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Open Access Original article

Mortality in over 350,000 Insured Swedish Dogs from 1995–2000: II. Breed-Specific Age and Survival Patterns and Relative Risk for Causes of Death

A Egenvall1*, BN Bonnett2, Å Hedhammar3 and P Olson4

  • * Corresponding author: A Egenvall

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Clinical Sciences, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Science, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, SE-750 07 Uppsala, Sweden

2 Department of Population Medicine, Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario, Canada N1G 2W1

3 Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Science, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, SE-750 07 Uppsala, Sweden

4 Agria Insurance, PO 70306, SE-107 23 Stockholm, Sweden

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Acta Veterinaria Scandinavica 2005, 46:121-136  doi:10.1186/1751-0147-46-121

Published: 30 September 2005

Abstract

This study continues analysis from a companion paper on over 350,000 insured Swedish dogs up to 10 years of age contributing to more than one million dog-years at risk during 1995–2000. The age patterns for total and diagnostic mortality and for general causes of death (trauma, tumour, locomotor, heart and neurological) are presented for numerous breeds. Survival estimates at five, eight and 10 years of age are calculated. Survival to 10 years of age was 75% or more in Labrador and golden retrievers, miniature and toy poodles and miniature dachshunds and lowest in Irish wolfhounds (91% dead by 10 years). Multivariable analysis was used to estimate the relative risk for general and more specific causes of death between breeds accounting for gender and age effects, including two-way interactions. Older females had tumour as a designated cause of death more often than males in most breeds, but not in the Bernese mountain dog. Information presented in this and the companion paper inform our understanding of the population level burden of disease, and support decision-making at the population and individual level about health promotion efforts and treatment and prognosis of disease events.

Keywords:
competing risk analysis; database; survival analysis.