered kitties live 62 percent longer than unfixed male cats.
The most common veterinary diagnoses for dogs in Maryland, according to the study, were dental tartar, ear infection, obesity, skin infection, and periodontal disease. The study also says that Marylanders' favorite dogs names are Bella, Max, Coco, Buddy, and Bailey, and our favorite breeds are Labrador retrievers, Yorkshire terriers, Shih tzu, Pit bulls, and Chihuahuas.
On the cat side, vets most frequently diagnose dental tartar, obesity, fleas, ear infection, and upper respiratory disease. Maryland cat owners like the names Tiger, Kitty, Bella, Shadow, and Smokey the most, and the most common breeds are the domestic short hair, domestic medium hair, domestic long hair, Siamese, and Maine coon.
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