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Investigating the causes of death of insured dogs in Japan

M. Inoue, A. Hasegawa, Y. Hosoi, K. Sugiura

PET insurance data can provide useful information about the potential risk factors that affect the longevity of dogs. The purpose of this study was to construct a current life table of dogs in Japan using data from a Japanese company operating veterinary care insurance programmes in the financial year of 2010/11 to determine the common causes of death.

Age, bodyweight and causes of death were recorded in 299,555 dogs insured in Japan between April 1, 2010 and March 31, 2011. Dogs were then grouped according to their bodyweight into breed categories: toy, small, medium, large and giant. During this period, 4169 dogs died and their records were analysed to determine their cause of death. Eighteen diagnostic categories were used. These categories were: disorders of cardiovascular, respiratory, digestive, urinary, reproductive, neuromuscular and musculoskeletal systems; hepatobiliary and exocrine pancreatic disorders; disease of the eye, ear, teeth and skin; immunological and endocrine disorders; infectious diseases, parasitic diseases, injuries, neoplasia and ‘unknown’.

The probability of death increased as dogs got older for most potential causes of death. Neoplasia resulted in the highest probability of death, especially in large and giant breeds. Cardiovascular …

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