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Study identifies gingivitis risk factors for cats
Cats with orange coats were found to be more at risk of gingivitis.
Wet food diet and not hunting among risk factors found.

A new study has identified factors that increase the risk of pet cats developing gingivitis.

The research looked at data from owner-completed questionnaires and veterinary surgeon-completed oral health scores for 860 cats aged up to six years. All of the cats were enrolled in the Bristol Cats Study, a longitudinal study run by the University of Bristol.

Focusing on cats aged three to four years old, the researchers found that the odds of a cat having gingivitis were higher when fed a wet only or mixed wet diet compared to cats fed a dry diet only.

The data also showed that cats not reported to hunt prey were more likely to have the condition, as were cats with variants of orange in their coat and cats which were reported to dribble whilst being stroked when they were six months old. The sex of the cats was not found to be a risk factor.

The study also found that the prevalence of gingivitis increased with age. While it was found in 24.5 per cent of cats less than 12 months old, 56.3 of cats aged between five and six years old had gingivitis.

The researchers hope the findings will help veterinary surgeons to identify cats at greater risk of gingivitis, allowing them to advise owners about preventative measures.

Jess Williams, lead author of the study, said: “Periodontal disease is one of the most common conditions in cats, potentially causing issues with eating and behaviours like grooming.

“Our study showed that even young cats may have signs of gingivitis, so it is important to discuss and monitor dental health regularly and early on in a cat’s life, especially for those cats who may be more at risk.”

The study, which was funded by BSAVA PetSavers, has been published in the Journal of Small Animal Practice.

Image © Shutterstock

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Charities' XL bully neutering scheme closes

News Story 1
 A scheme that helped owners of XL bully dogs with the cost of neutering has closed to new applications due to high demand.

The scheme, run by the RSPCA, Blue Cross, and Battersea, has helped 1,800 dogs and their owners after XL bullies were banned under the Dangerous Dogs Act.

In England and Wales, owners of XL bully dogs which were over one year old on 31 January 2021 have until 30 June 2024 to get their dog neutered. If a dog was between seven months and 12 months old, it must be neutered by 31 December 2024. If it was under seven months old, owners have until 30 June 2025.

More information can be found on the Defra website. 

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News Shorts
Avian flu cattle outbreak spreads to tenth US state

Cattle in two dairy herds in Iowa have tested positive for highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI), making it the tenth state in the USA to be affected by the ongoing outbreak of the disease in cattle.

Since March 2024, more than 80 herds across the USA have been affected by the virus and three dairy workers have tested positive. Authorities have introduced measures to limit the spread of the virus and farmers have been urged to strengthen their biosecurity protocols.

Mike Naig, Iowa secretary of agriculture, said: "Given the spread of highly pathogenic avian influenza within dairy cattle in many other states, it is not a surprise that we would have a case given the size of our dairy industry in Iowa.

"While lactating dairy cattle appear to recover with supportive care, we know this destructive virus continues to be deadly for poultry."