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Increasing Companion & Livestock Animals Population and Growing Risk of Developing Chronic & Infectious Diseases: Driving the growth of the Veterinary Practice Management Software Market

   December 27, 2021

Veterinarians use veterinary practice management software for treatment planning, managing patient information, scheduling, communicating with patients, and supporting back-office functions, such as accounting and payments. This software is used by veterinary hospitals, referral practices, and ambulatory veterinary clinics to assist in their daily operations.

Over the years, pets have become an integral part of the world’s families. Companion animals are gaining importance globally. There is a growing trend towards adopting cats, dogs, rabbits, and birds across various countries. In Europe, in 2021, as per European Pet Food Industry statistics, there were nearly 140 million pet animals in the EU, out of which 64 million were dogs and 76 million were cats.

Similarly, the livestock sector is the pillar of the global food system and contributes to diversified farming systems. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), livestock contributes to 40% of global agriculture value output. The FAO aids in supporting the food security and livelihoods of the global population. Increasing incomes, population growth, and changing diets have increased the demand for agricultural subsectors, including livestock in low-income and middle-income countries. Growing demand for food globally is the primary reason for rising livestock production.

Disease prevalence in companion animals has been changing. There are many conditions responsible for increasing the prevalence of diseases and affecting the health of the pet population. Obesity, diabetes mellitus, and heartworm diseases are the most common diseases diagnosed in canine and feline populations. Diabetes Mellitus is a chronic disease requiring lifelong treatment, medication, and proper monitoring. As of 2018, as per the data revealed by Association for Pet Obesity Prevention (APOP), an estimated 56 million cats (58.9%) and 50 million dogs (53.9%) in the U.S. were considered overweight or obese. Similarly, the prevalence of diabetes is also high in companion animals. According to the 2019 Banfield Pet Hospital Report, there was a 79.7% increase in dogs with diabetes between 2006 and 2018, with 23.6 cases per 10,000 dogs were observed in the U.S. Similarly, the incidence of feline diabetes has increased by 18.1% from 2006–2018 which is 94 cases per 10,000 cats in the U.S.

Felines can suffer from either form of diabetes mellitus but are more commonly affected by type II, whereas canines are more commonly diagnosed with type I. Approximately 80% of diabetic cats suffer from type I like diabetes mellitus, a heterogeneous disease. According to the U.S. State of Pet Health 2018, the prevalence of diabetes mellitus in feline has increased from 67.6 cases per 10,000 in 2015 to 94 cases per 10,000 in 2018, with a total increase of 39.1%, and that in canine has increased from 23.6 cases per 10,000 in 2015 to 38 cases per 10,000 in 2018 with a total increase of 61.0%.

In addition to chronic diseases, infectious diseases in animals increase the visits to veterinary clinics. Zoonoses, or the infections spreading from animals to humans, disrupt the production and trade of products based on livestock. In livestock, pathogenic infections include atrophic rhinitis, bluetongue, bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), avian influenza, swine influenza, and bovine diarrhea. According to the WHO, in 2018, there were an estimated 1,43,000 new human cases of zoonotic TB globally, and 12,300 deaths were reported due to it. The African region carries the heaviest burden of disease and death due to zoonotic TB, followed by the South-East Asian region.

Thus, growing concerns of chronic health conditions in companion animals are increasing the visits to veterinary practices, thereby raising the demand for veterinary practice management software to improve the overall workflow of the care delivery process.

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