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Veterinary Informatics Insights

Over 1,000 Small Animal Practices invoice details and 500,000 medical case histories have been mined for more than 10 years to provide metrics on canine and feline medical treatments, products used, procedures performed, services provided and practice management approaches. These articles are based on those findings.


“Feline” Groovy:  Most Cats Don’t Even have an Annual Veterinary Visit.

The number of active feline patients in the US (~ 20 million) has been growing slightly each year (2013-15).  On average, these patients come to the clinic 2.65 times per year.  This number is misleading, since only 28% of these cats come to the clinic at least annually, while the remainder visit less frequently.  [Data derived from Practice Management System (PMS) database which collects data from approximately 1000 veterinary clinics distributed across the continental United States.] Many Veterinarians will record in their Practice Management System that a feline patients is “active” if they come in at least once in the last 24 months. VetInformatics research has found that 28% of the cats come in annually, 34% come in every other year, and 12% come in every three years. 24% change over annually, either due to death or relocation.

Hyperthyroid Felines are a Growth Industry

The number of cats with suspected or treated hyperthyroidism grew over the 3-year period (2013-2015). These patients received a variety of tests, hormone products and occasionally, Hills Y/D prescription diet. Our projections estimate the feline hyperthyroid treatment market at  $5-10 million in 2015.

Our rigorously qualified sample was triangulated with other data sources for validation to ensure our projections are reliable within +/- 5% level of accuracy. Triangulation was performed from a medical case database to project the size of the clinical Feline Thyroid Hormone Market (approximately $10 million). From our database, we selected 588 pre-qualified clinics with complete invoices for the 36 month period (2013-2015), containing 1296 small animal general practice veterinarians (universe of 57, 300) distributed throughout the US to obtain a weighted projection factor.

Food Is Life: Treatment of Feline Diabetes Mellitus Patients

Feline diabetic patients received a variety of tests, glucogenic products and prescription diets. There were about 180,000 DM cats who received only a prescription diet.

The average number of DM cats who received diet food for treatment, alone or in combination with glucogenic regulators, was about 240,000.

There were about 20,800 DM cats that received an average of 63,000 Glucogenic Replacement Therapy (GRT) products without a prescription diet. The number of clinic visits/year varied with the type of treatment each diabetic feline received.

Not So Sweet: Feline Diabetes Mellitus Demographics and Treatments 2013-2015

Over the 3-year period (2013-2015) an average of 660,000 felines received approximately one test for DM/cat.  While the number of suspected DM felines increased over this 3-year period, the number of treated feline diabetic patients did not increase.

A rigorously qualified sample was used to provide this data, which was triangulated to another data source for validation to ensure projections were reliable with +/- 5% level of accuracy. Triangulation to the VMDR case history study sized the Glucogenic Regulator Market at $32 million. Our projection factor was derived from a prequalified group of 588 clinics with invoices for 36 months (2013-2015), containing 1296 veterinarians (from a universe of 57,300 small animal general practice veterinarians) and distributed over the continental US.